Pololu valley is breath taking. I wish this would of been one of the first places we went to which would of given us more time to explore. Pololu has very lush vegitation, high mountains sides, views of the ocean cliffs, pond and a black sand beach. Getting here is easy driving wise however when you get to the look out in order to get down to the valley you have to hike down and back up and this is no joke. Its fairly steep however walking down is much easier then going up. I did it and I am not in the best of shape. The best part about going up is the scenary is very beautiful so if you need a break you can act like your looking at the view haha. I did not feel to bad. There was others who looked like they were more in shape and they were huffing and puffing. It is well worth going down the trail, as it looks much better from down below.
We stumbled upon this lookout point, to find that there is a trail you can hike down from the lookout point to the beach. Not too rough, but definitely bring the gym shoes and bottle of water!
I took some AMAZING photos on the hike down, so if you are looking for something a little more vigorous than driving around or lying on the beach, I recommend checking it out!
Pololu Valley as almost as far north as you can go on the Big Island and gets you as close as you can get to the west end of the rugged coastline. At the end of the road past Kapa'au is a stunning viewpoint but for better looks, you should wander down the trail towards the beach. There, youy'll see further down the coast towards islands and inlets that present a primeval scene.
If you have the energy and time, I recommend continuing the hike down to the valley bottom, crossing the blacksand beach and following the trail up the other side. You'll crest the cliff and meander along a nearly level area until you get a view into the next valley and see another black sand beach below. Before the October 2006 earthquake, you could hike to the beavh, but a landslide closed the trail and it hadn't been reopened upon my January 2008 visit.
If you're luckier than me, you'll get sunny clear weather. But even with overcast skies, the views were spectacular even if the photos aren't.
SR 270 curves over and around the northern tip of the Big Island. The end of the road is a beautiful "dead end" overlooking the expanse of the Pololu Valley. It's a dramatic vista, quite tropical; and for me the contrast of this lush forest with the barren Kohala Coast was absolutely stunning.
There are great views all around the Big Island but this is one of the most beautiful. It's off of hwy 227 on a narrow road. Pololu means "long spear" but I didn't learn why it was named this. There is a old Japanese cemetary on the way that is interesting. When you reach the overlook, you are up on tall cliffs overlooking the ocean with 2 scenic rocks out in the ocean. There is a steep hike down into the valley where there is a black sand beach. Black sand is formed when hot black lava called 'a'a hits the cold ocean water. This makes it burst open into tiny black granules that are broken down even further by wave action. While here we saw a Peregrine Falcon and Hawaiian Hawk. They flew over us and gave us great views. I think they were using the currents and updrafts from the cliffs here. While hiking here, we saw a mule trip come by so that is another option to seeing this area. We also saw 2 Indian Mongoose run across the road where we were parked. They are a problem on the islands because they eat native birds but I must admit they are "cute". Common Mynas (another non-native bird) were here on the backs of some cows. They are also bad news for native birds. Many non-native birds and animals have replaced the natives on Hawaii.
on the way back from the lookout, keep an eye out for this little church, it's quaint and small and if you blink you will miss it. when going to the vally the church will be on your right. if you are comeing from the valley it will be on your left. it's about 5 miles south of the lookout. good luck.
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Pololu Valley Lookout
The morning is the best time to visit this picturesque perch overlooking a stretch of sea cliffs. Pololu valley is located at the end of Highway 270 in North Kohala. On your drive up Highway 270, be sure to stop for a look-see in the quaint town of Hawi. The highway ends at the picturesque lookout for this valley. At the top you can look down on Pololu valley and a beautiful black sand beach. If you are in for a day of adventure you can hike down into the valley on a long zigzagging dirt path. The valley is fed by a meandering stream. Once in the valley you can look back at the spectacular views and possibly see some waterfalls. We recommend you take the 25 minute hike to the bottom of the valley and check out the wonderful scenery and black sand beach. Bring a picnic to enjoy at the bottom of the valley. Wear comfortable shoes and don't forget your camera!
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A beautiful, relaxing drive takes you to the Pololu Valley Lookout, and incredible views. Enjoy the scenery from the roadside (like I did), or take the strenuous hike. Be prepared for some very steep steps to the black sand beach below. The books all say it's worth the hike - you decide!
The Pololu Valley Lookout is found at the end of Hwy 270. There is an excellent view of the rugged Kohala Mountains and along the coastline... Better in nicer weather of course.