Hamakua Coast

Hāmākua Historic Corridor

For many, crossing the “singing” bridge out of Hilo (which hums when driven over) is the first step on a day of adventures along the dramatic coastline north. A first stop for many is the impossibly beautiful Akaka Falls. Akaka Falls State Park is about 11 minutes north of Hilo along the Hawaiʻi Belt Road (the only road), after a left turn on Route 220. The park is at the end of the Route 220. This long, lacy, silvery falls measures nearly 450 feet, dropping into a stone bowl in a spray of picturesque mist. One you park, there is a serene walk through deep green jungle along a cemented pathway to the overlook for the falls.

Waipiʻo Valley

Storied Waipiʻo Valley, at the end of Hamakua Heritage Corridor, can be experienced either from the overlook into the enormous valley below, or from the valley floor, which can be reached with 4WD vehicles only. The small, steep, slippery road into the valley is intimidating, so if you have any concerns, sign on with a tour company to enter the valley, or walk down and up on the road. The valley is stunning, five miles deep and surrounded by steep green cliffs that rise well over a thousand feet high. Visitors can walk the black sand beach, explore the stream, take a horseback ride, or enjoy all of these options on a package tour. Waipiʻo Valley is 79 miles from Volcano Village, and well worth the drive. People live and work in Waipiʻo, and the local code of conduct is to behave respectfully around their farms and lands.
Pohoiki Beach - Pre - Eruption
Polulu Valey

Pololū Valley

Pololū Valley is the farthest north of the valleys carved by millenia of rain into the eastern-facing flank of Kohala volcano (extinct), and thought of by many as the “smaller Waipiʻo”. Because one must travel through the towns of Waimea and Hawi to reach the Pololū lookout and parking area, it is 113 miles away from Volcano Village. A trail, sometimes muddy, rapidly descends to the valley floor and a small stream, easily crossed, runs from the valley wetlands into the sea. Visitors and locals hike, camp, and—if the ocean is very calm—swim or surf here. The beach is black sand, and one can continue on the trail to the other side of the valley, then climb that side for spectacular views of the coastline.

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