Hawaii Trails: Walks Strolls and Treks on the Big Island

Hawaii Trails: Walks Strolls and Treks on the Big Island

by Kathy Morey

NOOK BookThird Edition (eBook - Third Edition)

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Pele's magical haunt, the big island of Hawai'I encompasses spectacular and diverse landscapes, from shimmering bays to exhilarating 14,000-foot volcanoes. In this thoroughly updated new edition, choose from 58 hikes that explore Mauna Loa, Kilauea, Kaumana Caves, and Mauna Kea State Park, among other fabulous places. Discover black sand beaches, sea turtle coves, lava lanes, and rainforest valleys.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780899975481
Publisher: Wilderness Press
Publication date: 07/12/2006
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 276
File size: 46 MB
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Trip 3

Waiilikahi Falls

Distance: 2 1/4 miles

Elevation gain: 200 feet

Hiking time: 2 2/3 hours

Topos: Honokane 7 1/2

Difficulty: Moderate, hiking boots mandatory

Highlights: Waterfalls are enchanting! Too often, Hawaiian waterfalls are inaccessible unless you can afford a helicopter flight—and even then, you can only look but not touch. One of Waimanu Valley’s thundering waterfalls is accessible on foot—with a little patience and navigating skill.

Highlights: Waterfalls are enchanting! Too often, Hawaiian waterfalls are inaccessible unless you can afford a helicopter flight—and even then, you can only look but not touch. One of Waimanu Valley’s thundering waterfalls is accessible on foot—with a little patience and navigating skill.

Warning: Wild pigs live in Waimanu Valley, and you may encounter one on your way to these falls, as I did. It’s reported that wild pigs can be dangerous if they are surprised and are unable to find a safe escape route. Make some noise as you go to warn the pigs to get away. (I whack the shrubbery and rocks with my hiking stick.)

Driving instructions: Not applicable.

Permit/permission required: Dayhiking into Waimanu does not require permission. Camping in Waimanu is very strictly regulated by the Division of Forestry and Wildlife; you must have a permit from them and may camp only at the site assigned to you.

Description: Waiilikahi Falls in Waimanu Valley is accessible if you’re patient and look carefully for tags—colored plastic ribbon tied to trees or shrubs—and follow them on this route. There is no trail—not even a beaten path.

Start as if you were heading for the drinking-water source described in Trip 2: on the west side of the valley along a muddy track from the end of the beach back into the valley to a running stream. Continue, generally south, beyond the water source, by following the tags. You cross several dry waterways right after the spring-fed courses. Your route is in the rainforest, and it’s very circuitous, though you generally stick to the valley’s west wall. You pass a number of ruins—the fine stone walls so typical of Hawaii before European contact. You weave through guava, kukui, and coffee, trying to avoid falling into ponds. A difficult section early in the hike forces you to climb slippery rocks and tree roots up and around a large pond.

About halfway, the route is apparently hacked through a hau thicket. Conflicting, confusing tags may have you wondering which way to go. I found that the route that ran closer to the edges of the hau thicket connected better with the rest of the route.

You finally stumble upon a third, “wet” watercourse—possibly marked by a metal rod painted red and white. Turn upstream along this third “wet” watercourse without crossing it (if that is how the tags still direct you). With the help of the tags, you’ll soon pick your way through drenching spray to the base of the fall, where the pool is said to be swimmable. The din of falling water is deafening, and the fog of spray may conceal the true size of this waterfall. There’s plenty of broken rock around the pool. Beware of falling rocks at this or any other waterfall!

Waterfalls at work

In Hawaii, the terrain tends to consist of alternating layers of resistant lava and less-resistant material such as consolidated ash or clinker. A stream wears down through the softer layer and cascades over the harder layer. The force of the falling water wears away the rock at the base of the falls, forming a lovely pool. Undercut by that process, the rock above the pool succumbs to gravity and falls away, shattering at the base of the falls. This process wears the stream’s channel farther and farther back into the slope. Over eons, the stream cuts its gorge back toward its headwaters. Because harder and softer layers alternate, streams often form a chain of waterfalls on their long descent to the sea.

Table of Contents

Trip Overview Map


Getting Information About the Big Island of Hawaii

Spoken Hawaiian

Geology and History

Getting Around on Hawaii

Getting Permits or Permission


Equipment Suggestions and Miscellaneous Hints

Using This Book

Hiking Table

The Trips

  1. Waipio Valley
  2. Waimanu Valley Backpack
  3. Waiilikahi Falls
  4. Kalopa State Park—Nature Loop
  5. Kalopa State Park—Jeep Road
  6. Akaka Falls State Park
  7. Kaumana Caves County Park
  8. Puu Oo
  9. Mauna Kea State Park—Hill 7154
  10. Mauna Kea Summit
  11. Observatory Trail to North Pit
  12. Mauna Loa Cabin via Observatory Trail Backpack
  13. Mauna Loa Cabin to True Summit
  14. Rainbow Falls
  15. Wailoa River State Park
  16. Hilo Arboretum
  17. Liliuokalani Gardens and Coconut Island Beach Park
  18. Panaewa Rainforest Zoo
  19. Lava Tree State Monument
  20. Crater Rim Trail Around Kilauea and Kilauea Iki
  21. Halemaumau Trail
  22. Crater Rim–Halemaumau Loop
  23. Halemaumau–Byron Ledge Semiloop
  24. Sandalwood Trail
  25. Sulphur Bank Trail
  26. Sulphur Bank–Sandalwood Loop
  27. Waldron Ledge Loop
  28. Kilauea Iki
  29. Thurston Lava Tube
  30. From Puu Puai Down the Devastation Trail
  31. Crater Rim Road to Halemaumau Overlook
  32. Napau Crater Trail to Puu Huluhulu
  33. Napau Crater Trail to Makaopuhi Crater
  34. Napau Crater Trail to Napau Crater
  35. Naulu Trail
  36. Puu Loa Petroglyphs
  37. Puna Kau Trail to Apua Point
  38. Puna Kau Trail to Keauhou Shelter Backpack
  39. Chain of Craters Road to Halape Backpack
  40. Hilina Pali Road to Pit Craters
  41. Mau Loa o Mauna Ulu to Keauhou Backpack
  42. Mau Loa o Mauna Ulu to Halape Backpack
  43. Mau Loa o Mauna Ulu to Chain of Craters Road Backpack
  44. Hilina Pali Roadend to Pepeiao Cabin Backpack
  45. Hilina Pali to Kaaha Shelter Backpack
  46. Bird Park (Kipuka Puaulu)
  47. Mauna Loa Trail to Red Hill Cabin Backpack
  48. Mauna Loa Trail to Mauna Loa Cabin Backpack
  49. Footprints
  50. Manuka Nature Trail
  51. Puuhonua o Honaunau (City of Refuge)
  52. Captain Cook’s Monument
  53. Kalahuipuaa Historical Park
  54. Puako Petroglyphs
  55. Puukohola Heiau National Historical Site
  56. Lapakahi State Historical Park
  57. Mookini Heiau and Kamehameha Birthplace
  58. Pololu Valley



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