This isolated corner of the island is a favorite destination for tourists, who usually just peer over the cliff edge down onto the valley then go away. For hikers who are connoisseurs of fine beaches, waterfalls, and Hawaiian culture, and don’t mind a short, stiff workout on a (mostly) paved road, the rewards are beyond anything sedentary tourists can imagine.
The valley was home to a thriving community of native Hawaiians who grew taro and other traditional crops in the fertile soil until it was battered by a tsunami in 1946. Most of the inhabitants left, but those who still remain prefer the old ways, and value their isolation and privacy. They do not appreciate strangers wandering through their neighborhood gawking at them, but do not mind hikers sharing their access road, admiring their green fields from a distance, and enjoying their beach.
© Suzanne Swedo /Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.