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Ride the Rim at Waipi'o Valley on the Big Island

Waipio Valley from Ride-the-Rim lookout

Last weekend was my husband’s birthday. Since moving to Hawaii, we have opted to eliminate as much ‘stuff’ in our lives as possible. Our motto is ‘keep it simple.’ So, our birthday gifts are now activities and dinners—not possessions that clutter our lives.

This year, my present to my hubby was an ATV adventure tour on the rim of Waipi’o Valley. I had never been on an ATV before, so I was a little anxious, but not to worry—this trip was so much fun that we are now talking about when we will do it again!

We got lucky with an especially clear and sunny day on the Hamakua coast on the Big Island. Our guides joked that we brought the good sunny weather from Kona with us. Whatever the reason, it was a perfect day—not too hot, not too cold for our first ever ATV adventure. Besides enjoying the amazing view into the valley, we could see the top of Haleakala on Maui peaking out above the clouds.

Our guides were all local boys on the Ride-The-Rim Waipi’o Valley tour. They instructed us on the operation of our vehicles with ease. Everyone was well informed and safe. A couple laps around their practice track and we were off!

Swimming hole of the Kings in Waipio Valley Rim

The land on the rim where we traveled is owned by the Bishop Estate. One of the stops we made was this swimming hole that was a favorite of King Kamehameha. In fact, our guides tell us that back in the day, this pool was reserved exclusively for Royalty.

It was considered the Hawaiian Fountain of Youth. Any non-royalty caught swimming here would be punished. We were glad that times have changed—even in Hawaii!

Private Waterfall on Waipio Valley Rim

Recent rains in the area provided us with many mud puddles to splash through. It was funny turning around to see the smile on my hubby’s face—he would slow down to increase the spacing between us, so he could go at the mud puddles full-speed—’little’ boys and their mud puddles—aren’t they grand!? Yes, we were forewarned not to wear our Sunday best clothe—anything you wear will get dirty.

Hi’ilawe Falls Lookout

The last stop on our tour was the overlook of Hi’ilawe Falls—one of the tallest waterfalls in Hawaii. Scenes from Jurassic Park were filmed here. Looking down into the valley from this spot, we could see taro plots of farmland below.

This valley is so remote, but so fertile that folks living in the valley truly do live off the land, raising all the food they need for themselves. One of our guides lived in the valley as a youth and his parents still live there—it was interesting to hear his stories of sustainable living in the valley.

I love my Hawaii life! Check out this ATV tour of the Waipi’o Valley Rim on your next visit to the Big Island. Read more about the Ride-the-Rim Tour. Why wait?

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Tara Kelly

April 7, 2011

Martha, I have done this tour and it was awesome!! Amazing views and swimming in the waterfall with your sweetheart isn’t too bad either. I can’t wait to do it again. Have you done the horseback tour? That’s a blast too…

Tara Kelly

April 7, 2011

Martha, I have done this tour and it was awesome!! Amazing views and swimming in the waterfall with your sweetheart isn’t too bad either. I can’t wait to do it again. Have you done the horseback tour? That’s a blast too…

Martha Tumbleson, R(S)

April 7, 2011

@Tara. We’ll have to try the horseback tour next time. Good to know it’s a blast, too! Thanks for the tip.

Martha Tumbleson, R(S)

April 7, 2011

@Tara. We’ll have to try the horseback tour next time. Good to know it’s a blast, too! Thanks for the tip.

Karen

February 10, 2012

Hi Katie,

Years ago my family rented a small home on the edge of the valley, it was enchanting. One day we rented horses and explored the valley. It was enchanting, a true Hawaian adventure….

Karen

February 10, 2012

Hi Katie,

Years ago my family rented a small home on the edge of the valley, it was enchanting. One day we rented horses and explored the valley. It was enchanting, a true Hawaian adventure….

mj

September 1, 2014

Today we hiked into this area. We were met by the owner of the ATV company by the name of Bruce. He started out angrily with us that we were trespassing and on private land. And then of course the truth comes out. He pays Bishop Estates big bucks to take his ATV business onto that beautiful land. Sorry, I believe that this ATV riding on these properties should be banned. You want to see the beauty of the land? HIKE!!….You want to ATV…go on an obstacle course into big mud puddles if you like that…. It really is pollution to this lovely land and very wearing on the properties as well. Day hikes with conscious people wanting to partake of the beauty without having to bring their MAN vehicles in that make a bunch of noise and drip oil etc…along the way polluting this beautiful space.
In the end what I hear is “anything for the big bucks” seriously folks. In a few years when it’s all contaminated you will wish you had taken better care of these sacred and most wonderful spaces. The conversation ended on a kinder note where we were told we could hike in but could we do it after 4.00 pm or if we were to be there earlier could we hide if heard ATV’s coming…WOW

mj

September 1, 2014

Today we hiked into this area. We were met by the owner of the ATV company by the name of Bruce. He started out angrily with us that we were trespassing and on private land. And then of course the truth comes out. He pays Bishop Estates big bucks to take his ATV business onto that beautiful land. Sorry, I believe that this ATV riding on these properties should be banned. You want to see the beauty of the land? HIKE!!….You want to ATV…go on an obstacle course into big mud puddles if you like that…. It really is pollution to this lovely land and very wearing on the properties as well. Day hikes with conscious people wanting to partake of the beauty without having to bring their MAN vehicles in that make a bunch of noise and drip oil etc…along the way polluting this beautiful space.
In the end what I hear is “anything for the big bucks” seriously folks. In a few years when it’s all contaminated you will wish you had taken better care of these sacred and most wonderful spaces. The conversation ended on a kinder note where we were told we could hike in but could we do it after 4.00 pm or if we were to be there earlier could we hide if heard ATV’s coming…WOW

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