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This was an amazing trail with the most amazing views! The hike starts in a tropical like jungle, descends through a lava field, back into the woods, and then finally you arrive at the prize! Turn left at marker 8 to find the monument and snorkel bay. Warning: The grass gets extremely thick and overgrown at times. I recommend wearing a long sleeve shirt to protect your arms. My daughter got cut in the face and neck by the blades. But this was only for maybe 1/3 of the trip. If you have hiking boots, bring them. I promise you will be glad you did. Lastly, PLEASE bring enough water to last both ways. I wouldnt dare try this hike after 7am. The hike back up in the October sun was brutal.

Great trail, bring a lot of water, like a lot of water. Easy to go down, super hard to go up.

Magical beach, absolute worth spending a full day at with lunch and beers. Hike through exposed black lava fields so lather up on sunscreen in/out.

This trail is cool if you want to access to a nice snorckelling spot, first part in the forest and second part in the stones decor with nice view on the ocean, if you go at 17:00-18:00 you can see a wonderdul sunset !!

Tips: take lots of water (I drank 6 liters); start early in the morning (I started at 8:45); go West to reach the farthest west of the valley and cross at the sandbar where it is only thigh deep; go east to see Kuluahine Falls—hug the coastline until you reach it (it will go out of view before you get there); take your time going back up to take in the fauna and views and if you’re lucky (like I was) you’ll see wild horses

Yes, bring enough water. No, it's not like Hunger Games where everything try to kill you as written down below in other review. Yes, it's really humid. No, don't skip this hike. I'm 33 years old average hiker with beer belly and took us (with my girlfriend) 35 minutes down and 43 minutes back. Interresting hiking but more than that, great for snorkeling. We saw 20 dolphins playing and jumping from water and swam with them. Don't be affraid and just enjoy the show if you are lucky. It's remain a hik, not a walk in a park.

Tons of fun - jungle, ocean views, crystal clear water and a historical monument.

hiking
1 month ago

At the head of this trail is a sign that states and I quote “ bring plenty of water, approximate hiking time 2-4hrs”
Please take this sign literally and seriously! Do not attempt this hike as we personally witnessed today if you are +60 yrs and not in good shape, have no water with you, wearing sandals, long summer style dress or convinced to do so by someone who is into hiking and YOUR NOT! Took myself who is not a strong hiker, 3hrs 15 min to go to the bottom and come back. Top of the trail is overgrown with tall razor grass and brush. If you have ANY issues with spiders, bugs, this is NOT the hike for you. If it’s raining or you don’t have proper footwear, do not attempt! The trail at the top is smooth rock that would be slippery if wet, bottom of the trail is mainly loose rocks. Remember for every step down the trail, there is an equal number of steps out. Although I made it in and out, my hiking partner (wife) only went 3/4 of the way because she knew her limitations.

Bring LOTS of water and proper footwear....

Très beau trail, nous l'avons fait en après midi il faut compter à peu près 2h30. La remontée est sportive car plein soleil et avec une bonne montée la végétation est dense sur la deuxième partie. Ce spot permet avec de la chance, d'apercevoir voir de nager avec les dauphins. Un beau spot de snorkeling (cassdédi à bat et rom). A faire !

It was worth the hike to snorkel in this bay, we did get caught in the rain hiking out.

This hike is not for the faint of heart. Enjoy the Great views and snorkeling. Save water and energy for the hike out.

easy down, hard back, but great hike. overgrown tall grasses for first half because it's not formally maintained. The monument, water, and fort rains we're excellent.

Great hike going was easy and the snorkeling was amazing. Cool remains of an old village and lots of wildlife. Saw a school of Dolphins really close to shore.
The hike back up was a little strenuous but totally worth it.

Excellent snorkeling ! Easy to go down but a little more challenging on the way back since it’s 100% uphill (on the way back) and very humid at this time of the year. I would give a 4 for the hike and a 5 for the snorkeling.

The way down with proper shoes is fine. The snorkeling spot is fantastic even saw some dolphins. That being said we are pretty experienced hikers. We brought in 2.5L hydration packs and ate some granola bars down by the bay. I'm not sure if having a wet bathing suit on under our clothes or maybe dried salt on our skin, or even the Vog conditions, but I got really bad heat exhaustion on the hike back. You are basically walking up stairs that are made from loose gravel for about 1.5miles with no coverage whatsoever. The sun is just beating down on you and the UV index is considered extreme. We saw multiple people on the way back up in the same boat. Do not attempt the hike back up, during July/Aug btwn 12 and 3pm. I really can not stress this enough.

We were not dehydrated, we had plenty of water with us and we still experienced severe heat exhaustion. It took us 45mins to get down and over 90mins to get back out. There were a few trees around markers 5 and 4, they barely had any shade and they are covered in fire ants so you can't sit or lean. I honestly felt like we were in the hunger games and everything was trying to kill us. Again I'm from Florida and I live and hike in Colorado. I'm used to heat and high humidity. I hike in Colorado at much higher elevations and we are both in shape. We had done 6 other hikes in the past 3 weeks on Oahu and Kuawai that were double the distance and elevation gain with no issues. Be very careful attempting this hike in these conditions.

This was a great snorkeling stop, but the hike proved to be challenging with the loose rock and uneven terrain. Bring lots of water!

