Similar to the south section of Big Island, the north is remote, rural, peaceful. The big draw of the north is the view of striking Waipi’o Valley [Hwy. 240 west to Kukuihaele – the road comes to a dead end at the Waipi’o Overlook].
You could walk down from your car to the overlook, steep in that dynamic blue green contrast, and go right back home. It’s that good. But why stop there, when you can hike on into the valley? Put you’re adventure pants back on and get to it! Your journey begins down a ridiculous road.
You’ll soon see why cars without four wheel drive are banned, and you are on foot. Huge bathtub sized potholes and section that are so narrow you could squeal seeing two cars pass one another beside a sheer cliff. Yep, we’re happy to be on foot, thank you. Plus the view of the valley is outstanding, there are treasures along side the road, and of course the flora is always beautiful in Hawaii.
So down the steep, absurdly steep, troublesomely steep, try not to think about the return trip steep, road. When you do get to the bottom of the road, which is actually pretty short, make a right down the gravel path. This new road is wide and filled with more deep gullies, but you’ll see more wild cars careening through so be cautious, and once again – take in the sights!
Before long you’ll make it out to the black sand beach which you saw from the overlook, as beautiful as you could have hoped for.
Walk to the right and you may notice a waterfall which was hidden directly below the overlook, amazing!
When the tide is right you can walk to the base of it, we weren’t so luck on this day. To the left take your chance at fording the delta, where many were slipping and sliding to continue on down the beach.
As you can see a storm looked to be brewing at this time, so we decided to skip it. Swimming here is not recommended on account of the harrowing current. When you’re finished at the beach, head back to the junction with the road you came from. Don’t go back up the hill just yet! Now make a right to continue down the road into the valley. Walk beside the serene river, you’ll be happy you continued.
Out of nowhere right before your eyes, a pair of spectacularly tall twin waterfalls appear!
Continue on as deep into the quiet valley as far as you’d like, and you may find roaming horses who were displaced after the last tsunami.
It was hard for me to contain myself around this majestic beast. It looked noble and pettable, but using common sense I steered clear. After some time we decided to make our ascent back up the hill, as we still wanted to hit the swimming beach that afternoon. I had almost forgot how steep this hill was, the grade is almost unimaginable. Thank goodness for my handy dandy bandana to wipe the sweat from my brow. This was grueling climb, but short, manageable, and so very worth it for all of the wonder in the Waipi’o Valley.