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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Big Island Circle Tour - Waipio Valley

I didn't think our last few days in Hawaii could just keep getting better and better.  But they have.

I guess it would be hard to have a bad time spending a winter in Hawaii, despite the many challenges that occurred by uprooting our herds & flocks and moving everything we own into storage {except the critters of course} for three months.

After two months of manual labor on an organic coffee farm, we've been enjoying twelve days of sightseeing before we head back to the Midwest and resuming our hunt for a farm of our own.

Last week we visited Green Sands Beach which quickly became our favorite beach of the Big Island so far. We also enjoyed a scenic tour around Hilo and a few of the gorgeous waterfalls the area boasts. 

To top off our tour of the Big Island circle tour we hiked into Waipio Valley followed the very next day by a hike into her sister valley Pololu. Every new beach became a new favorite. Every new hike a test of our farm-honed muscles, strength and endurance.

The Waipio and Pololu valleys are like twin sisters, alike but with their own distinct differences.  Their main trails access the valleys from two different directions - Waipio from the SE (via Hwy 240) and Pololu from the NW (via Hwy 270).  Waipio boasts a 1000' descent over a mere mile of paved 4WD road {ouch on the knees - I had to walk sideways and backwards down most of it} which took us 50mn to hike.  Pololu's 15mn hike to the black sand beach is also steep and rugged but a walk in the park in comparison.

Both valleys offer breathtaking views from the lookout area preceeding the climb down. Both valleys showcase pristine green valley cliffsides and beautiful black sand beaches.  The beaches are large enough that even when there are many visitors, you will be able to carve out some privacy somewhere along the beach.  There are many surf breaks of various sizes for adventurous boarding and surfing souls.

We did not have time to hike over to the waterfalls in Waipio Valley, something we certainly plan to do upon our next visit. We did enjoy walking among the ironwood trees lining both beaches, scenery that reminded me of the pine forests in the BWCAW, one of my old Minnesota stomping grounds {therefore, near and dear to my heart}.

We loved both beaches, and it would be difficult to pick a favorite, but Papa Bear is leaning towards Waipio, especially when we come back next time and explore the valley further and locate those waterfalls I've been hearing about!

Happy Trails -

If you enjoyed this post you may also enjoy our Big Island Circle Tour Part I and Part II.  Thanks for reading!


Niki Armstrong said...

Awesome Valley.This looks like it was an excellent trip!

Victoria Strauser said...

Thank you Niki! It really was the trip of a lifetime!

Christopherross said...

This makes the trip.

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