Hawaii September 21, 2017
This Hawaii Hiking Trail Is The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of
Hawaiian postcards all depict the islands as swaying palm tree-lined white sand beaches with vibrant turquoise waters, but there is so much more to the Aloha State than our killer beaches. In fact, the Hawaiian Islands are one of the country’s greatest hiking destinations as well — including this dreamy trail located at the end of the highway on the northern tip of Hawaii Island.
If you desire dramatic views of Hawaii Island’s northeastern coastline, including impressive cliffs, verdant valleys, and lush landscapes, head to Pololu Valley, Waipio Valley’s lesser-known — but still just as gorgeous — cousin at the end of Hawaii Island’s seven major valleys carved into the Kohala Coast.
With a stunning black sand beach sitting at the mouth of the lush, green valley, horses grazing on the hillside and small island outcroppings offshore, Pololu Valley is not only one of the best lookout points on the island, but home to a positively enchanting hiking trail.
If you do make the drive out here, don’t settle for the views from the lookout — definitely take the time to hike the Awini Trail that leads down to the stunning black sand beach. The half-hour hike is steep at times, but the views — and the destination — are well worth it.
Untouched for centuries, it’s easy to feel as though time stands still as you watch the waves crash against the glistening black sand shores at the mouth of this lush valley paradise.
Unfortunately, the pounding surf and occasional Portuguese man-o-war make this picturesque beach more suited for a nice picnic or stroll than swimming.
Ocean views aren’t the only magnificent sight you’ll see at Pololu — be sure to take a minute to look away from the water to check out the awe-inspiring emerald green valley behind you.
The valley was once used for taro cultivation, but is now uninhabited - except for the occasional wild horse grazing on the hillside.
The hike to get to the breathtaking black sand beach and back to the Pololu Valley lookout is less than a mile, though many opt to hike to the Honokane Nui Valley lookout and back — a trail measuring in at approximately 3 miles round trip.
The full 3-mile trail gains and loses approximately 650 feet of elevation, but the short trail features only 350 feet of elevation change. Be sure to pack plenty of water for this hot hike, as well as your camera!
While there is certainly debate to be had, many consider Pololu Valley to be home to the island’s most spectacular, panoramic views.
If you are in awe of this Hawaii Island hike, you’ll want to add
these 12 beaches you can only reach on foot to your island bucket list. Would you rather stick to enchanting waterfall hikes? these 12 trails — and the waterfalls they lead to — are positively magical.