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5 Top Big Island Hawaii Hikes

5 top-big-island-hawaii-hikes

Hawaii for Hiking Fanatics: 5 Top Big Island Hikes

If you’re taking a Hawaii vacation to the Big Island, you’re probably itching to explore some of the picturesque shorelines and volcanos.

And one of the best ways to explore every nook and cranny of the island is by taking one of the 5 top Big Island Hawaii hikes. You can find trails that will take you near volcanos, on beaches, over mountains, and through valleys.

Here are 5 top hikes you must take on your next Hawaii vacation:

1. Honomalino

This hike, which is just over a mile and a half, is a great way to start your exploration of Hawaii’s unique natural landscape by visiting the Big Island’s black sand beaches.

Black sand beaches are some of Hawaii’s most fascinating features, and this short hike gives you a chance to see them up close and personal. These beaches are black because the sand is actually ground down lava, from the volcanos that formed the island.

Technically speaking, Honomalino is a “salt and pepper” beach. In other words, it is a mixture of black and white sand. The only way to reach this beach is by taking this easy hike through the rainforest and across a lava flow.

2. Papakolea Beach

If black sand isn’t exciting enough for you, then you may want to explore a green sand beach instead.

A mineral called olivine is responsible for the sand’s green color, and Papakolea Beach is one of only two green sand beaches in the world.

The hike itself is only two and a half miles long, and when you finish, you’ll technically be at the southernmost tip of the United States.

3. Pololū Valley

This hike takes you to the Pololū Valley beach, a beautiful beach composed of polished lava rocks.

Many people end their hikes here, but if you follow the trail located at the end of the beach you will eventually be led to a lookout point. The viewpoint offers expansive views of beaches and the valley itself.

If you are a climber, then you will be able to access the valley floor. But take care – this should only be attempted by those with experience.

4. Kilauea’iki Trail

If you have time for only one hike, this should be it.

This 4-mile round trip takes you down into the crater of Kilauea’iki, across solidified lava, and past steaming crater vents. You’ll also be able to find crystallized olivine minerals in between the cinders, the same mineral that keeps Papakolea Beach green.

This hike is best attempted in the early morning to avoid crowds and the daytime heat.

5. Waipi’o Valley

One of the most difficult hikes is also one of the most beautiful.

This hike is six and a half miles round trip, but it is well worth it. You’ll be taken into a lush tropical valley that offers waterfalls, a black sand beach that’s popular with surfers, and perhaps even wild horses.

Make sure to bring plenty of supplies with you on this fairytale hike, including trash bags.

Are you ready to see the natural beauty that Hawaii’s Big Island has in store?

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