Backpacking in Hawaii
Although Hawaii gets its stereotypes for being the best place for a kind of “relaxing” vacation, there is plenty of adventure to be had! Hawaii is made up of eight islands, Nihau, Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe, and the Big Island of Hawaii. On each island there are beautiful beaches, delicious fruits to try, and one of a kind attractions.
The Big Island of Hawaii is filled with luscious mountains, unique beaches, and waterfalls that spout over cliffs of heights over 1,000 feet tall. A very popular spot to view these wonders is from the Waipio Valley. The Waipio valley has a beach with a drive up access and an outstanding look out. At this beach you will be surrounded by soaring mountains and the most beautiful views. If you feel up to it, you can hike to the back of this valley and find a waterfall called the Hi’ilawe Falls.
Another great hike starts from the Waipio valley and goes into the Waimanu Valley. This trail is a bit more tricky, going up and down switch backs, and through smaller valleys. This trail is rated to be intermediate to advanced. Getting to the Waimanu Valley you trek through a very lush jungle that is about eight-miles long, with a 3,650+ elevation gain. Preparing your pack, bring lots of rain gear you are in the rainforest! And don’t forget extra food in case you do get flooded in or take a few extra days getting in or out. This hike has many rivers and waterfalls that you will pass and need cross over. These valleys are known for flash floods so please follow the weather before starting your hike. It is highly recommended that you have some sort of rain cover for your sleeping arrangements and wear rainproof boots.
Once getting back to the Waimanu Valley you’ll come across some of the most breathtaking views, something you’d imagine from the dinosaur age. These lavish mountains will surround you with their beautiful waterfalls. This valley is quite remote with only a few other campers. Campsites do require a permit to camp at. From within this valley you can see over six or more waterfalls, depending on the amount of recent rainfall. The very two waterfalls from the right are great day hikes. Following the pink and orange markers in the woods you can find waterfalls that sky over a thousand feet tall, takes about 45 minutes to get to. Growing from the trees you can find all sorts of growing fruits like avocados, mangos, and my personal favorite, guava.
These eight islands are full of miraculous wonders, filled with some of the most ancient land. These islands were formed by volcanoes with Mauna Loa still active making the Big Island still growing. Mauna Loa stands at about 56,000 feet above the depressed sea level. Easiest way to view this mountain is from Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park. At this Volcano there are hikes rated easy to expert, while hiking you can even witness moving lava fields. Another famous hike that I would love to do is on Kauai, this trail is called the Na Pali Coast.
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