Waipio Valley Trail

Honokaa, Hawaii 96727

Waipio Valley Trail

Waipio Valley Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"When you were dreaming of visiting Hawaii, did you linger over photographs of a broad, Eden-like green valley sealed off from the outside world by sheer, thousand-foot-high walls? Chances are that valley was Waipio Valley. This is your chance to spend some time in it. Take a few minutes to walk down to Waipio Overlook to enjoy the view of the valley.

Rain-drenched, dazzlingly green Waipio Valley is one of the Big Island’s most famous beauty spots. However, some of the waterfalls may be dry: their streams are tapped “topside” for irrigation, so there’s little water left to cascade down into the valley. The overlook offers the best views you’re going to get unless you decide to tackle the switchbacks you’ll see zigzagging up the west wall of Waipio Valley. This is an excellent place to take your photos of Waipio, too."

More Waipio Valley Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking the Hawaiian Islands (Falcon Guides)
Suzanne Swedo
View more trails from this guide book
"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."

Waipio Valley Trail Trip Reports

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I agree, this was one of the strongest workouts I ever had. 1 hour with my son on my back going extremely steep up took quite some breath. When you go down people coming up, do not speak because they concentrate on the strain that this hike does on you.
Down there it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. I imaginge that the world must have been that way long time back. I ask everyone to please respect this place, not to disturbe nature and especially not to use it by going down there with squads ... It is a sacred hawaiian place. There are wild horses and nature at its very best.
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The start is easy to find, very limited but somehow enough parking available at the top. Than the extremely steep descent starts of 2km and and elevation of 230m. It is probably the steepest road I've ever seen. Down in the valley it's a nice walk through the rainforest to the black sand beach. We have seen wild horses. Bring a picknic and have a great time at the nice river and the ocean. It's a pitty that access throughout teh valley is very restricted and limited due to privately owned land eveywhere.
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Yes, this is a steep and wearing hike, but with HUGE rewards. This is one of the most beautiful places on earth! There are warnings about this being a black diamond hike, so if your not into major exercise...you are best to just stay at the lookout...which means you miss the beach which is spectacular scenery.
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This was in fact a beautiful trail, HOWEVER, I don't believe I can stress enough how difficult and such an extreme incline this hike was! The verticle was so extreme it felt better walking backwards than walking straight down the incline which was close to 1 mile. It was a great workout but not good on the knees at all for any age!

Waipio Valley Trail Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
960 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
2 hours
USGS Kukuihaele
Local Maps

Trail Log