ALOHA!

 

With this one day Big Island itinerary, you’ll get to be surrounded by nature and the outdoors!

It’s a Big Island valley day!

You can see grand ocean views…

You can see beaches…

And of course you can see valleys and mountain views!

And, you’ll even get scenic drives on your way there!

 

One day Big Island valley driving itinerary. waipio valley to pololu valley. day trip from kona. day trip from hilo. hawaii travel blog

One day Big Island valley driving itinerary. waipio valley to pololu valley. day trip from kona. day trip from hilo. hawaii travel blog

One day Big Island valley driving itinerary. driving to waipio valley. day trip from kona. day trip from hilo. hawaii travel blog

One day Big Island valley driving itinerary. driving to pololu valley. day trip from kona. day trip from hilo. hawaii travel blog

 

 

The top 2 coastal valleys on the Big Island

 

1. Waipio Valley

Best valleys in Hawaii: Driving to Waipio Valley. One day Big Island Hawaii valley itinerary. hawaii travel blog

Best valleys in Hawaii: Getting to see Waipio Valley coast, ocean. One day Big Island Hawaii valley itinerary. coastal valley. hawaii travel blog

Best valleys in Hawaii: Getting to see Waipio Valley mountains. One day Big Island Hawaii valley itinerary. hawaii travel blog

Best valleys in Hawaii: Getting to Waipio Valley stream, river, beach. One day Big Island Hawaii valley itinerary. hawaii travel blog

 

 

2. Pololu Valley

Best valleys in Hawaii: Driving to Pololu Valley. One day Big Island Hawaii valley itinerary. hawaii travel blog

Best valleys in Hawaii: Getting to see Pololu Valley coast, ocean. One day Big Island Hawaii valley itinerary. coastal valley. hawaii travel blog

Best valleys in Hawaii: Getting to see Pololu Valley mountains. One day Big Island Hawaii valley itinerary. hawaii travel blog

Best valleys in Hawaii: Getting to Pololu Valley stream, river, beach. One day Big Island Hawaii valley itinerary. hawaii travel blog

 

In both cases, if you don’t want to dedicate a full day, you can simply drive to the lookouts and take in the views that way.

 

 

If you want to make it a Big Island hiking day, from both of the lookouts you can hike down to the beach!

 

Hike to Big Island valley beach #1: Waipio Valley beach

Best valley beaches in Hawaii: Waipio Valley beach. One day Big Island valley beach itinerary. hawaii travel blog

 

 

Hike to Big Island valley beach #2: Pololu Valley beach

Best valley beaches in Hawaii: Pololu Valley beach. One day Big Island valley beach itineary. hawaii travel blog

 

 

These Big Island valley beaches are best for VIEWS, not swimming!

Swimming at valley beaches on the Big Island. One day Big Island valley beach itineary. hawaii travel blog

 

The shoreline along Waipio Valley and Pololu Valley can make for dangerous swimming conditions, including a dangerous shorebreak and strong current. So it can be best to visit these beaches for the views only!

Also, both of these beaches are referred to as black sand beaches. Although, because they are older black sand beaches, they are not the blackest beaches you’ll find on the Big Island. For the best black sand beaches on the Big Island, you’ll want to head to the Puna coast kind of near Hawaii Volcanoes National Park!

 

Bathrooms near Pololu Valley Lookout

What locals living near Pololu Valley would like you to know!

In Hawaii, respecting the land is a big thing in Hawaiian culture.

There are no bathrooms near the Pololu Valley Lookout.

It can be distressing for locals to see people coming out of the bushes near the Pololu Valley Lookout, presuming why people are coming out of the bushes. Seeing so many people doing this, it can be seen as a form of disrespecting the land. And if it becomes a big problem, that’s when there may even start to be more serious talks about limiting visitors to visit such places like Pololu Valley.

So please, for everyone’s sake, locals and future Hawaii visitors alike, avoid those bushes!

Instead, locals would like you to know about Keokea Beach Park where there are bathrooms. This is about a 5 minute drive from the Pololu Valley Lookout. Consider making a stop there before you go to Pololu Valley, just in case! MAHALO!

 

More below about how much time you may need for the great coastal valleys of the Big Island!

 

 

🌴

 

 

Here are the highlights of a hiking day of Big Island valleys!

 

1. Arrive at the Waipio Valley parking lot

You’ll see ocean views even from the parking lot!

 

Big Island Valley. Driving to Waipio Valley parking. hawaii travel blog

 

 

2. Take in the views from Waipio Valley Lookout

It’s a short walk to the lookout for the famous coastline views!

 

Big Island Valley. Waipio Valley lookout. hawaii travel blog

Big Island Valley. Waipio Valley lookout. hawaii travel blog

 

 

3. Walk down to Waipio Valley beach

This is a STEEP road down to the beach, and it’s the same road cars take. This means that you can also drive down to Waipio Valley beach. But this is one of the Big Island drives in which a 4wd is required.

 

Big Island Valley. Hiking to Waipio Valley beach. hawaii travel blog

Big Island Valley. Hiking to Waipio Valley beach. hawaii travel blog

Big Island Valley. Hiking to Waipio Valley beach. hawaii travel blog

Big Island Valley. Hiking to Waipio Valley beach. hawaii travel blog

Big Island Valley. Hiking to Waipio Valley beach. hawaii travel blog

 

 

4. Take in the views from Waipio Valley beach

Big Island Valley. Hiking to Waipio Valley beach. hawaii travel blog

 

Hike (or drive) back up the same way you can. Next, moving on to the next valley…

 

 

4. Drive the Big Island!

Driving the Big Island valley itinerary. Driving from Waipio Valley to Pololu Valley. Driving to Hawi. big island hawaii travel blog

Driving the Big Island valley itinerary. Driving from Waipio Valley to Pololu Valley. