On the north-western side of Hawaii Island are the monumental cliffs and valleys facing out to the rugged and rough Pacific Ocean. The first canyon is a large gulch called Pololu Valley, which in Hawaiian is translated into long spear. The canyon is a deep and large valley which divides the Kohala mountains and the Polulu stream which runs through the middle of the valley floor. One of the most stunning black sand beaches of the Big Island, Polulu Valley is worth the drive and hike down to the black sandy beach below.


A gorgeous visit to Polulu Valley on the west side of Hawaii

The string of gulches on the Hamakua and Kohala side of the island starts at Polulu and ends up in Waipio valley on the other side of the island. You can hike to two of the valleys at Polulu provided that you stay on the trails and not wander through the mostly land that is private property in the gulch area outside of the beach areas. The beautiful gulches of the Hamakua are just as stunning as the Napali coastline and exploring the coast on a Kauai itinerary but this is the string of gulches that starts at Polulu and ends at the Waipio Valley in West Hawaii Island.


A visit to Polulu Valley in Hawaii, Travel Photo Mondays #31

Upper rim of Polulu Valley


A visit to Polulu Valley in Hawaii, Travel Photo Mondays #31

Vista point at Pololu Valley




There is a panoramic hike that you can take from the top rim downhill to the base and it takes about 30 minutes on dirt and rocky trails. The trail is relatively easy to hike through except for a few sections where it is steep with rocky passages that you need to slow down and pay attention to your stride. Going back uphill does take a little more effort, but take your time and enjoy the views looking back into the valley and before you know it, you’ll be up on top of the bluff in no time.


A visit to Polulu Valley in Hawaii

Black sand beach at Pololu






A visit to Polulu Valley in Hawaii, Travel Photo Mondays #31

A view of the entire valley floor at Pololu


A large crescent-shaped black sand beach below extends from each sides of the deep canyon walls and welcomes the hiker when reaching the bottom.  In calm weather, you can actually swim in the cool ocean water and surf. But, most of the time, the surf and rip tides are very treacherous so you have to exercise caution when you want to take a swim there.


A visit to Polulu Valley in Hawaii

Rock sculptures at Pololu





A visit to Polulu Valley in Hawaii

Rocky and black sand beach



In the past, the canyon was used primarily by the ancient Hawaiian people to grow kalo or taro as one of their primary food staples of that timeframe. There are still some small farms and areas in the interior by the stream where taro is still grow.


A visit to Polulu Valley in Hawaii

Time to goof off on the swings

Rope swings in the valley floor



A visit to Polulu Valley in Hawaii

Playing on a swing


Walking along the Pololu stream bed through the green pine forests, a clearing opens into a small pond with panoramic views of the emerald colored hills against these dark and angry sky – a perfect photo moment to capture.  Later my friends played with all the swings and acrobatic balance beams for tourist to amused themselves and challenge their balancing acts.


Check out these other Hawaii island places to visit

Top hikes to do around the Big Island

Waterfalls of the Big Island

Free or cheap things to do on the BIg Island

A visit to Waimea town

Church Row at Waimea town



A visit to Polulu Valley in Hawaii

The Polulu stream and valley


Conclusion to visiting Polulu Valley on the Big Island

On the other end of the gulches is the famous Waipio Valley, 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 Pololu valley.

Thanks for joining us today for this hike down to the Pololu Valley and the black sand beach, hope you enjoyed the tour. Following are some more travels from bloggers around the world, click on any of the links below to get access to the post. If you enjoyed this post, please do share it with any of the social media buttons below.

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