Waipio Valley

The Road DownThe Waipio Valley is on the east side of Hawaii and it has always been an isolated place. Still, years ago it was densely populated, but ever since World War II and the great tidal surge of 1946 it has been nearly abandoned. There are only a handful of farms and most of the folks you meet are tourists.

Of course, the road down is part of the problem. It runs 900 feet down and is nearly as exhausting on the way down as the way up. Some people take jitneys, while others take donkeys. We always like to walk. If you've read our food reviews you understand why.

The road is lined with guavas, and there are tantalyzing views of the coast. The Waipio Valley is actually just one of a series of valleys, and despite the arduous descent required, it is one of the most accessible.

There are taro farms, partially flooded down on the valley floor, and there is a lovely beach. Do be careful crossing the river as it crosses the beach. It looks like a sluggish, shallow stream, but depending on rainfall and the tides, it can become rather deep and brisk towards the middle. For all this, it is fordable.

The beach continues on the other side and there are a few little caves you can explore at low tide. If you are energetic and well prepared, you can climb up the other side. We are told that there is another valley after that, and then another one.

We usually turn around here and head back. The 900 foot climb awaits. You can earn your malasadas here as you struggle up the twists and turns to the lookout above.

Tantalyzing view of the beach
Here is one of those views of the beach; it can get rather wild down there and if you look carefully you can find quite a few waterfalls

The Valley Floor
Some of the taro farms below

Near the bottom
You get a real sense of isolation down in the valley, as if the years have past.
It is hard to believe that thousands lived here once.

A view upvalley
The valley is long and narrow and deep

Hawaii PageKaleberg Home PageSend Mail to Kaleberg