On the opposite side of the most southernmost point of the 50 United States lies Waipio and Pololu Valleys along the Northern shore of the Big Island.
We arrived at Pololu Valley lookout at the end of HYW 270 just in time to catch the sunrise and also strike up with a nice gentleman from Vancouver, BC.
It was a steep but pleasant hike down towards the valley floor.
Could be due to the early morning but we saw quite a few rather large snails crawling along.
There are only a few people scattered along the black sand beach – surfing, fishing, and jogging along the shoreline.
We embarked on a narrow, lush path on the other side of the valley.
Navigating around some spiky leaves, and muddy puddles on the climb.
We met a few hikers and they said the path beyond has been damaged by falling rocks so we did not proceed further. So we took a break and take in the views.
Making our way from the nearest town, Kohala toward Waipio Valley.
Stopping at a small town Honokaa, where a Japanese movie “Honokaa Boy” was filmed in 2009.
At the Waipio Valley lookout. The local residents strive hard to maintain their traditional way of life so most of the valley are closed off to tourists. Though there are guided tours that provide more in-depth exploration and interaction with the
There is one access road down to the valley – 4×4 is a must due to the steep grade as well as many big potholes.
You can walk on the side of the public road.
The road gains 800 vertical feet (243.84 m) in 0.6 miles (0.9 km) at a 25% average grade. It is the steepest road of its length in the United States and possibly the world.
Rusty carcass from a few cars going too fast…
A wide vista overlooking the ocean.
Making the climb back up the road. Carmen the champion hill climber that often leave me several bends behind.