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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.

hiking
18 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!

Definitely a challenging hike. The elevation change from sea level to nearly 14,000’ in one day is enough to fry most brains. Totally exposed so cover up well if you don’t want severe sunburns. It’s a long, cold, sandy/rocky trudge. I went on a nice July day and it was really cold at the peak (45 degrees or so) and there’s mist and wind chill too, so definitely dress appropriately especially if summiting during the winter months.
I was 3 hrs up and 2 hrs down and felt like I was going at a good clip.

off road driving
29 days 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.

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.

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!

walking
1 month ago

I can not recommend this hike. It is overrun with tourists and off-roaders who want to see Papakolea, or the green sand beach. This area suffers from neglect and exploitation. There are dozens of dusty roads rutted as deeply as six feet. Locals will drive you to the beach, about 3 miles away, in battered pickups for $20. The degradation of the terrain is depressing. The shoreline is glorious, but along many beaches heaps of plastic debris has piled up. It’s a sad site. The beach itself is beautiful and a unique site to behold. Thus the attraction.
If you go, go early to beat the crowds. It can be a hot, dry, dusty, and windy hike, so prepare accordingly. Leave the green sand behind.

I’m usually an avid hiker (admittedly out of shape but still run 3 mi a week or so and have backpacked 120 mi trips before) and this was like walking a 45 degree incline on the beach for 6 mi and 4000 ft. My legs cramped up so bad halfway we had to stop and walk down the road where no one would stop to offer help including the park rangers despite having to lay out and stretch on the pavement in front of them.

HOT. Almost worth paying to have a jeep take you out there..

Crazy muddy hike to the benches lookout without special views after you leave Pololu beach. You will be wet and dirty. Better you should stay on the beach!

Cool trails with lots of wildlife to be seen.

Lagoon is a little cold but refreshing after the hike. lots of sea turtles basking.

If you have a 4 wheel drive DRIVE!!! The 2 miles to get to the green sand beach are not much to look at. Better to drive there and enjoy the green sand. Also driving is fun as hell. Great beach to swim and let the waves throw you around. A bit dangerous.

Hiked this trail on my 28th birthday just a few days before we got married in Hawaii!

This is a great hike to take on early in the day, to beat the heat and the crowds! We arrived at the parking lot fairly early, maybe 8am? I don't quite remember now. There will be people offering to drive you out, if you are not fit enough to do this hike, I guess you could take them up on the ride, but it has been eroding the area and they do not want people driving out there. Better to prepare and bring water, a hat and some snacks and walk the trail and let this area remain beautiful.

The hike is completely exposed, but we had a strong wind on the way out. Great views of the ocean and if you wander off the trail to the ocean along the way, there are some areas with sand much greener than at the actual beach! (All of my photos of green sand were from these areas!) We had a great time exploring the area and taking photos on the way back, but hiked straight to the beach on the way in to avoid crowds. Getting there early really pays off, there was no one on the beach when we reached it and were able to snap a few photos from above of it completely empty before another couple made it there. There were some local kids who came running down the steep hill at break neck speeds and ran straight into the ocean which was fun to watch, but be careful with the decent as it is the one steep and challenging part of reaching this beach. We wore swim suits, but decided not to swim and instead just took some photos and explored the gorgeous, but tiny beach. A peaceful area to relax when there are not many people, but it starts to fill up fast. We passed a ton of people headed in on our way out. The hike is very hot with no shade on the way out, we did not have a breeze on the way back. Wear sunscreen, a hat and bring water! There are no restrooms nearby.

Overall: WORTH IT! You can not skip this one if you are visiting!

Turtle sanctuary!!!!

The hike is easy, mostly rolling hills and some scrambling over rocks, but there are many trail options that eventually lead to the same destination. If it’s windy, you’re in luck, as there is no shade to shelter from the sun. But the destination, while small, is beautiful. It is a fairy easy climb down the cliff (don’t worry, this is a fairly touristy destination—no rock climbing experience required). The water is not really appropriate for swimming as the waves are super harsh and choppy—definitely not good for snorkeling—but it’s enjoyable to relax on the green sand and take in the natural beauty of this hidden little gem.

