Big Island Hawaii- Best Hikes
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Oct 22, 2012 1:18 PM Last Post By: newman70
Oct 12, 2012 4:39 AM
Big Island Hawaii- Best HikesCan someone tell me the best hikes on the Big Island. We have 3 days of hikes for Volcano National Park already planned. Then we head for a day of hiking in Waip'io Valley. We have 4 more days on Kohala coast and want to know some all day (or partial day) hikes to drive to from there. We are athletic so we are not interested in short, touristy hikes. Or if there are any hikes on the way from VNP to Waip'io Valley.
A few other questions:
1. We land in Kona at about 11am and then need to rent a car. We then planned to head to Volcano Village. Can we fit in everything we need to see on the way to Volcano? South point, black sand beach, place of refuge, Cooks monument? Or should we skip some of these? Or should we do some of these, saty in Kona for a night and then head to Volcano? Or should we do some of these at the end of the trip when we are staying in resort area on Kohala coast?
2. Can you drive from VNP to Waip'io in a day and get in a full day of hiking there and then drive to Kohala coast or is there a lot to see on the way so should we stay somewhere on the way.
Oct 12, 2012 3:09 PM
1Where are you arriving from? If from USA, expect that first day (and perhaps entire visit) your body will think 11 AM is about 5 PM or later and you may very well need to sleep in the early evening that day. The good news is you'll also awake early and can be hiking as the sun rises.
Place of Refuge was half-day for us, and followed by a picnic lunch, we combined it with snorkling at the state park just outside it's gates to make a full day.
Cooks Monument area was a full-day for our friends who did kayak exploration and then more snorkling & boogie-boarding near there.
Black sand beach was a 30-minute stop for us, on the way to Volcanoes.
Waipio Valley was most of a day with travel to/from Kona area.
Oct 13, 2012 6:35 PM
2There are some nice hikes along Saddle road though you probably aren't allowed to take your rental car up there. In my opinion (I lived on the island for 5 years) is that the best hikes that are open to the public are in VNP because you get to see some fairly intact forest and have a good chance of spotting native wildlife.
I would not try to do all the things you mentioned on your drive to Volcano from Kona. Place of Refuge and Kealakekua bay (Cook) both have fantastic snorkeling/kayaking and deserve a few hours each. Plus, keep in mind that getting down to the water from the main highway can take up to 30 minutes each way on that part of the island. Remember also that it gets dark no later than about 7:15 pm there, ever. Most of the year it's earlier. The road b/w South Point and Volcano is not well lit and two lane most of the way.
You should have plenty of time to do Waipio and get to Kohala in one day.
You can hike to the CC monument (I never did it-I always kayaked) and then snorkel once you get there. That would be another hike for you to do and you'd probably encounter less people along the hike than if you paddled out there.
Oct 14, 2012 8:12 AM
31.How far is it from the Kohala resort area to Place of Refuge and Cooks? If we are staying there for 4 nights could one day be a day trip to Cooks or Place of Refuge?
2. Is there much to stop and see from VNP to Waipio?
We are coming in from Oahu, not USA. So you think we should arrive, do Place of Refuge, and maybe Cooks, stay in Kona. Then drive to VNP next day. And when we leave VNP go straight to Waipio? Or drive and sightsee and spend a night in Honokaa then hike Waipio and drive ro Kohala resort.
Some hikes we thought about once in Kohala were:.
Pu waa waa
Waipo from backside
Know anything about them
Oct 16, 2012 9:54 PM
41. 1 1/2 - 2 hours from what I remember
2. You could take a side trip out to Puna to see the lava, hot ponds, etc. I recommend at least stopping in Hilo at the Bayfront. I also recommend checking out at least one of the main waterfalls-Rainbow, Akaka, and Boiling Pots
I haven't done any of those hikes but have heard Pololu Valley is very nice.
Oct 18, 2012 11:38 AM
5Two of my favorite hikes on the BI are Halape(VNP) and Waimanu Valley. Both require camping overnight but are well worth it. You said that you had 3 days of hiking in VNP, which hikes are you going to do?
Waimanu is the best of the 3 big valleys but the hardest to access, do it instead of Waipio if you have the time/desire. (camping permits required) Pololu is a great day hike, but a very short hike unless you take the trail up and over to the next small valley. Good swimming and surfing depending on the time of year/ocean.
As far as things to do on the way from Kona to VNP, don't miss the Green sand beach and south point cliffs. Both offer some great cliff jumping and swimming, again depending on the ocean. On a good day you can jump off through the skylight into the cave in the cliff, then swim out and climb back up. Or you can just jump off the face of the cliffs. There is also some good rock climbing in the cave which was featured on the cover of a climbing magazine a few years back, can't remember which one. Green sand beach has a higher jump which is a little more dangerous as there are rocks in the water that you have to miss, but still a blast. Plus, its the only place your gonna find green sand on the earth. It does get windy which can ruin your beach time so plan accordingly.
Taking a detour out to Puna is a great idea as it has some of the most unique areas of the island. I would say stop at the steam vents outside pahoa for a natural steam bath, make sure to go to the big vent towards the back of the area, follow the trails. Take a look at the lava flow, depending on its current ocean entry point, and see the newest black sand beach on the planet. Drive the "red road" from Kalapana to Kapoho, one of the best drives on the island. You will pass Pohoiki, surf spot/boat landing, and the hot pond state park. I wouldn't swim at either but they are cool to check out. Once you get to Kapoho you will see Green mountain on the left, it has a freshwater "lake/pond" in the center of it and is a nice hike but it is private property. On your way back to Pahoa from there you will drive through the "tree tunnel" which is also home to lava tree state park. It is worth an hour stop to explore, pretty cool lava formations.
I would also say that the drive from hilo to waipio has many things to see and places to stop. Lots of waterfalls, botanical gardens and overlooks. Make sure you take the scenic highway and plan time to be able to stop and take pictures and swim maybe. There are a few nice swimming holes in the many rivers you will cross. I would plan at least a whole day if you were going to go from VNP-Puna-Hilo-Hamakua coast. I would try to find a B&B on the Hamakua coast and stay there for the night, then tackle Waipio in the AM.
Oct 22, 2012 1:18 PM
6Thanks so much for this great info. We were not going to bring camping gear so were looking for mostly full day hikes. We are open to any suggestions in VNP. One that was suggested was the Kilauea Volcano by doing a loop using Halema'uma'u, Kilauea and Crater Rim Trail.
On Pololu hike is it hard to go up and over into the next valley?
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