Pololu Trail

MODERATE 131 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.

18 days ago

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

1 month ago

loved everything about it.

1 month 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
2 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.

2 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
3 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

3 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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.

4 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.

5 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
5 months ago

Stunning!

5 months ago

Unbelievable views and black sand beach was incredible.

hiking
5 months ago

Pas vraiment une rando. C’est juste une descente à la plage, mais c’est qu’il frit remonter

5 months ago

We followed the trail to the nest valley and it was amazing

5 months ago

It was great. It is hard but worth the view.

5 months ago

I could see how it may be slick if wet, otherwise a fairly easy hike. Almost like stairs for the whole trail. Scenery was amazing a good hike for kids as it is short.

5 months ago

Breathtaking! A bit of a slope but definitely doable. Use a hiking stick on the way down if you are not used to relatively steep inclines as when it rains it gets a bit slippery.

hiking
6 months ago

More easy then moderate. You'll see a lot of people go for a quick jog with some equipment on. Great views and the black-sand beach is awesome. Watch out for the waves in the water, there is some serious undertow. A lot of the area around the beach is private property. So if you decide to go on the swings and other things like that, you are essentially trespassing.

7 months ago

Just great! Fine black sand beach and spectacular view! A must

7 months ago

Such a great quick hike. Semi-challenging in wet conditions but spectacular views. I'd highly recommend!

hiking
8 months ago

One of the best Big Island hikes! The view point itself is fantastic, but if you're willing to go a little further, other adventures await, such as:
More views, wild berries, rope course, bamboo forest, secluded beach and more!
This trail kept both of my boys (a timid 12 and an ever-bored 16) entertained and excited!
We went to the second beach (you can see it from the view point) - track of my return route is uploaded here. Here is what the hike is like:
1. Hike down to the beach like everyone else.
2. Cross the river bed (unlike 3 years ago the river no longer seems to enter the ocean, so fording is not necessary).
3. Walk across the pretty beach
4. Climb the next hill on a narrow trail. It can get slippery when wet (and you should be prepared for the rain regardless of the forecast), so good hiking shoes and trekking poles are highly recommended (you'll thank me as you descend:))
You will encounter countless bushed of the regular (yellow) and strawberry (red) guava, all edible.
5. You'll come to a viewpoint on the top with another great view and yes, a bench!
6. After taking a break here, descend down into the next valley. You will come to a fork, take a left here. Soon you'll get to a nearly straight descent with a bunch of ropes helping you (very doable and fun)
7. At the bottom of the valley you'll follow a narrow trail through a bamboo forest and come to a shallow stream flowing to the ocean. There will be cairns there to help you find your way back (which is equally fun!), and even a bamboo pole to help you cross the river by walking over rocks (no fording is needed here either).
8. Follow the stream to the ocean for 5 minutes and the beach is all yours! Lots of crab there:)

9 months ago

Great trail with wonderful scenic views

9 months ago

Not too hard for kids. The black sand beach worth it!

hiking
10 months ago

My favorite hike on the Big Island. Once you reach the bottom of the trail, you are rewarded with a beautiful valley, a black sand beach, and a great shoreline.

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful trail and black sand beach. Well worth the effort. Make sure to hike through the woods and catch the views of the valley as well!

10 months ago

short and checks all the boxes. view, established trail, and parking. Beach, cliffs, and Valley views.

hiking
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

This is not to be missed. Great views, sunny or cloudy. We had the benefit of a dry trail for easier going and rough surf for more interesting views. As others have mentioned, recommend good shoes with traction and poles. Enjoy more of the beach area than the map shows.

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