Pololu Trail

MODERATE 165 reviews

Pololu Trail is a 0.9 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Kapaau, 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
0.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
337 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

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.

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful views, easy hike with kids!

hiking
3 days ago

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

hiking
15 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

hiking
27 days ago

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

1 month ago

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

walking
1 month ago

Amazing views

1 month ago

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

hiking
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.

1 month ago

Magical place! Mana-mana!

hiking
1 month ago

2 months ago

Gorgeous. Be prepared for drastic weather changes even though the hike is no longer than 30 mins! Our family had a lot of fun on the rope swing near the beaches.

2 months ago

Breathtaking view! It’s a short hike, and well worth it.

2 months ago

Not a difficult hike. We had a four year old hiking with us and he hiked the whole trail. Just need to be cautious when it has rained because the trail gets very muddy in areas and can be very slippery.

2 months ago

Great hike. Must do. One of our favorite hikes. Great camping spots at the bottom as well.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike. Very muddy though all the way up to my ankles. Very steep at some points but totally worth the view.

hiking
2 months ago

4 months ago

Breathtaking views. Couldn’t stop taking pictures. Good difficulty level: not too easy and not too hard. Loved it!

5 months ago

loved everything about it.

5 months ago

Really beautiful trail! It was sunny and it was great fun to explore the beach and forest. I could see how it would be very slippery going down if it were raining.

hiking
5 months ago

Amazing views! Hiking poles helpful along with good shoes, it was raining when we went and became a little slippery, that’s why the poles were helpful. Would highly recommend this hike.

6 months ago

Loved the view and did it when it was dry. Make sure you take some water when you go for the hike back up

hiking
7 months ago

Great black sand beach at the bottom. Trail is basic down and back. Trail is in good condition. Time down incorporates lots of photo stops

7 months ago

Breathtaking views. It’s an out and back hike down the cliff to the sea. Trail in good shape no trash. Get there by 8am for close parking and quieter experience. I’m slow and old and made it down in 20 min. It’s easy to spend a couple hours down at the beach. It took me 36 minutes to climb back up.

hiking
7 months ago

Made this a bit longer along the Awini Trail and walked to the far side of the beach at bottom and up over the other side of the ravine. There is an unmaintained trail beyond the beach but in pretty good shape. I would not recent it in wet conditions and should be done in hiking boots. Total hike a little over 3 miles. The View from the other side is well worth the trip! You may see a horse or cow out there. Recommended for conditioned hikers/ moderate fitness- its steep!

hiking
7 months ago

Awesome hike, first part was a bit slippery, highly recommend taking trekking pole or grabbing one of the wooden ones at the start of the trailhead. Don't give up halfway! The first half is the hardest leg of the trek. Also, it is longer than .5 miles down it's about 1.3 miles round trip, not including the beach and hills. If you get to the bottom, don't forget to walk up the hills to get a breath taking view of the valley and a waterfall in the background, you won't regret it! A must do if you have the time!

hiking
8 months ago

I’m just gonna be honest here, I don’t think kids under the age of 8 should be on this hike unless they are well seasoned in hiking. I saw “kid friendly” up there thinking I could take my children on this trail and I have to disagree with the “kid friendly”. That is unless you want to have a mini heart attack every time your kid slips on the rocks. It gets super slippery and muddy after the rains and you can see from the terrain that it’s like this a lot. The hike itself is rocky and muddy all the way down but not too hard to do. Once you are down on the beach you will be rewarded with an amazing scene right of the movies. Will definitely be hiking this every time we visit the island.

hiking
8 months ago

Incredible view of valleys and waterfalls at the bottom. Was muddy and a little slippery going down and back up ...had to take breaks.

8 months ago

Great views and well maintained trail. We had heavy rain on the way back and it didn’t slow things down; plenty of traction.

8 months ago

A big Island must as the views are spectacular! You can keep going across the beach, back up the second shelf and beyond, but it's definitely a workout!

hiking
8 months ago

Stunning!

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