I was on the trail by 9:30am. Having hiked Kalalau before, the first two miles of the trail to Hanakāpīʻai Beach was as expected.
For those of you who have not hiked it before, and are hiking the first 2-miles, the first half-mile is a steep incline. (I recommend the use of hiking poles. I personally would never do the trail without them). You are hiking over rocks with big steps along with dirt, mud and across small streams. The half-mile marker will be at the top of the hill. You’ll be able to see where you came from (Ke’e Beach) as well nice views of the cliffs ahead. The next half-mile is one of my favorite parts of the trail. There’s very beautiful views and it’s relatively flat for a little while. But eventually you get to the hills again. There are steep uphills and steep downhills leading to Hanakāpīʻai Beach.
Note: If you looked you could see that there was new cement under some of the stairs and rocks were moved or buried a bit to keep them sturdy. Stopping to take several photos along the way I made it to Hanakāpīʻai Beach at 10:50am.