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Best overnight backpacking trip on the Big Island

Portland, OR
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Best overnight backpacking trip on the Big Island

Hey guys,

I am an experienced desert and mountain backpacker from Portland OR. I will have 2 days before my wife arrives and I am looking for an overnight backpacking trip on the Big Island. It seems really tough to find a lot of first hand information and am looking for any advice or links. I am looking at Volcanos NP or possibly something up in or near the Wiapio Valley. Also, as a day hike is it possible to hike down to Wiapio Valley and then on up to Hiilawe Falls. I have read about the difficulties of getting to base of the falls and think their may be some access issues with locals. I dont want to irritate the locals. Any and all ideas are welcome. Thanks for your time. Matt

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Hiilawe Falls
Hiilawe Falls
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Island of Hawaii, HI
Island of Hawaii...
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1. Re: Best overnight backpacking trip on the Big Island

You can hike the Z trail (Muliwai) to Waimanu Valley

travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/…tpod.html

Here's a photo blog of the journey.

Hiking IN Waipi'o Valley is all trespassing if you leave the County Road. Please don't. Hi'ilawe Falls cannot be accessed from the Valley without trespassing. The landowner (one of them) is a TA member and has posted here confirming that the hike described in Big Island Revealed is over her private property and she does not want people to do it.

You can also backpack in VNP, but recently Halape was closed due to high fire danger. Call the VNP and ask them what trails are open if you wish to hike there. It's first come first served on the day of for permits for the overnight hikes there.

Have a great time, but please don't trespass. Keep in mind that private land does not need to be posted Keep Out here.

This Na Hele Trails site shows the open and closed trails and gives very useful info.

https://hawaiitrails.ehawaii.gov/island.php…

You will note that Mauna Kea Access Trail is closed due to fire danger as of 11/1/2010 as is Ainapo. I drove by MK State Park last week, and the dryness is so extreme that there was a dust storm over the area.

We have been in a severe drought, so please take all the fire warnings seriously. There was a really bad fire up on the Saddle Road not too long ago. Started at Pohakuloa I think, but it got out of control.

The Waimanu Valley hike is probably the one to do for amazing scenery.

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Waipi'o Valley
Waipi'o Valley
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Island of Hawaii, HI
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Mauna Kea
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Island of Hawaii, HI
Denver, Colorado
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2. Re: Best overnight backpacking trip on the Big Island

Depends on what type of hike you want. Waimanu Valley better be in really good shape. Pololu Valley pretty good shape. Hikes in Volcano National Park plenty of choices but get a permit at Visitor Center first. Of course in any case make sure you leave message so people come looking for you if you don't return on time.

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3. Re: Best overnight backpacking trip on the Big Island

There's a good hiking book called Hawaii Trails by Kathy Morey. For purposes of that one big hike, though, that Na Hele Trail site is great because it's an official site and they update the status.

You said you were having trouble getting good links. If you run the search right, there's a lot of info out there. Just plug in the name of the trail or destination. One way to find travel blog write-ups from other hikers is to search with the name of the trail and search Google Images instead of Web. The images will take you to photo albums or photo blog pages of doing the trail.

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Hawaii
Hawaii
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Portland, OR
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4. Re: Best overnight backpacking trip on the Big Island

Hey guys, Thanks for taking the time to post. I requested that book from the library and will do a more extenstive internet serch based on your recs. The Z trail to Waimanu Valley looks amazing if the weather cooperates. My only concern is the distance and the outside chance that I could get delayed coming out due to bad weather and swollen streams- I have to pick my wife up on the 2nd day of the hike at 3:00pm. The distance is a bit longer than I am really wanting to do for an overnighter. Looks like a better 3 day trip so you have some time to explore the valley. I am in good shape and regularly backpack 10-15 miles in a day with 3000 to 4000ft of vertical gain, but that is not in the heat/humidity of Hawaii. Also, it sounds unlikely, but is there any way to get in touch with the owners of the land around Hiilawe falls so that I could attempt to get appropriate permission to travel on his/her property? Thanks again, Matt

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Portland, OR
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5. Re: Best overnight backpacking trip on the Big Island

Also, does anyone know of a gear shop that sales MSR brand canister fuel. I have a pocket rocket stove? I wont be albe to pack fuel on the flight

Island of Hawaii...
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6. Re: Best overnight backpacking trip on the Big Island

It does sound like Waimanu is too much for the time.

Also, I don't know about going real remote without a companion. There's very poor cell phone coverage in some areas (and Hamakua Coast is one), if you got injured by chance. Maybe you should stick to the VNP, lots of trails there, and rangers.

I PM'd the member who has family land near Hi'ilawe and alerted her to your request. I'm thinking there is Bishop Estate land that has to be traversed as well, but I'm not 100% on that.

Portland, OR
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7. Re: Best overnight backpacking trip on the Big Island

Thanks for taking the extra time to post. I agree that the Z trail seems a bit long for the time I have. Thanks for taking the time to PM the land owners, even if they say no, it is really great of you for trying to help me out. Thank you so much. So many options with soooo little time!

Portland, OR
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8. Re: Best overnight backpacking trip on the Big Island

KK,

The owner replied to my request for access to Hiilawe Falls and granted it. I am still in the planning phase, but I dont think I can pass up an opportunity to do this hike. It would not be possible without your help and I cannot thank you enough.

Matt

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Hiilawe Falls
Hiilawe Falls
34 Reviews
Island of Hawaii, HI
Island of Hawaii...
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9. Re: Best overnight backpacking trip on the Big Island

You're very welcome ... I got a PM as well. Have a great time! Thanks for starting out your request by respecting the area and the locals.

Newport News...
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10. Re: Best overnight backpacking trip on the Big Island

I am interested in hiking the Muliwai trail this summer (August). I have hiked around the public county roads in the back of Waipio Valley (did it in about 2 hours) last summer, even in the heat, though I know you definitely need a lot of water! I am in good physical shape, though I have never been backpacking overnight before. I am also wondering if my 60-year-old mother would be able to handle the trail. She's in excellent physical condition (swims, does 5K runs/walks, etc.) as well. How long should we expect to stay in Waimanu Valley? About how long do you think it would take to hike in and out?

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