Waipio Valley Trail is a 3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Honokaa, Hawaii that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Hard but worth it!
This is a spectacular area but be warned if you're thinking about driving to the beach: THIS IS THE STEEPEST ROAD IN AMERICA. Look up Waipio Valley Road on Google. The first thing that shows up is "dangerousroads.org."
You need a very rugged FOUR WHEEL DRIVE vehicle to tackle this. Not, I repeat, -not- an all-wheel drive vehicle (unless you're very good at tricking the wheels into locking with the break, but this is difficult and requires a high level of skill). You are risking your life taking anything less than a 4WD vehicle down this road. You'll spin your tires and possibly slide backwards off the cliff. Most of the trail guides I've seen online don't emphasize this enough. Even the toughest AWD Jeep won't do. I'd suggest a Wrangler if you want to come back in one piece.
Triple check that your vehicle has a four wheel drive setting if you're renting one. And, by the way, you are almost certainly violating your rental contract by even attempting this.
Tourists are constantly being towed out of here and some tow companies, if you can even find a way to call roadside assistance, charge over a thousand dollars to get down there and help you up. Great way to ruin a vacation.
hard uphill but totally worth it!
Also others call the river "streams" which it is, but be warned that the streams we crossed were about 4 ft deep! Definitely pack either a wet bag or very light along with good hiking boots you don't mind getting wet. The current was also a bit fast at points but nothing you can't cross.
Seriously amazing adventure. Do it!! It's a bit hard to find the trailhead once you pass the local houses and cross the river by the road. The locals guard the trail as it is private property and no trespassing allowed. We went along and through the river starting at the road and kept going until we met the trail on your left side (east). Stay along the river trail. When you meet a point where the trail is lost and you'll see some longer rocks going into the river, that's where we crossed. You'll see no trespassing signs and what becomes a meadow on your left along with high rocks that seem impassable. You can't tell but the trail keeps going on a narrow path along the river and rock on the other side. You'll cross one more time almost to the waterfall. The waterfall is well worth it!! Especially if you are there in the right season. I've heard it dries out some parts of the year.
The walk up is much longer and harder than it appears from the top, be warned.
Did this hike on Dec 5th..Hiked down and to Hi'ilawe Falls then back. Fairly easy until the hike up, absolute death for me but worth every minute.