On June 17, 2019 the Kalalau Trail opened back up after being closed for 14-months. I immediately secured a permit, purchased a flight and was at the trail head the next day.
Getting to the trail
I arrived in Lihue around Noon on Tuesday. I knew ahead of time that there was going to be overnight parking issues. For the heck of it, I checked Uber and the cost was going to be $80.15 to drop me at the trail head. A Taxi was even more expensive. I rented a car for $30 and was on my way.
There was still lots of roadwork along the North Shore. We were stopped by construction workers several times as they let cars travel one direction at a time. Some spots looked like they had done a lot of work and others still looked like the flood happened recently.
As I got closer and closer to the end of the road I began to see new “No Parking – $200 fine” signs along the roadway. Plus, after entering Hāʻena State Park, I saw signs warning that reservations are needed or I’d have to turn around.
I arrived at the end of the road at 2:36. There was the new 100 car parking lot. A parking attendant was stopping each car asking to see their reservation. It was too late for me to start on the hike and I still needed to solve my parking problem so I just checked things out and returned to Hanalei for the evening.
I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening hanging out in Hanalei. I checked out all the stores and met a lot of new friends. My backup plan for my car was to pay the hotel I had that night a small fee to keep my car with them for a couple extra days but I ended up meeting a new friend in Hanalei that arranged for me to park at a private home while I was on the trail.