The landmark one-lane Hanalei Bridge sits at the entrance to the beautiful Hanalei Valley on Kauai’s tropical North Shore. The bridge is one of Kauai’s most cherished symbols. In some ways, the iconic bridge is more than just a way across the Hanalei River.
It is a rite of passage as you transition from one phase of Kauai to another. Kauai is beautiful all over, but once you pass THROUGH the bridge, the beauty of Kauai becomes even more intense, and more serene. Appropriately, one must stop – and wait – before crossing over the one-lane bridge.
It’s a reminder that life is slower on the other side. As you pass through, take a moment to unwind and decompress for the beauty and calm that lies ahead. For once you cross over, you are truly in paradise.
Today’s Hanalei Bridge is an exact replica of the original bridge that was built in 1912. In recent years there have been discussions about replacing the bridge with another that has two lanes. But the bridge is not only symbolic of a slower and simpler lifestyle, it is also an actual barrier to larger trucks (and more development), and the local residents surely want to keep it that way.
Groups of vehicles take turns crossing the one-lane bridge. Local courtesy says to allow 5-7 oncoming cars to pass before crossing the bridge.
Green mountains and Hanalei’s famous taro fields serve as a beautiful backdrop for the bridge.
All things that go to Kauai’s North Shore must pass through this bridge.
You are in paradise when you cross this bridge. Go right to head towards the town of Hanalei. Going left on Ohiki Road takes you into the Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge. The trailhead for the Okolehao Trail is on Ohiki Road about a mile from the bridge. Ohiki Road borders the Hanalei Taro Fields and is a popular spot for photos. FYI – drones are specifically not allowed in this area as it is a wildlife refuge.
View of the Hanalei Bridge from the Hanalei side.
View of the Hanalei Bridge from Ohiki Road.
Under the Hanalei Bridge.