Great hike with lots of interesting and beautiful scenery. We accidentally hiked to Honokane Iki instead of stopping at Honokane Nui. Probably best to stop at Nui lookout as taking it all the way to Honokane Iki is difficult.

We made the mistake of taking the road up. I recommend the Ohia trail instead. Not great signage so best to know where you are going in advance. Quite the puffer in spots. Even though I gave it 3 stars my husband would give it 4. I just didn’t think the scenery was worth the 2000 ft of elevation.

A very long, hot and windy walk but I feel definitely worth it. Once we figured out the way down the cliff at the end I spent a lot of time taking tons of photographs and exploring the small beach and rock formations. Be careful in the sun if you have fair skin.

We took the Ohia side trail (entrance about 1/2 mile up the paved trail) which had plenty of shade and lots of diversity, rather than all up hill. Unless your goal is just to get to the top, I highly recommend this side trail. FYI, we crossed over the first dirt road we came to and turned left at the second dirt road. Stay to your left with the houses on your right and follow the dirt road. After the Ohia Trail rejoins the main trail, it becomes more and more steep. Then when you round the cinder cone, it really is steep. but that's the last push to the top. The views are spectacular. The signage on the trail is minimal. There is a porta-john at the parking area and half way up the trail. The gate at the entrance is automatic now. We passed the first building (with the porta-john) and drove to the second building to park. The hike only lacked one element, a waterfall, and thus only gets 4 Stars. Otherwise a great hike!

Great hike. Was a bit muddy but nothing too crazy. Didn’t see a waterfall, but the views were amazing!! Make sure to hike to end of trail (don’t stop after just the first half mile)

My legs were still recovering from the Waipi'o Valley hike a few days before, so given the heat and uneven terrain, I did not find this hike to be very enjoyable. We got there as the tide was coming in, so we weren't able to spend a lot of time on the beach. The surf was crazy! We actually ended up wimping out and taking the shuttle service back down - which I found to be like being on an amusement park ride, standing up, and without being strapped in. The beach was breathtaking, so I'm glad we did it.

This trail surpassed by expectations, traveling through lush rain forest and across the crater floor, which I at first thought would not be that exciting. But it was fascinating to see the cracked earth up close, and the new plants that are coming in. Bonus - we were there the morning of May 4, right before the big earthquakes struck, so we got to experience it before the park closed.

Plenty of parking and a few portable toilets at the parking lot. People offer 4x4 shuttle service to the beach but we opted to walk along the road. We passed some great views of the water and there were a few other people walking to the beach. The green sand is more of a green tint. I actually found the rock formation over the cove and the water’s color to be more impressive than the green sand. It was warm and windy along the walk, which was relatively flat and straight-forward.

We saw lots of O'hia trees, sheep, cows, golden finches and goats along this scenic trail. The trail does not stop it's ascension for 3.5 miles, but there are benches along the way to rest. Absolutely no shade to be found along the way. The trail gets steeper in the grasslands but is never technical, a child could do it. When you reach the farm buildings, stay left and head upwards, do not proceed down or right. You'll see the gate up ahead leading to the grasslands. Follow the grass road back and around up between the two pu'u and then left up to the highest point. Two benches are at the very top, along with a gorgeous panoramic view, even on a cloudy day.

Hot and dry, bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and a swim suit to enjoy the best reward at the end!

Awesome place. Steep rocky/muddy switchback to enter Pololu Valley. Black polished medium/large lava rock beach, with black sand dune covered forest right behind it. Many campsites located in the forest, although camping is not technically "allowed." Hike past the beach and up a trail (trench-like looking entrance) to climb the far side. This part of the trail was really muddy and slippery when we went, but very fun. At top it get less steep and trail improves drastically. There are two benches to sit at located at the end of my gps route, these overlook Honokane Nui Valley. There is supposedly a route down, but I didn't take it. Return same way you came up.

Note: There is not an easily accessible water source (even with filters), so pack in enough water to sustain you and your fellow companions. Our three person group with small dog used around 10 liters over 26 hours.

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