Big Island, Hawai’i. coordinates: 20°9′3″ N, 155°44′39″ W
On the North Kohala peninsula past the quaint towns of Hawi and Kapa’au, after about 8 miles of lush, winding road Highway 270 dead ends at the overlook of Pololū Valley. The Pololū Valley is the first of five majestic valleys that stretch along the coast to the southeast.
In the Hawaiian language Pololū means long spear. The valley carves a long eroded cleave on the northern side of Kohala Mountain. This magnificent wild valley is at the head of the Kohala Coast, the oldest part of the island.
The valley itself is a steep 400 feet (122 m) down, accessible on foot, but the trail can be challenging for inexperienced hikers. It takes about 20 minutes to get to the beach and you’ll have to walk down a steep zigzagging dirt path that can at times be muddy and dangerously slippery when wet. Climbing back up will take twice the energy and twice as long so consider your physical ability before attempting this hike. This is not a walk in the park and no facilities or park rangers are available if you have difficulties. Use caution.
At the water’s edge lies one of the Big Island’s most scenic black-sand beaches. Swimming here isn’t recommended due to a strong rip current, especially in the winter months. But it’s a nice place for a picnic and to take in the beauty of Hawai’i. The inner depths of the valley are private property and off limits unless you have special permission for access.
Pololū is one of the most remote locations on the Big Island. Most visitors just come to the Pololū Valley Lookout, a scenic spot overlooking the lush valley and the towering sea cliffs. I have hiked down to the beach area numerous times before but on this trip I was only out to enjoy the day and snap a few photos of the stunning view.
Directions: Located at the end of Highway 270 on the Big Island’s north shore, just south of Kapaau.