Pololu Trail, Cliffs
Photograph by Steve Nelson
On Hawaii’s Big Island, take a ride on highway 270. When the highway abruptly ends, walk to the edge and look over–Pololu Valley awaits. This mostly untouched valley stands sentry over inaccessible North Kohala coastline, made up of several valleys and cliffs. Locals and visitors take the maintained Pololu Valley trail down a steep sidehill to the black sand beach below.
Catching north-western swells, good surfing can be had here, but take caution as the waves can get big. The trail also accesses camping and generally takes people to a quite, rugged, tropical place. The deep valleys were once home to many Hawaiians but have been abandoned over the years, some say due to the threat of tsunamis.
The views from the top of the valley looking east are fantastic, revealing several valley ends and a few offshore rock features that were once a part of the main land. Literally translated from Hawaiian to English pololu means, “long spear.”
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