Not for the faint of the heart. We are from Denver and hike weekly and I would say moderate is a good description but be ready to get your heart rate up on the incline back up. Our gps says the hike is over 2 miles each way. Bring water and snacks. View at the bottoms is gorgeous and the water is pristine. We saw lots of fish, a sea turtle and an eel. We managed to arrive in between boat tours so it wasn’t crowded. Best on an overcast day or early. I wouldn’t recommend this inexperienced hikers or be prepared to take it slow. Also wear appropriate shoes, lots of loose rock.

Definitely a “moderate” grade hike. Took 40 minutes down to the monument. First third is hard packed dirt, several places of good shade. Middle third gets steeper, mostly rock base and less shade spots. The final third is steepest and is mostly loose rock except the last tenth of a mile. Not much scenery until the final third. No water at the monument so pack enough for the hike back out. Long sleeves were very helpful when hiking through the tall grass areas. The snorkeling was excellent. Best spot is right off the jetty in front of the monument. Tons of sea urchins to the right so go straight off and on. There is a ladder to help you exit.

The snorkeling at the bottom was awesome! Didn’t see any dolphins or turtles, but the reef had lots of pretty fish. I definitely recommend going as early as you can, because the way back up is even more strenuous when it is hot out. With snorkeling included it took us about 4 hours.

This place is everything you picture Hawaii to look, smell, and feel like! I’m in shape and a regular hiker, but that hill was very challenging up and down; however, it’s very beautiful and absolutely worth it. Down in the valley is peaceful and gorgeous. Go left at the bottom of the hill for great views of Hi’ilawe Falls at the back of the valley. Do not trespass on anyone’s property, especially the trail that leads to the falls. Come back and take the other fork to the black sand beach. Road down and beach are accessible by foot and 4WD ONLY, but if you want to go down to the far end of the beach, come at low tide so you can cross the freshwater stream by foot. No cars are allowed to ford the stream. Look for 2 waterfalls pouring into the sea, within view of the beach, one on either side. PRO TIP: get there early as day use parking is limited, have suitable footwear, and be prepared for spontaneous downpours!

Great experience- the trail is more of a road, but we hiked down- out to as close to the falls as we could and then back to the beach- over all wonderful- great views and people- would do it again!!

This is the second time I’ve done this hike. It’s very steep going down from the lookout and a lung buster going back up, but it’s a great workout! The valley floor is beautiful territory for exploring with lush tropical forest, a river that meets the sea, and black sand beach. Some drive jeeps down, which is a good way to go if you want more time and energy on the coast.
We hiked Pololu Valley that morning and drove over to do Waipi’o in the late afternoon. Then hit Waimea for dinner!

I had a blast hiking this trail! The hike back up the steep incline was definitely the hardest part. This trail does not allow you to get close to the waterfalls. Myself and some of the other hikers I spoke to were unsure of how close the trail could actually get to the falls. Still beautiful views tho! Much of Waipio Valley is private property, with gates and No Trespassing signs blocking off much of the valley. If you follow the much longer trail into Waimanu Valley (which I did not do this time around) you can explore the whole valley and get right up next to the falls.

I walked about a mile of the trail from Waipio to Waimanu and turned around as it was getting late and I did not have a camping permit. This consisted of about a quarter mile up very steep narrow staircase, some amazing views from the other side of Waipio Valley, a beautiful walk through the woods, and three small waterfalls. From the little that I experienced I definitely want to go back and do the whole trek to Waimanu!

One thing to note is if you do want to hike to Waimanu or to the other side of the Waipio Valley, you have to cross a river, maybe 10 feet across? On the way there, the water level of the river was at my hip level and a couple hours later in the evening the water level was up to my chest. So be prepared... You will get wet! :P Well worth it tho!

Great spot, keep your eyes on the trail hiking down loose rocks and gravel, you might miss a step. Close shoe's highly recommend, getting down before you go to the monument take right and you will find one if the famous benches and an amazing view. Snorkeling is great although there was a lot of people in kayaks and not all respect the reef. Save the water for the way up, I'm not in bad shape and can tell was challenging with some stops to catch my breath.
Overall, do it!

Great hike and views. The hike back is not for anyone with physical limitations. I would say it was difficult but I might just not be used to the altitude.

Hike down to bay took us exactly 45 mins. It’s not strenuous on the way down, just very exposed. Snorkeling in the bay was incredible. The trek back up took exactly one hour because of the incline, blazing heat, and ~8 water breaks. We live in Boulder, CO and are accustomed to hiking at 5,500 ft elevation, yet the hike back up was one of the hardest hikes I’ve ever done. Not for the faint-hearted!

Bring a lot of water and also I recommend long sleeves, sunglasses and a hat to shield from sun exposure.

Loved it! Once you start the hike and go all the way down, the only way back up is the hike. So, you have to do it! Lol.

The hike out is all downhill, and the hike back is all uphill. You’ll hike through some brush and then through a post-apocalyptic looking lava field. It’s definitely one of the most bizarre landscapes I’ve ever hiked in - pretty incredible.

You’ll end up at Kealakekua Bay where you can see the Captain Cook Monument and also jump in the bay for a swim and snorkel. There were a few tour companies and boats out there. The water is refreshing, but careful getting back out - it’s a little tricky.

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