Hiking is a great way to get a scenic workout in while exploring new areas. The big Island of Hawaii offers many great options for a hike. One that I did recently was a hike to the black sand beach in Pololu Valley.
Where Is It?
On the big island, take HWY 270 to the very end where you will see the Pololu Valley Lookout. This is just the start though! The hike is a short (about 1 mile) but steep trail down to the black sand beach. Winding down the side of the cliff, you will need a solid pair of shoes to avoid slipping on the rocks or mud. Make sure to stop at the lookout point halfway down!
Once down at the bottom, you will find lush fields and a black sand beach. This sand is absolutely incredible! Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the beach.
The way back is the way that you came. This is where it can get tough. While the distance is the same, it is now all uphill. The good news is that this makes for a killer leg workout!
Why I Loved This Hike
If the unique sand isn’t enough to convince you, the views are! The whole hike is along the edge of a cliff and the views are absolutely stunning! Once you get down into the valley, it is absolutely gorgeous. The canyons are green and the sand is black. The clouds started rolling in while we were down there, which created quite a dramatic atmosphere. It was lovely!
What You Should Know
The parking can get tricky. We lucked out and were able to get a spot in the small lot as someone was leaving, but that was all luck. Most likely, you will have to park a bit farther away and walk to the entrance on the trail.
Even though this is a “short hike to the beach”, it is a steep hike. Sandals are not adequate footwear. Trust me. You don’t want to fall and sprain your ankle as you are going down the rocks. Another thing, is that there aren’t any facilities on the trail or at the bottom of the hike. Bring plenty of water and use the restroom before you start.
This hike was a great stop along our drive around the Big Island and I would highly recommend it for all ages!