Explore the most popular trails near Honokaa with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Honokaa, Hawaii Map

As the locals say “1 mile down-10 miles up”! Worth the leg burn down. Beach and waterfall views are awesome. Think Stairmaster going up! Pack water, snacks and wear good shoes. Go earn that beer! Recommend the nachos at Big Island Brewing in Waimea for post-climb refuel.

Amazing hike. Like everyone says the book end up and downs are killer. We day hiked it so we parked down at the beach to eliminate the extra road trip to the trail head. Do not, do not follow this maps route to the falls! Once at the beach at Waimanu go past #10 campsite and follow the edge of the valley in to the falls. About a mile. It is sparsely marked with pink ribbons. Well worth the effort.

The trail has great views of the bay. It is strenuous on the way back. Tallest waterfalls in Big island is visible on the hike when you follow hike along the back waters. Black sand beach is very nice too. Should visit in the morning hours as later than noon gets very hot in the valley.

Beautiful beach! We hiked in the morning (10:30am-12pm or so) and were happily in the shade throughout. The sun was starting to appear over the road as we were reaching the end of our return trip out of the valley. The steep ascent would have been much more strenuous in full sun so recommend visiting in the morning.

no more than a moderate hike to follow the very steep county road to the valley, then to follow along the valley floor to see magical vistas of a waterfall, wild horses, and walk along the amazing beach. we checked with the warden - so long as you are on the county road and beach you are not on private property. got busy by the time we were coming up the road - be careful for cars and stupid (not local) drivers who don't know what they are doing. we hiked the length of the beach and far enough up the (otherwise overnight) trail on the far side of the valley to look back from another angle - highly recommended. please respect the private property of others who live here so that the well behaved public can continue to enjoy this sacred valley.

Absolutely stunning in every way. Be respectful of this beautiful place... stay on the trail, pack out your trash, and let nature entertain you rather than have all sorts of noisy music going on. Hawaii is magic!

Information on this trail is misleading. It is a 6 mile round trip. The first mile or less is down an extremely steep road used by vehicles too. Once you are down you take the road to your immediate right to the beach. If you go straight you see the waterfalls from the road but can’t take the path to get closer. The signs are clearly marked trail closed. No trespassing. If you continue on the road you can cross two streams to a dead end. The views are spectacular. The road back up is a killer but you don’t need to be an experienced hiker just be in reasonable shape. It’s really really steep!

3 months ago

No one around. Lush, dense rainforest. Trails in pretty good shape with good signs (although AllTrails app was still key at times). We didn't do the route shown on this page, but did a different 2 mile loop.

Steep hike down and up. Up was rough. Saw wild horses at the bottom and the black sand beach was amazing. Worth the walk back up.

Easy, yet so beautiful and peaceful. If it's wet, be careful as you can slip and fall.

Favorite hike on the big island. Make sure to spend some time on the beach and walk to the switchbacks on the other side.

Into and out of the valley is steep paved road. Walking trails and black sand beach are beautiful. If you are lucky you will see wild horses. Well worth the steep hike out. Bring water.

Beautiful foliage, lush and wild. Easy trail. Very shaded and damp on this day

The road itself is short, but very steep (20-25% gradient). Views are very beautiful. Bring water. There are port-a-potties at the floor of the valley near the beach. Worth seeing the valley from the bottom.

Start is hot and tough... middle is actually pretty easy with lots of streams to fill water. Last mile is worse than the beginning. After getting to camp absolutely take trail to waterfall. Very hard to navigate but a must. If you can get a ride down the hill to the start of the trail do it.

More of a walk down and then up a very steep, paved road. There is a fork at the bottom of the road. Make sure you check out both sides of the fork. If you go up the valley about a quarter mile, you can get a good view of a large but inaccessible waterfall (on private property). Going right at the fork takes you to the black sand beach. There are pretty great waves at the beach if you surf or body surf. You can drive down the road if you have a vehicle with 4wd.

Forest trails are all shade, great for mid day hike when other trails are to hot.

Wild coffee, passion fruit, stink horn mushrooms can seen here.

Not a bad hike but, not really a hike. The only difficult part is:

A) Getting up the road climb
B) Crossing the River-bed

There usually a lot of people on the beach though, preferred Pololu Valley vs. this one for the beach. I like this one for the exercise.

Waipio is one of the best views, the beach with pristine, it was very very steep. Definitely a hard hike even for a very physically fit person . But all and all it was really worth it and I would absolutely do it again !

This hike has great views along the way up. I recommend looking at the trail map on the outlook side before heading down to the beach. The trail is much longer than 3 miles. The map shows the various points on the trail.

If you have a 4WD vehicle, DONT PARK AT THE TOP. Drive down and park on the beach. This will save you the ridiculous walk up a paved road that has 20% grade.

Both sides on the beach have great views of the ocean and the valley. To get to the trailhead you have to cross a river. It was about 3 feet deep and had lots of slippery rocks, you can’t see. Thankfully an amazing person helped me get across.

