Explore Hawaii - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful beach at the first part - swam with a sea turtle. Black Beach was pretty but not a good place to spend the day. Saw a monk seal.

Beautiful jungle with a variety of trees at different elevations. Secluded beach and great valley/waterfall views at the end. As in the other reviews lots of mosquitos, not bad if you are able to keep a pace. I wasn't quite fast enough :/ They won't bother you at the camp site near the ocean though. I found the waves crashing hard to sleep to, they are not small soothing waves, rather large and thunderous - bring some earplugs if that will be an issue for you. Cross the first creek/river at the sandbar about 300 ft up from the ocean, it's wider here but not as deep (this may change over time). Oh and pack everything in waterproof bags, I didn't and came close to falling in at the last stream (near the camp site) which would have ruined the trip. Also be aware of the water level of the stream in the valley if it is raining - a couple hiking out told me they woke up to their belongings being swept away (think this was campsite 2). Also the reviews saying it is difficult are telling the truth. Have fun!

hiking
4 days ago

From the parking area, 40 min. to beach. Outstanding swimming and snorkeling area. I’ve visited this beach several times over the years and it has become quite popular but still room for some degree of privacy. Many shade opportunities too. I would advise against wearing Flip Flops during the trek in due to the lava section of the trail. Well worth the time and effort.

Gorgeous and rewarding hike, but it makes you work for it! The initial ascent from Waipi’o Valley is relentless- extremely steep, overgrown and lots of mosquitoes and spiderwebs. But once you see the pine needles on the ground, you’re near the top and in for a lovely hike.

The trail alternates up and down between pine forests and misty jungle, with many delightful creek crossings and majestic trees. Bring mosquito defense- you’ll thank yourself. It was also quite muddy being the rainy season (October). The entire middle section is beautiful and mysterious... enjoy.

With a snack break, it took us just under 6 hours to get to Waimanu Valley. The descent into Waimanu was more worrisome than Waipi’o. It’s comically steep, slippery, and overgrown, so watch your step (and for pig poop! We saw two wild pigs in the distance on the trail). But the views into Waimanu are stunning and magical. Would do this hike again!

Wear a swimsuit and shoes that you don't mind getting muddy. We took the road to the left of the steep to view the falls. Then walked until we could go no further without trespassing. It was fun to explore, plus we saw a lot of horses in the road. But nothing else to see beyond the clear view of the falls. Going back towards the road to the black sand beach was very muddy. The black and beach is gorgeous and the sand is so soft. if you like to walk barefoot in the sand I suggest bringing a small towel to clean your feet before you put your sneakers back on to hike back up. The steep road down is about 1 mile , but feels like 2 miles going back up. With the humidity and getting waist deep wet to cross to the other side of the black sand beach; I was sweaty once we returned to the Waipio Lookout. I was so glad I had packed a dry pair of clothes to change into in the car. Overall we spent about 3.5 hours hiking and enjoying nature there. So beautiful!

hiking
1 month ago

I did this trail last year. It was cool and the rangers definitely push people towards this trail. The one across the street is far cooler. Both are closed, apparently, due to recent volcano activity.

This is not a hike but it is a pretty Falls. You cannot get down to the actual water. There are rails to prevent that.

Okay falls, no hiking allowed

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.

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

No a hike, just a parking lot with a waterfall.

Steep. But so, so worth it!

The trail is closed

Fantastic. But beware, the final downslope (on each end) is very steep, slippery, and hard on the knees...but worth it!
We camped for 3 nights which was the perfect amount of time. I suggest packing something to sit on as the rocks get uncomfortable pretty quickly!

nature trips
3 months ago

Absolutely beautiful. I wouldn’t consider it as much of a hike as it is a lookout. That said, worth the stop. Please stay on the main trail, as you could be fined for walking off, but more importantly it keeps you and the local ecosystem safe. The right is wheelchair friendly, the left requires stairs (the right is a better view of the falls anyways). There is a bathroom and seems highly trafficked, but it was easy for us to take pictures around the people.

walking
3 months ago

Beautiful overlook. This is a two level overlook - there is no trail at all.

Hard hike but totally worth it. Best advice is to pack light.

Easy waterfall, just walk out of the parking lot to see it. Cool Banyan trees at the top of the falls.

Enjoyable trail to visit and easily accessible -

Cool if you've never seen a lava tube before.

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!

on Rainbow Falls Trail

walking
4 months ago

Quick and Easy walk with nice view of the fall and surrounding

Not hike - just a lookout point. You’ll see the beautiful rainbows if you arrive in the morning, when the sun is behind you.

Native Coloradan, climbed many 14ers, trail racer, mountain biker, blah, blah, blah....That said....This is not an easy trail, don't fool yourself. There is no flat, always up or down, and often steep. The weather changes very quickly and a wet or muddy trail could be seriously hazardous or fatal. You will be climbing the sides of cliffs, crossing water, and experiencing constant elevation change. If you start at Waipio Valley Artworks, the total distance is closer to 10 miles. It will rain, it may be hard to start a campfire, be prepared. You will sweat and smell like an ox, hydration is critical. The good news is there is plenty of water. Filter and / or treat and there's plenty to drink. The bad news is there are times of sun exposure that will turn your mouth into a dragons toilet. The hike out of Waipio Valley on the Z Trail is steep but not a lotta risk of falling off the edge because of the berms and vegetation. In many places though, you may as well be climbing stairs, it's that steep. Start early because, the sun. Once on top it's up and down, at least 8 water crossings, potentially as many as 11 if it's been raining. The hike down into Waimanu is steep, with a couple of narrow trail sections that when wet, are spooky, a wood off camber bridge is even spookier. The trail is full of mischievous little rocks that like to jump under your shoes when you're not looking. Lotsa slipping and sliding in the mud and leaves. Why do it? The valley is stunning, the beach is amazing; stay two nights and relax, it's worth it. But keep in mind, if the trail were a ski slope it's a black diamond. It can &%$# you up...

Our absolutely favorite place on the big island.

Strongly recommend driving down to the beach if you have a 4 wheel drive. The 2 miles to get down are on a paved road and not as scenic as you can get once you start the hike from the beach.
Great views saw 3 waterfalls!!! Also go early because as the tide goes up it gets its harder to cross over the water that goes into the valley to start the hike.

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