Backpacking on the Big Island (Waimanu Valley)

Trip Start Dec 31, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Waimanu Valley Campsite

Flag of United States  , Hawaii
Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Meg and i successfully hiked the Waimanu Trail on 3/21 to 3/24. Hiking Waimanu is probably one of the most beautiful hikes i've ever done, plus the most difficult. This hike is loaded with intense ascends & descends thru seven valleys. The valleys had much scenery to view including: lush rain forests, streams, waterfalls, ocean views & much more. The trail starts in Waipio valley and ends at a prestine beach campsite in Waimanu valley. We hiked for 7 grueling hours with all our supplies for a 3-night stay. I'm going to admit....i was spent once we arrived to the Waimanu valley. And to make matters worse, the stream at the destination was raging and the tide was in. We managed to keep our gear dry and not be swept down into the ocean.

Next couple of days were spent relaxing (plus recovering) on the beach's camp. Since it's the windward side of Hawaii, swimiming on the Waimanu beach during this time of the year didn't seem like a good idea (surf was pumping). But we did manage to hike into one of the many waterfalls. The weather was not perfect but okay. Windy during the day and blew much more at night with some rain. Starting a fire each day was a challenge, but my BoyScout skills paid off. And i didn't even have a leader's match, dad!

Tuesday (3/24) was the journey back to civilization. We woke that morning to find the valley's stream be to at it's highest level. The stream was impossible to across just by wading thru the water. A fellow hiker and i strung a large hemp rope that was coiled on the stream's banks. This enabled us and the other hikers to forge the stream and begin the hike back. The hike started with an 1600 ft ascent in the first mile. That was definitely the most grueling portion on the way back. We cruised thru the trail with a time under 6 hours due to our packs being much lighter. A celebration beer was to be had on the front lawn of the local post office.
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Travel on

We are doing the hike in May. How did you get from the airport to the trailhead?

Jason on

it's a long distance from Hilo...need a car

A Shinkle on

Is there a secure spot to leave it at the trailhead? I lived on Oahu for a while and theft is an almost sure thing for overnight there.

Patel on


This is informative blog. Since We have booked out camping trip in May I have few questions that you can help me to figure out: Where did you leave car? Is there cab service that we can take?
Also, Did you take water filter with you or there was drinkable water ?

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