Some reviews say there is a “spectacular” view of one of the waterfalls in the valley. The view was ok, unless they were referencing another hike along the way that you can get to.

Hike is moderate.

Great hike, amazing views, bring lots of water! Highly recommend!

The only views are along the Z-trail, until you get to Waimanu. The rest of the way is beautiful, but no views really. It's mostly covered, and a relatively mild trail, but only lightly maintained. Some sections are torn up pretty bad by the wild pigs.

There are approximately 11 gulches you'll be hiking in and out of, and 4 emergency helicopter landing pads along the trail. Also, one emergency shelter nearby the last helicopter pad.

The trail down into Waimanu is the real Z-trail. Meaning it's a real pain in the ass! Loose lava rocks, hala tree groves leaving their leaves lining the trail virtually the entire way! These long leaves although incredibly useful, can be a real pain when their barbs get you.

Water Warning:
The stream at Waimanu has very murky water that is tough on water filters. Clogged my Katadyn Gravity Camp right up. Had to revert to our backup Sawyer Squeeze. Be prepared. Also, only UV or boiling will kill Leptospirosis, but we chanced it.

IG @niiimz_

Incredible views. Good leg workout climbing and descending. Set an easy pace. Bring lots of water, something with electrolytes and snacks. A headlamp is a good idea if you want to stay for a while and enjoy sunset.

Easy trail to walk down to the valley floor and beach. the black sand beach had great waves for body surfing. the view of the falls was breathtaking. the climb up is not as difficult if you are used to hiking up hills.

I have done this hike twice... once by myself (with very little hiking experience and never having camped alone), and once with an experienced hiker/advanced naturalist who had never been to Hawaii. Both times I hiked in and camped for two nights. It took me 5 and half hours both times in: the first I had a 25 lb pack, second, like maybe 10 lb pack, max. Both times were just as difficult-- but definitely go as light as you can.

The hike Took less time on the return, both times. Don't know why... maybe learned to pace better?

I will just give some advice on strategy.

BEFORE HIKE: Hydrate at least two days before, take electrolytes with you; a little less than 2 liters of water is what I consumed for the 8 miles in. (You can get more water at the spring in waimanu). Get to the trailhead early if you can. I would try to pay a local to drive you down waipio and then walk to the trail head. The hike into waipio valley is steep and hot. So get a ride, and take a short walk to the trailhead. Btw, I did NOT get there early. I began my hike around noon and my head nearly exploded from the heat.

BIG TIP FIRST MILE: Take your sweet ass time the first mile. It's hot, it's hard, and there is no rush! Enjoy the views, hydrate, keep your pace slow. Take breaks. Not an athletic competition.

In first mile you climb 1500 feet and it's pretty rocky and exposed, but after that, things start to even out and you can pick up your pace. It's also far cooler because the rest of the hike is mostly shaded with huge coniferous trees.

I learned to pace myself based on my heart rate. It kept things steady for me, and the hike back was quicker when I was more attentive to keeping at about 75% of my max heart rate. I stopped less. You will continue hiking up and down through 5 valleys, so bring some trekking poles or use sticks-- they really help! My partner thought he didn't need them, but on the way back, he picked up two sticks and admitted they helped quite a bit!

THE LAST MILE OF DEATH DEFIANCE: So... something few people tell you is that the last mile down is just as hard as the first mile up. The first time I did this hike, I fell about three times going down (and it's a very narrow trail here. Be careful!) second time I was far more cautious and took it slow. I am not woo woo, but I know Hawaii and I swear the menehunes hide in those damn rocks and laugh at you until you're humbled. My experienced partner, who usually hikes mainland east coast and Northern California mountains, thought he could do his usual pace, like when people tell you to jog down uneven hills so you don't fall... that technique may not work here. Little Rocks hide under large soft, rotting leaves and you are constantly slipping. He ended up falling four times and was not happy. It's pretty sketch and your legs will feel fairly fatigued by that time. Hawaii humbles you. So don't get too excited coming down... be patient... go slow... you will get your reward!

Finally, you do need a permit to camp. There are nine sites. But don't be too surprised if you see a squatter in the space you reserved. You could kick him/her out, or negotiate another spot. Even though I reserved a site both times, there was a squatter in my space. I just adopted the philosophy that there is a special place meant just for me... and both times that attitude worked great and I got a perfect campsite as well as a sweet little peace offering from the squatter. :)

Hike back: once you complete the hike and you are back in waipio valley, try to hitch a ride back or you might be hating life. Bring cash to tip drivers. I don't recommend leaving your car overnight in honokaa unless it's insured. Try to get rides.

Do your research on this hike... lots more available on some blogs, but I just wanted to give you some tips that may not be available there. Enjoy! If you make it to the valley you deserve every bit of the beauty that is there! Godspeed!

This place is absolutely beautiful!

half of the trail is paved so that might make you feel like you are not doing a real hike. but it is absolutely worth it. i didn't have time, but once you get to the beach (black sand beach), pass the river and go to the other side. it's more quite.

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