Muliwai and Waimanu Valley Trail is a 15.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Honokaa, Hawaii, Hawaii that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Length15.1 miElevation gain5,226 ftRoute typeOut & back
CampingHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingForestRiverViewsWaterfallWildlifeBugsMuddyOver grownRockyScrambleNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, 2270 Kalakaua Avenue, Suite 801 , Honolulu, HI, 96815, Phone: 800-GOHAWAII, Fax: 808-924-0290

Directions from Makapala: Highway 240 leads off Highway 19 at Honokaa to the eastern edge of Waipio Valley. A steep, four wheel drive road extends from the lookout down into the valley. Upon reaching the valley floor, take the road to the right, then follow the beach to Wailoa Stream. The road ends at the stream. Ford the stream and follow the horse trail on the dunes to the west side of Waipio Valley and the beginning of the trail.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (142)
Photos (529)
Activities (103)
Completed (305)
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Michael Markell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 11, 2021
HikingGreat!

Gorgeous. Watch out for spider webs

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Chad Phipps
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 28, 2021
Hiking

Not sure why but AllTrails does not have the mileage right at all on this hike. I hiked 20.1 miles and didn’t even get to the floor of Waimanu Valley. This hike would take over 12 hours to complete.

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Ryan Shaw
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 16, 2021
Hiking

no people. plenty of water to filter. rivers passable. follow pintk flags to get to waterfall

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Justin Smith
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Hiking

Amazing.

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Yelena Teterina
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 25, 2021
Hiking
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Erica Kastner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 24, 2021
HikingGreat!

I only did a day hike 4.5 miles out but this trail was an amazing spiritual experience for me. First, equipment-wise, I definitely wish I had poles for the steep descents and clearing out spider webs (there are plenty of sticks on the ground for this purpose). I brought 2L of water and 500ml of coconut water. I wish I had just 500ml more of water but I was ok. Someone recommended bug spray but I didn't need it on a dry February day. The stream crossing went fine, even at high tide. I'm super tall so the water was only half up my calf. I just went sockless with my heavy duty trail runners on which helped with grip. the rocks are slippy, the current strong, and the strong wind can blow you in random directions. I went on a Wednesday in February during Covid. I saw some people on the beach but never saw another soul on the Mulawai trail until on my way back I saw a couple couples on my way down the z trail. This trail was so I rewarding. it felt very sacred. there are so many huge ancient trees. There are waterfall pools to take a plunge in. The trees talk to you as they away in the wind. There are wild horses and pheasant-type birds. The forest varies from the windy Windward side which is mostly long needle conifers to the interior valleys that are more tropical. There are even Lychee trees! As far as safety, there have been hikers who have disappeared here. I could see where dangerous situations can happen if you go off trail. it's all very steep. There is no cell service so I let friends know my plans for my solo hike. At the entrance I also talked to some park staff and they were helpful with tips. There's definitely an alternative community living in the valley but I didn't get the idea that they were hostile. So overall I give this a huge A+!

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mark carriere
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 17, 2021
HikingGreat!

The hike back up the road is crazy tough if u r already tired . Great views .

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Hannah O'Connell
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Hiking
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William Goodhue
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Hiking

Totally worth it!

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Jen Fox
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HikingGreat!

The most breathtaking and exciting hike of my life, and also the most strenuous! My friend and I (21-year-olds, marginally fit) completed this as a ten-hour out-and-back, and this is my top recommendation if you're in good fitness. The hike is actually 20 miles long for most, as the first part of the path is a steep 2.5 mile road only accessible with 4WD (and even then, scary!!). We hitched rides in the back of pick-up trucks with locals from the valley, but you may have to wait a while, especially early in the morning on your way down! Make sure to bring at least five liters of water (there's plenty of sunlit switchbacks that will really get you sweating) or filter solutions if you'd rather avoid carrying extra weight (we wished we had these! don't drink from the streams or falls), food (more than you think you need!), bug spray (ESSENTIAL), and sandals for crossing the river on Waipio Beach (cross near the ocean! definitely the best). At the end of the Waipio Valley Trail, time's value increases ten-fold; you'll want to spend as many hours there as possible for the relaxing at the campsite/on the black sand beach with views of the cliffs and the breath-taking Wai‘ilikahi Falls. We got to the trailhead late (8:00 a.m.), booked it the whole way, spent about an hour at the beach, and made it back to cross the river at sunset by running a good portion of the declines. I'd so recommend starting at the trailhead as early as sunrise; we wished we had way more time to rest at the end! Also, the wild horses are everywhere and in our experience very friendly :) hope you love this trail as much as we did, and good luck!!

