Pololu Trail is a 1.4 kilometer lightly trafficked loop trail located near Kapaau, Hawaii, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
1.4 km
ELEVATION GAIN
103 m
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

bird watching

beach

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

From scenic overlook, hike down steep rocky trail to beautiful black sand and rocky beach with views of the Hamakua coast. Waipio is the southeastern most of the Hamakua coasts dramatic stream valleys. Pololu is the northwestern most of those valleys. It is drier than Waipio and lacks waterfalls, but it is lovely in its own way. Pololu Valley Trail, from the lookout down to the valley takes less than 30 mins to walk. Its steep but not overly strenuous and you will be rewarded with lovely vistas. Trail is slippery when wet and is rocky or packed clay. Note ancient cobble stones still embedded in sections of the trail. Caution, as high surf, undertow, and rip tides occur in the ocean here. Coming back uphill is easier (no loose rocks). The black sand beach fronting the valley stretches for 900 yards and makes for an enjoyable stroll.

7 days ago

Gorgeous views and beautiful black sand beaches. No restrooms available so prepare beforehand. Also encountered some nudists in the ocean. Not sure if that is typical or if it was our lucky day... Make sure you walk towards the valley and get some pics, but beware of the mud there. My son almost lost his shoe. Very rocky and steep. We went on a dry day, but I could see that being treacherous in rain. Our 4 year-old walked the entire time, just had to go slow.

hiking
rocky
14 days ago

Great trail! The walk itself was beautiful and once it opened up it was amazing! Absolutely stunning views. The way down is pretty easy but the hike back up was where it got a little challenging. Wear tennis shoes! Most of the hike was shaded which was nice. Overall worth it and not that difficult!

rocky
1 month ago

what a gorgeous trail! totally worth a visit. we went on a Wednesday afternoon. the hike back up is a little challenging, but most people can do it. the bottom of the trail is one of the most beautiful places I've seen in Hawaii.

hiking
1 month ago

Super populated, arrive early if you wanna get good photos

hiking
1 month ago

Gorgeous views from the upside. Definitely a wet hike, but well worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Always spectacular! More challenging when wet. A must see on the Island.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

We hiked it as a family and had a great time. It’s all down hill at first so be prepared to walk back up with very uneven footing. It was sunny and trail was dry for us. Lots of shade to break and rest if you need to. My kids ages 7 and 12 did great on it. Bring lots of water. It’s beautiful!

hiking
2 months ago

Great conditions on the trail when we went, but can easily see how rainy weather could make the trail much more slippery. Very happy we chose this hike with limited time on the island. Definitely worth the time with the beautiful views along the trail, the beach at the bottom, and exploring the side trails at the bottom. Would be perfect to hike down for a picnic and relaxing couple of hours.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail. There is a river to cross at the bottom

rocky
2 months ago

Scenic with a black sand treat at the end.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

not too bad. looks steep and slippery at the top but just a few feet down a rocky trail starts allowing for some steady footing. beautiful views. we did it during the rain, a little muddy but got bunch of sticks u can grab at the top. quick in and out. did it while pregnant and no issues.

hiking
2 months ago

The hike down into the valley is fairly easy. Pretty wide trail but can be steep at points. Beautiful black sand beach at the bottom, we spent some time swimming and playing in the waves.

hiking
muddy
rocky
3 months ago

It rained our entire hike, still worth it. Fairly slick in the beginning but decent rocks to use later on. Recommend hiking shoes and raincoats or ponchos. Saw some people hiking barefoot, I wouldn't! Gorgeous views throughout and a cool black sand/rock beach on the bottom.

hiking
muddy
scramble
3 months ago

Amazing views. The trail, especially at the start, can be very slippery. If it has recently rained you will want good shoes with moderate tread. Walking sticks aren’t necessary, but are advisable if you aren’t sure footed. About a third of the way down it’s rockier, and therefore has better footing. Once you get down to the beach it is beautiful. It’s a black sand beach, but truthfully is much more rocky and you won’t be walking barefoot. You may need to cross a small inlet if you want to walk up the beach further north. It was about thigh deep the day we visited, and the tide was on the way out. Be aware that there are no restrooms or other facilities. Everyone warns you to stay hydrated, but never bothers to mention you’ll want to do your business before you arrive. Don’t be too eager to get a parking spot near the trailhead as the lot is quite small. If you have a large vehicle you may have difficulty backing out.

hiking
3 months ago

I had no idea I was going to have the chance to see a black sand beach while down here. I was pleasantly surprised as we started our venture to see that it was just that. Wear proper foot wear to be safe. Some of the rocks (especially spots covered in pine needles) can be slippery. Loose handy gravel as well. Amazing views right out of Jurassic Park. Well worth the 20 or so minutes down. A++.

hiking
4 months ago

Stellar hike and views! Very muddy at times—microspikes recommended but not necessary. There are some little hills down in the valley to walk around on. One could camp down there if one wished.

4 months ago

Fun and muddy hike down. Great lookouts along the way. It’s fun to walk around and explore once you reach the bottom. The trees, ocean, little trails around the area can keep you occupied for awhile! Lots of great photos opps here. There was a rope swing on the top of the hill -Doooo ittttttt. I wouldn’t swim there but only because we saw about a 1,000 Portuguese man of war creatures along the beach. Bring a rain coat and wear your tennis shoes.

4 months ago

Great little hike with fabulous views on the trail down. Be sure to take a ride on the rope swing !

4 months ago

Fabulous short hike. Definitely wear footwear with decent traction As going down can be a slippery affair with lots of rocks and mud. Take your time hiking down taking in the spectacular views and you will be rewarded with a fun walk on a black sand beach.

nature trips
4 months ago

Beautiful views. Footing can be treacherous on the way down...

5 months ago

Beautiful, short, relatively steep trail to the bottom. Slippery at the start, but 1/2 way down there were enough rocks & boulders to assist. The beach was serene. Not a soul around which made it very peaceful.

hiking
5 months ago

Spectacular views! We did this in the light rain and it was muddy and slippery. Would not have been worth it in heavier rain, but as it was, we loved it. Some folks we passed found it easier to do with a walking stick. Given the mud, I thought the way down was much harder than the way up.

6 months ago

Great views, of black sand beach and lush green valley. Easy trail with about six switchbacks down to the beach, can be slippery or muddy when wet ~20min down ~25min back

hiking
7 months ago

Wow. Just wow. Worth it to keep hiking up the mountain past the beach

8 months ago

Short trail with amazing views! Steep walk down to the shore. The surf is heavy and the beach is rocky but it really is something special to look at with all of the dramatic cliffs sides.

8 months ago

amazing views!

hiking
8 months ago

slippery because it rained. better go barefoot than in flip flops (as we've seen people do pin the trail). take the trail through the forest to the other end of the beach. looks like some place from Lord of the rings.

8 months ago

Great trail! You’re up in the clouds, so areas of the trail can be a bit slick with the dew/rain. But the hike is nice and short, and the views are gorgeous!

hiking
8 months ago

beautiful but a little intimidating when you hate steep dropoffs. I would consider it a bit dangerous for little kids, was a bit challenging if you have a bum knee....the views were breathtaking.

hiking
8 months ago

fun hike with great views, had been raining the morning of, making the trail quite slippery.

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