The Nā Pali Coast State Park encompasses 6,175 acres (2,499 ha) of land and is located in the center of the rugged 16 miles (26 km) along the northwest side of Kauaʻi, the oldest inhabited Hawaiian island. The Nā Pali coast itself extends southwest starting at Keʻe Beach extending all the way to Polihale State Park. The pali (cliffs) rise as high as 4,000 feet (1,200 m) above the Pacific Ocean. The state park was formed to protect the Kalalau Valley.
Although inaccessible to vehicles, this coast can be enjoyed by hiking, boating in kayaks or in a helicopter from May 15 through Labor Day . The Kalalau Trail from the end of Hawaii Route 56 (called the Kuhio Highway) provides the only land access, traversing 11 miles (18 km) and crossing five major valleys (and many smaller ones) before reaching Kalalau Beach at the base of Kalalau Valley. To the east of the state park is the Hono O Nā Pali state Natural Reserve. It was established in 1983, and then extended to over 3,578 acres (14.5 km2) in 2009.