When you’re in the mood to simply gaze upon the beauty of paradise from the best vantage point possible, there’s nowhere better to go than the Kalalau Valley Lookout. Standing 4,000 feet above sea level, this popular lookout gives you unmatched views of the lush valley and the Napali Coast beyond.
You can get there by traveling just past the Kaluapuhi Trailhead on Kokee Road until your reach the public parking lot. Once you arrive, just find an open spot, and then walk down the short path to the fences beyond. No matter where you stand along that fence line, you’ll get to enjoy the absolute best views in Kauai, although it’s best to walk it end-to-end to experience all the different perspectives.
If you happen to arrive as the clouds are rolling through, just wait it out. The skyline changes often, treating you to a variety of scenic views within just a short period of time. Before you know it, the skies will open up, and you’ll be able to see for miles even though it was cloudy just moments before.
Despite being such a popular lookout, it never feels overly crowded or busy. Most people try to time their arrival for sunset on sunny days, which is definitely a great time to come by. If you’d like to fly solo while seeing the sky over the valley light up in vivid hues, come to see the sunrise instead. You’re unlikely to see very many people at that time, giving you a feeling of solitude as you take in the wondrous views.
Part of the magic of enjoying this lookout is getting the chance to share the moment with other people, however. So, if you’d prefer to meet new friends across the Kauai community, there’s perhaps no better place to do it.
Small talk comes easily as you look at the gorgeous landscape all around, especially if you try to spot all the movie backdrops in your midst. If you look carefully, you’ll be able to spot where filmmakers brought their crews to shoot popular movies, like “Jurassic Park” and the original “King Kong.”
To enjoy this lookout to the fullest, bring a blanket to layout and your favorite picnic foods to enjoy. Invite your fellow travelers to join in your meal and chat about their adventures across Kauai. You can easily spend hours here if you’d like the views to never end. There’s even a bathroom available for your convenience right down next to the parking lot.
Just remember that you’re welcome to come back to the lookout any time you want to gaze upon paradise in wonder. In fact, many travelers put this lookout on their itinerary several times over to soak in all the sights before having to head home.
-The nearby Kalepa Ridge Trailhead regularly gets blocked off since the path down is rather treacherous year-round. If you’d like to stay safe on your travels, it’s better to simply enjoy the views from the lookout than trying to traverse that steep and oft-slippery trail.
-Watch out for potholes as you drive up to the lookout. Be sure to give other drivers wide berth as you travel across the bumpiest parts of the road.
-Although it’s tempting to hop up on the rail to get a better view, always stay off the railings at all times. They are there for your safety as it’s a long way down.
-Skip the trip on foggy days. The fog often takes a long time to clear — if it does at all.