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Hanalei, Haena State Park and North Shore Kauai Access for 2021

Hanalei Bay
Kauai’s North Shore and Hanalei Bay

Hanalei (Hawna-lay) and the North Shore of Kauai is not easy to get to at this time, unfortunately for residents, locals and vacationers. This is just a fact of life at this time as we experienced a  severe mudslide that covered the road at the Hanalei Hill in March, 2021. This road slide resulted in isolated residents as well as stranded visitors some for a week! 

Follow this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMjbJrKzrR8  to see what I am talking about because without knowing the area (and that’s why you are coming here right?) it is impossible to appreciate the challenges this Hanalei Hill landslide has caused for everyone, local and visitor alike. 

When navigating the roads of Kauai, you will quickly catch on that, basically, there is only one highway to get around the island and all roads lead to Hanalei. They still do but the access is severely limited to traffic flow to allow the Hawaii Dept of Transportation crews do their work. What they are doing is a convoy situation where if you aren’t there when crews let traffic flow you are out of luck. I know this is hard for mainlanders (I was once one myself) to understand but again, you have to be there.  The traffic flows with a wait from 5:30am to 7:45am and if you are not there, sorry, you have to wait till 1:45 to 2:30! Then it opens again 5:30-11pm. Crazy, right,but this is the only way.  There are weight restrictions but unless you are planning to drive a school bus no worries, but the main thing is: 

These limitations can change daily!   Check this site out before your day trip to Hanalei!  https://hidot.hawaii.gov/2021-hanalei-hill-landslide/ 

You must go through Hanalei to get to Haena State Park (permits required but that’s another blog) https://www.gohaena.com/ or any of the other beautiful beaches dangling like ripe fruit just beyond your reach. Tunnels, Waikoko, Lumahai, and several more, all past Hanalei. No tours, no North Shore Shuttle, no nothing is exempt by these limitations on the traffic. Can you imagine living here or trying to run a business that depends on tourism which is most of Hanalei? Living in this part of paradise comes at a cost. 

Don’t get me wrong, Hanalei, in my honest opinion, is one of the jewels in the Hawaiian Islands crown and if possible, not to be missed. You won’t be disappointed but I just want you to do your diligence and be aware of the realities of visiting the green, lush, mountainous region of Kauai’s North Shore. For further information about Kauai visit www.kauaitourguy.com

Hanalei Valley and the Taro fields
Hanalei Valley
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