Waipio Valley hike – a Friphotos series


Waipio Valley hike

Waipio Valley hike


Waipio Valley hike

Let’s talk a hike today out to the gorgeous Hamakua coasts and to this beautiful gulch called Waipio valley, an unspoiled and verdant valley where taro plants are grown and processed to make the legendary Hawaiian poi that people love or hate. The valley is huge and desolate sans wild horses and the few taro farmers that take care of the watery plots that requires their care on a daily basis.


Waipio Valley, burst of light



Getting down to the valley requires an extreme four-wheel drive down a 20 percent grade road or a quick down hill walk and then you are into another tropical world atypical of Hawaii and tourist traps. We drive up to the ocean and pass through many wild horses that are looking for some assumed treat that they are already expecting!

Waipio Valley, scenic landscape



We stop at a scenic taro farm, the tour leader’s friend is allowing us to enter the fields and take some photos. The place is gorgeous and brilliant for images of the entire gulch and studies of the taro fields and all the nature-inspired vistas. It seems like everyplace that I turn is a picture perfect moment and I’m just awestruck by all the beauty in this valley.

Waipio Valley, scenic valley view

A scenic overlook from the valley floor with a taro farm patch



Waipio Valley, taro reflections

Detail taro patch image



From the farm we start walking along the river front through some worn pathways but barely a trail. The lush jungle is punctuated with fragrant aromas of wild ginger, plumeria and other tropical aromatics.

Waipio Valley, interior road landscape



Beautiful wild flowers abound including these interesting balloon shaped Euphorbia plants, a type of succulent growing wild in the area.

Waipio Valley, kalanchoe



Gorgeous views in the distance of the largest free-falling waterfall on the island called Hi’ilawe, it seems so far away to hike to from here.

Waipio Valley, waterfall view



More peek-a-boo views of the valley floor with beautiful tropical booms from these red Heliconia plants.

Waipio Valley, scenic valley view



We make it to one of the smaller tributary waterfalls and take a break, the jungle is a deep green patina and it seems to get darker in the early afternoon light.
Waipio Valley waterfall landscape


I look up at the lush tree canopies overhead and see a really interesting composition like green coral looking up.

Waipio Valley tree line


From this point, it doesn’t seem like we will be able to reach the main Hi’ilawe waterfall before dusk and decide to hike back to our cars for the slow drive uphill from the valley. One last look at the entire valley from the top – it’s just magnificent – so majestic and spiritual. I’m so glad we were able to visit today even though we were not able to make it to the falls. A return visit is more like to follow and this time we will have an earlier start.

Waipio Valley, upper valley view


Thanks for joining us on our hike today, if you would like to view more images from the trip. please visit my Flickr site and I hope you enjoy them.
If you like this post, please consider subscribing to the blog via RSS feed or by email  below – also ‘like’ my Facebook page on the sidebar, I show more images, tips and inspiration on my Facebook page, come and visit!




11 Responses to Waipio Valley hike – a Friphotos series

  1. Dudley Danielson July 6, 2013 at 11:56 am #

    I lived in Hawaii for 3 years in the mid sixties and thru your words and photos I was captivated and taken back to that precious time of my life. Thank you for using your gifts to touch my memories and bring them fully alive once again. Blessings

    • Noel July 6, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

      Aloha Dudley,
      Thanks so much for the message, that meant a lot, mahalo! Noel

  2. foodiesleuth July 5, 2013 at 8:09 am #

    Absolutely gorgeous, Noel… I tried to subscribe to your post feeds and got this message in return “The feed does not have subscriptions by email enabled” 🙁

    • Noel July 5, 2013 at 8:12 am #

      thanks Sonia, i’ll look into that today, in Kona still

  3. fotoeins July 5, 2013 at 7:46 am #

    I regret not having made a (very) early start so I could explore Waipio valley further. Hey, how about that hike up that cliff on the other side of Waipio? That looks steep rugged!

    • Noel July 5, 2013 at 7:57 am #

      Yes there are further trails going up and into the next valleys, but that is pretty hard-core. Will be doing that someday when I have more time to visit this neck of the woods.

  4. Donna Hull July 5, 2013 at 6:51 am #

    I experienced the Waipi’o Valley by horseback. It’s such a beautiful, step back in time. Your photos really captured the valley’s beauty.

    • Noel July 5, 2013 at 7:56 am #

      Donna, that’s a great way to explore the valley, I’m sure it was a treat doing it on horseback!


  1. A visit to Polulu Valley in Hawaii, Travel Photo Mondays #31 | Travel Photo DiscoveryTravel Photo Discovery - February 9, 2014

    […] home to many of the ancient peoples of Hawaii and taro farming. I wrote an earlier post about Waipio here, take a look it’s just as stunning a place to visit as Polulu […]

  2. A beautiful hike into Waipio in Hawaii. | emorata's Blog - July 10, 2013

    […] continue story – http://travelphotodiscovery.com/waipio-valley-hike-a-friphotos-series/ […]

  3. Hawaii Island, top places to visit on the east sideTravel Photo Discovery - July 10, 2013

    […] hike to scenic Waipio Valley and some of the gorgeous areas to visit in the valley floor, come and take a look at this post if you haven’t done so […]

I look forward to hearing from you and continuing our discussion with any comment you would like to add

%d bloggers like this: