Find Eden in Waipi‘o Val­ley

101 Things to Do (Big Island) - - TOURING -

Lo­cated north of Honoka‘a on the Ha­makua Coast, Waipi‘o Val­ley is the largest and south­ern­most of the seven val­leys on the wind­ward side of the Ko­hala Moun­tains. Mea­sur­ing one mile wide at the coast and al­most six miles deep, the Eden-like val­ley is shel­tered by cliffs reach­ing al­most 2,000 feet. Wa­ter­falls and flow­ers cas­cade from the walls of the cliffs, and a stun­ning black­sand beach de­fines the coastal area.

Waipi‘o is known as the “Val­ley of the Kings” be­cause it was once home to many an­cient Hawai­ian rulers and is said to be the place where King Kame­hameha the Great re­ceived his train­ing.

An­cient burial caves are lo­cated within the walls of the cliffs, and the val­ley in­spired many myths, chants and songs.

Reach­ing Waipi‘o is dif­fi­cult. Ac­cess is lim­ited to four­wheel-drive ve­hi­cles; most car ren­tal com­pa­nies pro­hibit use of their ve­hi­cles on the steep road. Or you can get there in a mule-drawn wagon with a com­pany called Waipi‘o Val­ley Wagon Tour. This nar­rated tour wan­ders past wa­ter­falls, taro patches and herds of wild horses. It de­parts from the Nep­tune Gar­dens/Last Chance store off High­way 240.

The most con­ve­nient and ac­ces­si­ble view of the val­ley is from the scenic point at the end of Route 40, about 10 miles out­side of Honoka‘a. Take an ATV tour with a com­pany called Ride the Rim, hike the rim with Hawai‘i For­est & Trail, or see the splen­dor of the val­ley from horse­back.

• Na‘alapa Sta­bles Waipi‘o (808) 775-0419 • Waipi‘o Ridge Sta­bles (808) 775-1007 • Waipi‘o Val­ley Shut­tle (808) 775-7121 • Waipi‘o Ride the Rim (808) 775-1450 or (877) 775-1450 • Hawai‘i For­est & Trail (808) 331-8505

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