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Brendan Luecke
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 7, 2021

did this as a day hike. started at 8, got back at 6. not easy!!! well worth it. a few pointers ... the crossing at waipio is best done upstream at high tide. water waist level. near the shore was super sketchy with the surf, but just fine at low tide on the way back. the final descent into waimanu was very challenging. mud, rocks, and palm fronds. waaay worse than the road down from the lookout everyone talks about, with a 1300 foot drop in under a mile. I would've had to turn back without poles. also traffic was very low - saw two groups in ten hrs. take a swim in the queen's bath on the third gulch on the way out. magical hike!!!!

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Tyler Michael
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Hiking

Waimanu Valley is a must see. Would be a pretty difficult day hike, but could be done if you are in good shape and an experienced hiker. Took me 5 hours each way (10 hrs/20mi). Return trail is harder than way there, with the toughest part of the whole trail being the ascent back to the Waipio Lookout (mainly because you are gassed from 19 miles). Would recommend staying in the valley, however

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Stephanie W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 24, 2020
HikingBugsGreat!MuddyOver grownScramble

Some fantastic views! Doable in a day, but we clocked in at about 20 miles. We were quite concerned about the river crossing but it proved to be quite simple as long as you stick closer to the ocean (I think it’s more shallow there). Camping is closed online but there were definitely people camping out at the end and it didn’t look like anyone was patrolling it. Make sure to bring bug spray as I got eaten alive! Really diverse views throughout, however, I think the best view is about 3 miles in overlooking the ocean so you don’t have to get to the end to see the best of it. The black sand beach on the far end of the hike is very remote and quiet. This was our favorite hike on the Big Island!

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Shafi Bashar
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Hiking
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theo bassenne
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Hiking
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Victor Shestakov
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Hiking
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Cole Rogers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 25, 2020
Hiking

Did this as a dayhike since the campground was closed. 10 hours starting from Waipio Lookout, recorded 20 miles. I spent about 45 minutes contemplating how to cross the river in Waipio valley. I made it half way crossing by the ocean but decided to turn around when it seemed like it was getting too deep (and strong current). I went up river to look at swimming across, which was recommended to me as you avoid the strong current that way, but was not confident in my ability to keep my pack wet in doing so. After waiting a while I ended up crossing again by the ocean, this time slightly farther down, and made it across fine. Didn't bother crossing the river in Waimanu Valley as I figured it wasn't worth the effort since I would just be crossing again right afterwards. It does seem though that in order to get the whole view of the valley you have to cross this one, even from the beach you can only see one side of the valley. I didn't know about the wild horses, the first time I saw them they came right up to me and I pet them. They then followed me for a few minutes. On the way back I saw more, this time right the ocean, which was quite majestic. The trail is fairly flat between the valleys, so you can get some good speed there.

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Marketa Stanczykova Murray
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 15, 2020
HikingBugsFloodedGreat!Muddy

Amazing hike with my daughter. (22yo)

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craxylife .
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 1, 2020
HikingGreat!RockyScramble

Did this trail Nov 1 - Nov 2. Just one overnight. Going in the Z trail can be annoying in the sun, fortunately it was overcast and not to bad, just steep. The rest of the way consists of several in and outs of gulches and some small streams. After you first see Waimanu from the trail, the switchbacks start. This is pretty sketchy, loose rock, slippery long leaves, steep, and long. I'm talking baby steps to not slip and fall off the trail. The river crossing was easy as the water tables in the north are low. The views are beautiful and we had the valley to ourselves. Wai‘ilikahi Falls is a definite must go. It's only 1.5 miles from the campsite and offers swimming under the falls. The real challenge of this hike is heading up out of the valley (very steep and long) and Waipio road at the end. Probably a one and done for me, but well worth the trip. below is a link to the stats for both days, and yes 5k ele gain on the trip back. https://craxylife.net/2020/11/03/waimanu/

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Cara Hitomi
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HikingBugs
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Skye Aubrey
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HikingBugs

Gorgeous and safe. Left before sunrise for an out-and-back trip. Took about 4 hours in at a brisk pace. The return of course took longer. ;) Bring bug spray and a water filter. Enjoy the beaches, serenity and the wild horses are very friendly.

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