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What travelers are saying
- This is one of those "You have to do this" experiences on the Big Island. We rented a Jeep from a local company because many of the major rental companies have fine print in their rental agreements which prohibit you from bringing their vehicles up here.
You are advised to spent at least an hour at the Visitor Centre to acclimatize to the elevation before you begin the final ascent. Before you start up you are questioned by a Park Ranger. I've crossed international borders that involved less questioning. He made me show him that I knew how to engage the low-range four-wheel drive of the vehicle, confirmed our fuel level was sufficient, made me demonstrate I knew how to manually select gears on our automatic transmission, asked if we had anyone under the age of 16 in the vehicle, did we have any pets with us, any heart or medical conditions, etc. Once assured we were good to go we were sent on our way. with strict instructions to keep the Jeep in low-range 4WD the entire time, even on the paved sections. We were also told we could use Drive on the way up but to manually select 2nd gear for the trip down to minimize the use of our brakes.
The road up is not really as dangerous as it is made out to be. We were expecting it to be much narrower but after seeing a full size semi-truck hauling telescope parts up, we knew it couldn't be that bad. The first and last section of it is paved, which really caused a lot of tire scrubbing being in 4-Low. It is steep and has a number of sharp corners but it is plenty wide enough for two vehicles to pass each other.
At the top we enjoyed the views. Be sure to read the sign and do NOT attempt to hike to the true summit, despite the well-defined pathway leading up there. It is a sacred spot for the Hawaiian people. We got quite a lesson from a Park Ranger about that one. Dress for cooler weather, that's for sure.
The drive down in 4-Low and 2nd gear really allows the engine to handle the braking. We didn't need to use the brakes once. At the visitor center you will the rangers will check the temperature of the brakes to make sure you are safe to continue down the hill to the highway. They advised me to continue to use 4WD for the descent, but I did not as I know operating in 4WD on hard / non-slippery surfaces are murder on your drivetrain. By not using the accelerator and not riding the brakes we had no problem getting back to the main road safely.Written November 30, 2022This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- Absolutely beautiful place to visit! I could’ve spent the entire day. The trail down to the valley is steep but definitely worth the effort! The valley has a beautiful beach and a wooded area that is stunning & looks like something out of Jurassic Park.Written December 2, 2022This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- Beautiful falls!! Easy hike. Totally worth it. You can actually see 4 falls. Steps are easy and you can go two ways.Written December 1, 2022This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
- We flew over the Waipi'o Valley in a helicopter tour and it was lush and beautiful with a gorgeous coast. We also visited the lookout which provides absolutely gorgeous views.Written November 17, 2022
- I have visited Kilauea a number of times and am always impressed. Whether red lava flows or just smoke, the visual impact the volcano has had is staggering. Everyone should Kilauea at least once. Nature is fascinating.Written November 17, 2022
- In planning our cruise to the Hawaiian islands, we discovered the Dolphin Quest in Waikoloa, Kona. It is much more than swimming with the dolphins. The Hilton Waikoloa has 3 lagoons where dolphins are trained, behavior is studied and you get into the water right with the dolphins. The trainers are personable, friendly and above all knowledgeable. No dolphin is made to do anything they do not want to do. Their training is all positive reinforcement (food) and if a dolphin doesn’t want to do a particular “trick”, they don’t have to. My kids and grand kids had the most wonderful time during their 45 minutes in the water. Additionally in the other lagoons they swim around occasionally doing jumps etc on their own. A great time and we’ll worth the price.Written December 3, 2022
- Nice beach! Water was great for snorkeling. We arrived at the parking lot at 7:45am to make sure we got a spot. Stayed on the beach from 8am till 2:00pm. Got windy after 1:00, easy walk to the hotel for a cocktail or lunch and a clean bathroom. Tell the parking person you’re going to the beach for free parking.Written October 30, 2022
- Definitely go after dark to see the lava flow and take a flashlight for the short walk to the area. Visit the black sand beach close by while you are in the area.Written December 3, 2022
- So many interesting things to see. We went to where the road ended going towards Kilauea where we had a fantastic view of the red hot lava. Taking the road down to the ocean we saw old deep creators and watched the waves crash against the rock bluff.Written November 29, 2022
- We loved it a lot here.
We arrived early so the beach was not crowded at all.
Do not miss out on this beach togeter with its goregous view and beatufill blue water.Written November 19, 2022
- A must see as we had never seen a black sand beach. Not really a swimming beach due to current, but very pretty.Written October 13, 2022
- Go early!
Bring your snorkel and enjoy the beach
There are lifeguards there and showers plus toilets.
The water is warm and the sand is softWritten November 1, 2022
- Came here to visit on our trip through the Big Island.
Stayed the full day and had a great time.
The beach is great and it was not that busy at all.
Coming early gives you the best spot.
Do not forget to pay for your parking ticket.
We loved the beach and will come back!Written November 19, 2022
- If you are staying in Hilo or even passing through stopping here is a no brainer - super easy drive off the main road on perfectly paved road leading you to a big free parking lot where you just walk couple steps away to enjoy the falls - they aren't super spectacular but for the ease of getting here and the fact this is a free visit I think it's a great little stop
TIP: there are even restrooms hereWritten November 23, 2022
- We so enjoyed our evening here. Dinner, talks with the staff, activities for kids like branding pieces of wood and lots more. It is a beautiful setting and we learned a great deal about ranching in Hawaii.Written November 17, 2022