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Big Island

Backpacking Waimanu Valley on the Big Island

After the 9 mile, vigorous hike along the Muliwai Trail from Waipio Valley, I woke up to this amazing sunrise from, in my opinion, one of the most remote, beautiful places in the world! It was well worth the hike.

Breathtaking sunrise from Waimanu Valley on the Hamakua Coast of the Big Island

Waimanu History

Waimanu is a smaller version of Waipio Valley just without all the houses, people, and tourists. It’s the number one backpacking destination on the Big Island. Waimanu is also rich in Hawaiian history. It was home to a large population of Hawaiians, who lived off the land by fishing, hunting, and farming. They thrived in the valley until a tsunami struck in 1949.

Beautiful Ironwood and Lauhala trees line the campsites

Visiting Waimanu Valley – Rugged, Remote, and Amazing!

Today, Waimanu valley is a protected estuary. ‘Waimanu‘ translates to ‘bird water.’ The valley has 9 campsites along the black sand beach. Permits for camping in Waimanu can be obtained. 

Waimanu is the ultimate playground for all of us who refuse to grow up. Once in the valley the exploring is endless and so is the relaxing. Watch the many species of native birds or hike back to Wai’ilikahi waterfall, a spectacular sight to see.

Wai’ilikahi Falls in Waimanu Valley

If you find yourself on the Big Island, and are up for an adventure, I strongly recommend Waimanu valley. Not to worry, if Waimanu is too much adventure, the Hamakua coast has so much to offer in lush rainforest, waterfalls, scenic drives, and unique properties.

Unique Big Island Oceanfront Property

Not far South from the trail head you will find this rare oceanfront property. A custom 3bed/4bath home with over 4,400 sq.ft. of living area on 4 acres of land (MLS# 253955). Come live your Hawaii Life.

View of the back of Waimanu Valley and its many waterfalls 

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Beth Thoma Robinson, R(B)

October 10, 2012

Lovely photos, Jene. I’m thinking next time I should hike in from Pololu side and meet you there!

Beth Thoma Robinson, R(B)

October 10, 2012

Lovely photos, Jene. I’m thinking next time I should hike in from Pololu side and meet you there!

Todd Barrett, R(S)

October 10, 2012

Jene’, you contantly surprise and inspire me to get off my “duff” and explore this amazing paradise! I’ve spent too much time at sea, it’s time to be a landlubber for a while!

Todd Barrett, R(S)

October 10, 2012

Jene’, you contantly surprise and inspire me to get off my “duff” and explore this amazing paradise! I’ve spent too much time at sea, it’s time to be a landlubber for a while!

Catherine Klug, R(S)

October 11, 2012

Jene, you should post your blog on TripAdvisor’s Island of Hawaii travel forum… way to go, girlfriend!

Catherine Klug, R(S)

October 11, 2012

Jene, you should post your blog on TripAdvisor’s Island of Hawaii travel forum… way to go, girlfriend!

Kellen Ponce

October 11, 2012

Aloha from Kauai Jene, this hike is one that has always been on my “bucket list”. Thanks for the post.

Kellen Ponce

October 11, 2012

Aloha from Kauai Jene, this hike is one that has always been on my “bucket list”. Thanks for the post.

Kathy Awai, R(S)

October 11, 2012

There are many spirits that live in those valleys. Probably one of most beautiful places on earth; a very spiritual place.

Kathy Awai, R(S)

October 11, 2012

There are many spirits that live in those valleys. Probably one of most beautiful places on earth; a very spiritual place.

Jene' Green

October 12, 2012

Thanks, Beth! Its not hard to take good pictures of such an incredibly beautiful place. @Todd Yes, this Island is so amazing and diverse with soooo many awesome things to see and places to explore!

Jene' Green

October 12, 2012

Thanks, Beth! Its not hard to take good pictures of such an incredibly beautiful place. @Todd Yes, this Island is so amazing and diverse with soooo many awesome things to see and places to explore!

Jene' Green

October 12, 2012

Thanks, Catherine! I’ll look into that! @Kellen Aloha from the Big Isle! You have to come over and do this hike! This hike is NO joke! You definitely have to be in shape and whatever you need you have to bring it in on your back, so you have to be conditioned! but I love that I was finally able to make it to this Valley!!! Let me know if you decide to mark this one off your bucketlist anytime soon! 😉

Jene' Green

October 12, 2012

Thanks, Catherine! I’ll look into that! @Kellen Aloha from the Big Isle! You have to come over and do this hike! This hike is NO joke! You definitely have to be in shape and whatever you need you have to bring it in on your back, so you have to be conditioned! but I love that I was finally able to make it to this Valley!!! Let me know if you decide to mark this one off your bucketlist anytime soon! 😉

Jene' Green

October 12, 2012

Aloha Kathy~ You’re sooo right about this valley being a very spiritual place and definitely one of the most amazingly gorgeous places on Earth, in my opinion… the way the sun rises out of the ocean and sets behind the Valley walls is breathtaking… also, if you look at the first picture you will see a patch of Lauhala trees growing on the side of the pali (cliff) and to me it looks just like a caterpillar crawling down the pali going for a drink of water! lol I love this place…

Jene' Green

October 12, 2012

Aloha Kathy~ You’re sooo right about this valley being a very spiritual place and definitely one of the most amazingly gorgeous places on Earth, in my opinion… the way the sun rises out of the ocean and sets behind the Valley walls is breathtaking… also, if you look at the first picture you will see a patch of Lauhala trees growing on the side of the pali (cliff) and to me it looks just like a caterpillar crawling down the pali going for a drink of water! lol I love this place…

Julie Keller

October 12, 2012

I love the way you live your Hawaii Life Jene. You inspire in so many ways. It’s been way too long since I’ve hiked into Waimanu, I’m coming with you next time! The valleys here on the Big Island are MAGIC. Lucky we live here.

Julie Keller

October 12, 2012

I love the way you live your Hawaii Life Jene. You inspire in so many ways. It’s been way too long since I’ve hiked into Waimanu, I’m coming with you next time! The valleys here on the Big Island are MAGIC. Lucky we live here.

Greg Bachman

March 3, 2015

Has anyone hiked into Waimanu Valley from Pololu Valley? After the 2006 earthquake, does anyone know if this is possible (even using ropes)?

Greg Bachman

March 3, 2015

Has anyone hiked into Waimanu Valley from Pololu Valley? After the 2006 earthquake, does anyone know if this is possible (even using ropes)?

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