Hawaii May 21, 2018
The Hike To This Secluded Waterfall Beach In Hawaii Is Positively Amazing
Located on Hawaii Island’s Hamakua Coast — away from all the tourists hanging out in Kona — is Waipio Valley, the southernmost and largest of the seven valleys of Kohala Mountain. And though the valley’s lookout point is no stranger to tourists hopping out of their cars to snap a few photographs of this picturesque spot, it’s what you will find once you descend from the valley’s striking cliffs that is truly remarkable. At the end of this unique trail, you will find a breathtaking waterfall beach that is as stunning as it is secluded. Let’s take a look, shall we?
The sacred Waipio Valley was once the boyhood home of King Kamehameha I and is an important site for Hawaiian history and culture. History aside, "The Valley of the Kings" certainly appears as though it was made for royalty — the valley is surrounded by tropical vegetation and 2,000-foot high cliffs.
While this Big Island valley is often seen from above at the Waipio Valley lookout, you will need to hike 1.5 miles from the parking lot down to the valley floor, where you will find countless magical wonders, including a striking waterfall that cascades from the cliffside straight into the
Seriously, how absolutely stunning is this cascade?
This beach waterfall isn’t the only cascade you’ll find in Waipio Valley, though. The breathtaking black sand beach is split by the Hi’ilawe Stream (which flows from the 1,200-foot-tall Hi’ilawe Falls) and is home to a stunning waterfall you can’t see from the lookout — Kaluahine Falls.
Though Waipio Valley is absolutely breathtaking, the road to the valley’s floor from the lookout is pretty gnarly, gaining 800 vertical feet in just 0.6 miles, making it the steepest road of its length in the United States. While it is possible to drive the road into Waipio Valley if you have a 4-wheel-drive vehicle, it is often on the list of prohibited places to take a rental car. So, of course, we hike!
To reach the striking beach, you will need to hike 1.5 miles from the parking lot, descending into the valley. Because of the trail’s steepness, you can bet that you’ll be mostly alone once you arrive.
If you choose to make the journey on foot, be sure to conserve your energy, because the trek back is going to be a lot more difficult. Bring plenty of water, and take it easy. Remember: "slow and steady wins the race" is a cliche for a reason.
If you’re planning to explore beyond the beach, it is recommended that you hire a tour guide, because the valley is quite remote, and in addition to private property rights, it is also easy to become lost or stranded here.
Want to experience more magical Hawaiian hikes for yourself? Check out
these 11 beaches only accessible on foot, or even these 12 waterfall hikes.