When should you hike a trail? Some hikes lead to fascinating forests, some have tremendous views and others are rich in variety. Share your favorite trails with other hikers and nature lovers.
Best time for hiking the Kalalau trail is the drier season between May and October however showers occur frequently. After Hanakāpīʻai Beach it is almost impossible to hike this trail in very wet conditions. It is very slippery and muddy on the narrow footpath. The only option is a pair of mini-crampons.
Update August 2019: There was a trail closure for 14 months due to immense flooding mid-April 2018. The highway and bridges to the Haena State Park got also flooded and destroyed. The Haena State Park and Kalalau trail got reopenend mid-June 2019. However, a permit is neccessary also for day visitors now. Apply online for a permit to hike until the Hanakāpīʻai Beach and Falls, same for the entire Kalalau Trail. Permits are limited. Overnight parking is not any longer allowed. A shuttle bus reservation is needed for the Kalalau Trail. Do you look for alternatives to explore the Napali Coast? Scroll down for more details.
Kauai is wetter than the other Hawaiian Islands, therefore, called "The Garden Island". The rainy season starts in November and lasts until April. The north and east coast gets more rain than south and west which is the leeward side. Mostly showers are short, often in the night, and the sun returns quickly.
The first part of the trail until the Hanakāpīʻai Beach is not any longer accessible without a permit. It'll be less busy in the future. The Kalalau Trail is almost always fully booked. You have to get your permit far in advance. Tuesdays are often not full due to Haena Park closure. Shoulder season in spring between mid-April to mid-June and in fall from September to October. Crowded during summer with hikers and kayaks, during Christmas, New Year's Eve, Independence Day and June 9th is a bank holiday.
Parking at the Kalalau Trail - Haena State Park
Limited parking at Haena State Park of around 100 parking lots, 30 are for local people. A reservation is essential. Don't leave any luggage in the car. It is not safe, and the car might be broken-up!!
Where to Stay
You can stay at Haena State Park and campground, but it is closed every Monday from 10 a.m. to Tuesday 12 p.m. for maintenance. The reason that the Kalalau trail is often not fully booked on Tuesdays. Be aware of leaving your valuables and bags in the car is not recommended. We, a part of the team, saw a couple of rental cars on Kauai which had a broken side window and glass on the ground respectively.
Close by is the town of Princeville; ideally located in the north to buy your groceries and to enjoy the Queen's Bath. Also not far away is the gorgeous Hanalei Beach Park. Have a closer look at the different private apartment rentals and hotels. Princeville Accommodations
The best time to climb the hills on the Isle of Skye is usually from mid April till end of May but you can experience a day with decent weather throughout the whole year. My experience is to start after noon since the evenings are usually more calm on Skye.
The best time for hiking is usually from the end of May till the end of June, then September till the start of October. July and August are very hot and the glacier can melt very fast in the afternoon when the sun is out. It is necessary to start early in the morning to be sure you will get back down as soon as possible. However, it's pretty cold minus degrees throughout the year
Due to the easy accessibility, the mountain is often a bit busy. The cable car is often very full of skiers. However, it's a perfect climb for beginners in such a height. To avoid crowds and the melting glaciers take the first cable car to the Kleinmatterhorn.
This trail is recommended from April to November. Hard to walk with ice and snow. It's a cooling hike on a hot summer day deep in the forest. More spectacular from April to June with the higher water level. The Waterfall is a trickle only end of summer.
Where to Stay
There is one hotel along the trail which is famous for their outstanding meals and included breakfast. We'd been here in the hotel Schmausemühle a couple of times. Book your room in advance especially at weekends. It's a family-run hotel and often pretty busy. If you stay here, you can start hiking from the hotel.
The best time to visit Canyonlands National Park depends on what you are looking for and if you are willing to avoid the noon and afternoon heat by getting up early. Read on for our detailed 'when to go' tips:
Best months regarding the weather are April/May and September/October. During these months daytime highs average 60 to 80 F and lows average 30 to 50 F. Summer months get boiling hot with temperatures > 100 F, especially The Needles district. Not recommended for strenuous day hikes. If you decide to hike in the summer: Get up very early and be back by lunch time. Thunderstorms can happen in late summer and early fall. Winters are cold: highs 30 to 50 F and lows 0 to 20 F. The Needles District stays slightly warmer during winter due to its lower elevation.
Avoiding Tourist Crowds
With 450,000 visitors/year it’s less crowded than the major parks. Most visitors come here in April/May and September/October. During these peak months the popular spots might be busy. Despite the high temperatures, summer became also slightly more busy recently. While 'Island in the Sky' receives the highest visitation, 'The Maze' is the least busiest. If you visit in the popular months and want to beat possible crowds: Avoid weekends and start your tour very early. Besides, if you drive or hike far enough you won’t be sharing with your trail with others regardless of the season. If you want total solitude: November to February. However, some roads could be inaccessible.
Sabah can be traveled throughout the year, but June to September can be hot. Climbing Mount Kota Kinabalu is best during the dry season in March and April with a higher chance for clear views. Anyhow, rain can also occur at this time of the year. October to January is the North-East Monsoon that brings heavy and frequent rain. It is worst in November and December. Dry periods can occur, but the monsoon can spoil the whole trip.
Nowadays it's a very popular hike; early booking is essential minimum 6 months in advance! Climbing is limited to 135 people per day since the earthquake in 2015 where people and even children died.
If you want to explore a less busy part of the mountain; at Panar Laban Rock Face on 3.300 m elevation starts the world highest via ferrata. It was opened in 2007 with different routes and difficulties. More information about climbing activities.
Where to Stay
If you like to climb Mount Kota Kinabalu you should book an exceptional lodge before. It'll be pretty strenuous. If you want to explore Mount Kinabalu National Park without climbing to the summit choose a lodge which is not too far located. The very best location already inside the Kinabalu Park offers the Sutera Sanctuary Lodges At Kinabalu Park. An alternative but not as comfortable is the Happy Garden Resort close to the Kinabalu Park Entrance.