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Hawaii Map

This is not an all day hike unless you make it one. We were the first to arrive at the beach early in the morning and left by 10ish. If you go any later (earlier’s better) take a hat as there is NO shade. Bring water and sunblock too. Sand will get in your eyes (windy).

The hike is 5 or 6 lanes of heavily eroded sandstone- easily 6ft in some parts- spread all along the area. I can’t recommend driving or paying the locals to drive you. The locals cars were beat up/missing bumpers, which along with their driving demonstrates their own lack of care (I take a dirt road to my house and the paid drivers did not demonstrate off roading knowledge as we witnessed from our walk). The hike itself is pretty flat.

If taking the “lane” closest to the ocean you’ll see heaps of trash blown in by storms. Nets, laundry baskets, buckets, tires, styrofoam, rope, etc. We planned to fill a bucket with trash on our way out but didn’t realize the path we took went inland instead of to the beach.

The green sand beach itself is very rare. The water is warm. Watch the waves first to get an idea of how they work and when you’re comfortable go in. The waves were large for us and honestly scary so we stayed where we could touch. The current wasn’t strong so it was a nice experience. Somebody took a floaty and got wrecked (they were at the break).

Walk back wet so it cools you; the sun will dry you anyway. I dressed for bugs, which wasn’t necessary. Also, you’ll probably get tan lines from your tank top/shorts so keep that in mind.

I really did enjoy this beach. The lack of respect from visitors is what lowered my rating.

If you go please be considerate to the environment and acknowledge it’s condition.


8 days ago

Beautiful views, easy hike with kids!

9 days ago

pretty nice little hike, wouldn't recommend on a wet day. awesome scenery

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.

This trail wasn’t there and we went all the way up to the top of a mountain

A nice afternoon hike. Take your time a little, the elevation gain will slow you down a little. The first part on the road isn’t particularly pretty, but the O’hia trail cutoff is really nice. I recommend that detour to get some natural Hawaii sightseeing.

The route shown on the main map is not correct. I will suggest mine to replace this.

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.

21 days ago

When you see pictures of Hawaii that aren’t just from beach resorts, this is what you think of. The black sand beach is spectacular and the hike is a fun in/out with the option to extend a little. If you can, plan to get in the water. Few places on earth as wholesome as being in the ocean on this beach

25 days ago

Great hike close to Kona and Waimea. Gave it four instead of five stars because of the long walk on paved road. Second half is up through green grass, sheep and goats. Beautiful views even on a hazy day!

pretty sunny and hot when visited, but worth it, nice descriptions available a glimpse into past

1 month ago

Beautiful trail!! You may have to stop from time to time just to take in the views.

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

off road driving
1 month ago

My husband and I took our rental Jeep out to the green sand beach. It was the last day of our honeymoon and I have to say it was my favorite part of the trip! We didn’t hike the trail but we highly recommend you get a vehicle with 4WD and drive out there. Beware - it’s a BUMPY ride! But so worth it. The whole drive is along the coastline and is absolutely gorgeous. When you get to the beach itself you will be amazed. There are beautiful cliffs and you can go in the very warm water. Give yourself at least a half day so you have time to get there and back and to really enjoy the beach and go in the water. Honestly so beautiful and a spectacular memory that I will hold near and dear to me!

beautiful views from the top, lots of animals, goats, cows, sheeps. little lonely but then you can enjoy only the nature sounds.

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.

Drove up the first ranchland section in my 4WD Pilot (not lifted), a bit hairy in sections (rocks & drops) but almost made it till the forest line, had to park before the last hill due to mud. Started the hike at the red gate around 1pm (couldn't start earlier due to my schedule, but wish I had). Weather was cloudy/foggy the whole time with light rain. Took about an hour from the gate to go around 3/4 mile on the main trail to the windy ridge line. I was walking carefully so as not to step in the mud puddles in the trail, but it gives you an idea of how much time it can take to navigate the trail carefully. When I got to the ridge, I followed a trail to the right (east) along the ridge, and as I was following trail markers on trees, I spend another hour and a half or so traveling just over a mile or so (This section of the trail is less muddy), and found myself back near the start! The mist is so thick here it Is hard to keep going the direction you want. And when I returned following markers on the path I had taken, I noticed how many trails spurs there are with markers. Got back to my vehicle just after 5pm. It was quicker going back, as I didn't care so much about getting muddy. Slipped into one mud spot that was up past my knee (yes, 2 ft. deep). With all that said, the forest here is beautiful, and unlike anything I'd seen while living on this island the last 30+ years. Will come back and make it to the summits next time, now that I have more of my bearings. Only attempt this trail if you enjoy suffering, and if you do, it will be worth it!

we listened to advice and went first thing in the morning. best time by far. even on the way back at 1030am it was starting to get too hot. it was a fun trek and a great beach to see. going at 8am kept tourists and heat down which made it a great hike. sad to see so much plastic that's come from the ocean, but still a must do.

It was windy enough to stay cool but not so windy as to throw sand at you...worth the walk out especially if you meet some new people to walk with.

was muddy from the rain today but still a good time.

1 month ago

Amazing views

1 month ago

Beautiful! Very short trail. Might become difficult if it rains.

If you are at Waikoloa or Kona and looking for some exercise, you found it. A nice 30 minute drive up the hill to the trailhead, and you’ll be in for a good workout with beautiful views. Start early and you’ll be treated to the constant sound of birds singing. You will likely see cattle, wild goats, and sheep, as well as lots of birds along the way. A relatively easy trail/doubletrack road with 1800ft in elevation gain over 3.5 miles. This out-and-back is 7 miles overall. As previous reviews stated, you can take the Ohia trail approx .5 miles from the parking lot on your right. The Ohia trail adds interest and shade cover on this singletrack section. Pay attention as the Ohia intersects a straight gravel road that you do not cross, but go left onto and continue straight up the hill. Up and back took us 3 hrs and we earned a well deserved beer and lunch at Kona Brewing afterwards Great morning exercise and workout!

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!

1 month ago

This is not a real long hike, about a mile or so up and down. It offers stunning scenery and places to wander, sit, and contemplate the beauty of nature. Much of the valley floor is off-limits, but one can wander the black sand beach and coastal trails. My wife discovered a swing hanging from a tree in the woods. She was delighted to use it for a moment. Best time to go is early morning as there is very limited parking. Also, be forewarned that the trail can be very slippery.
We wandered the shops in Kapa’au and Hawi, had lunch, then hiked Waipi’o Valley (about an hour from Hawi) in the afternoon around 2:30 as many people were beginning to leave there.

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