When it comes to scenic areas, Na Pali may very well be the top on the list here in Hawaii. Miles of rugged coastline more beautiful than anything imagined, it truly feels like another world. So whether you fly over it, hike it, or take a boat around the edges of it... Na Pali is something that must be experienced.
Historians believe this rugged yet beautiful coastline was the first area of Kauai to be settled by the ancient Hawaiians. As inhospitable as these cliffs appear, they provided the settlers with all the basics of life: freshwater from the mountain streams, native vegetation and fertile ground in the valleys, and unparalleled fishing in the vast ocean.
These sea cliffs begin at Ke'e Beach in North Kauai and continue around the north and west portion of Kauai, ending at Polihale Beach bordering West Kauai. They extend upwards of 1000 feet and made up of a series of "hanging" and traditional valleys and cliffs. A "hanging" valley is one that ends abruptly at a sea cliff rather than gently stretching out into the ocean. They are formed when the ocean's waves cut away at the lava rock quicker than the interior streams can scour out the valley floor.
Many movies, such as The Thorn Birds and portions of South Pacific, have been filmed along this coast using the dramatic background of these steep cliffs. Numerous sea caves, small beaches and high waterfalls add to the beauty and uniqueness of the landscape.
Highway 560 from the north and Highway 50 from the south bring you to beginning and end of the coast. Highway 55 and 550 travel near the top of Na Pali with great lookouts down on the cliffs and valleys.