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Waipio Valley, Kukuihaele

#2 of 24 in Historic Sites in Island of Hawaii
Valley · Historic Walking Area
Hike down into dramatic Waipio Valley to see the tallest waterfalls on the island plunging from steep cliffs, a black sand beach, and fields of taro. The valley measures 1.6 km (1 mi) across and 8 km (5 mi) long and the cliffs, and mountains on either side plunge down 600 m (2000 ft). Check out Hiilawe Falls, which drop 400 m (1,300 ft) at the back of the valley. When you reach the beach, you can cross the river that bisects it if the tide is out. Pack a light lunch, wear comfortable clothes and hiking shoes, and bring sunscreen and a hat to make the long, steep hike down from the top of the valley easier. If you choose to drive down, make sure it’s in a four-wheel-drive vehicle, given the bumpy road. To find out how to plan a trip to Kukuihaele, use our trip itinerary maker.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
1,034 reviews
  • Already impressed me when we were just at lookout point, we don’t rent 4wd can’t going down, definitely gonna going down next time.  more »
  • HIKE DOWN EARLY IN THE MORNING! And bring water (3 bottles 2 people, 4 to be safe). We were so lucky we went before 7 am and walked up in the shade around 9 am or so. This was NOT the case when we...  more »
  • One of the most beautiful, sacred places I've ever been to.. got to meet Rocky who kindly told us some of the local history of the place while walking down to the valley. Even if it means that I won't be able to visit this place against I hope they limit the number of tourists to go down there so we don't pollute it. Or changed it.
  • The black sand beach at the bottom of the valley is devoid of rocks for a good stretch so it is decent for wading in. I don't know that I would attempt more than that as the tide is quite powerful. We also hiked to a small waterfall that empties directly into the ocean on the right side of the beach (requires hiking on the rocks, not too difficult if you have sneakers, decent balance and are a regular hiker). It was a little underwhelming but we are glad we did it.

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