The Waimanu Valley on Hawaii’s Big Island stretches flat, making small ponds and trickling streams near its entrance into the ocean. Back up hill and along the coast, the area is combed with deep valleys, making hiking a heart-pounding proposition as one quickly gains and loses elevation repeatedly.
The views, though, are worth the walk–or helicopter ride if one can manage it. Few people are in the Waimanu area. The valleys offer a getaway from crowds and a return to simple living, if only for a brief time.
From the Division of Forestry and Wildlife:
“…located at the end of Muliwai Trail, which begins by making a challenging ascent of 1200 feet in less than a mile on switch-backs cut into the wall of Waipio Valley. It then passes through 12 smaller gulches on a 5-mile course of moderate difficulty before dropping into Waimanu Valley on another challenging switch-back cut. Measured from the trailhead the Muliwai is 15.3 miles round trip. If you start your hike from the Waipio Lookout the round trip is approximately 19 miles.” – Waimanu page