Pololu Trail is a 0.9 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Kapaau, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
From scenic overlook, hike down steep rocky trail to beautiful black sand and rocky beach with views of the Hamakua coast. Waipio is the southeastern most of the Hamakua coasts dramatic stream valleys. Pololu is the northwestern most of those valleys. It is drier than Waipio and lacks waterfalls, but it is lovely in its own way. Pololu Valley Trail, from the lookout down to the valley takes less than 30 mins to walk. Its steep but not overly strenuous and you will be rewarded with lovely vistas. Trail is slippery when wet and is rocky or packed clay. Note ancient cobble stones still embedded in sections of the trail. Caution, as high surf, undertow, and rip tides occur in the ocean here. Coming back uphill is easier (no loose rocks). The black sand beach fronting the valley stretches for 900 yards and makes for an enjoyable stroll.
Easy to find trailhead, but fills up quickly. Arrive early for best parking. Careful when decending to the beach in the morning or after a rain - it will be slick. Most folks head down to the beach, chill and head back up. If you do this bring a hammock and a garbage bag. There are plenty of spots to set up your hammock and enjoy the ocean. The beach has A LOT of washed up plastic garbage. We brought up a bagful when we finished for the day.
We recommend heading right past the beach. The trail will enter the forest and will go up, up, up. Keep going 1.5 miles (from parking lot) and you'll come to an amazing opening on the cliff with views of the ocean, waves, cliffs and valley. (See our track for reference). It's slick coming down but very doable.
Wife Tip Corner - bug spray is a must. Since it's very muddy bring a change of shoes. Don't be discouraged if you feel like you are the only people wandering in the jungle, it's worth the hike. Check hubby for weird looking little red bugs.
Absolutely loved this trail! Being the middle of winter and over here for a visit, I'm not in the best of shape right now. This definitely got the blood pumping with the elevation loss/gain but it is well worth it. The views going down the switchbacks are some of the most gorgeous that I have ever seen. If you have trekking poles, I would recommend grabbing them, or there are plenty of pieces of wood that you can use as hiking sticks. Wish we would've had more time to spend down at the bottom, but there was a wall of water coming in from the Pacific that we wanted to try to beat...didn't work, we got soaked. The trail stayed pretty decent when it was wet. There were a few spots where the water started to pond and flow down the trail, but nothing too bad. The only real slick spot was once we got back near the top. I would most definitely do this trail again and would recommend it to anyone.
Gorgeous hike, beautiful views of huge cliffs, Pacific Ocean and shoreline.
Very nice hike! There is plenty of traffic on this one but it's well worth it when you reach the beach at the bottom of the canyon.
The beach was actually quite empty as most people never finish the descent.
Absolutely amazing! A must do if your on the big island!
Short but steep hike (Both up and down). Rated moderate as it is a short one but enclosed shoes/boots should be recommended and hiking poles if you have knee issues on the way down as it is steep and uneven. Really enjoyed the views and the black sand beach. A very busy trail indeed.
This is a difficult trail in both incline and hard clay & rocky soil. It is an definite advantage to bring hiking poles and boots. The views are spectacular. Do not attempt if rainy weather is forecasted and the trail almost becomes impassable.
Great hike beautiful at every step. doesn't take long at all. Will go back again and again! Aloha
Amazing vistas from the beginning of the trail could lure you into not hiking across the beach and up the other side. But the view at the end down to another valley and beach is not to be missed. Very rewarding hike for the effort!
Great place. A must see and take a lunch down. Many places to sit and enjoy.
This was my first time going down into the valley. It was a great hike down into the valley. Once we reached the valley we then hiked up to the next ridge to the bench at the top. The view from there is amazing. Great hike!