Kauai's Na Pali Coast in National Geographic

The Na Pali Coast of Kauai is the focus of a photo essay and feature in the April issue of National Geographic.

The story, “Fortress Coast,” explores the history of the remote north shore of Kauai coastline, and human impact on its near-pristine valleys and beaches. Though largely inaccessible save for foot trails and ocean landings, the Na Pali coastline has in recent years proven catnip for visitors intrigued by its natural beauty and isolation.

The valleys of Na Pali were populated by Native Hawaiians continuously for six centuries through the early 1900s. In recent decades, however, it has lured another kind of population: the more than half-million visitors annually who hike its trails, camp overnight in its valleys, buzz over its 3,000 foot cliffs in helicopters and, sadly, at times prove poor stewards of Na Pali.

The feature is accompanied by stunning photos of Na Pali by National Geographic photographers Diane Cook and Len Jenshel.

You’ll find the story, photos and an interactive map of Na Pali at National Geographic’s Web site here.

Photo by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel for National Geographic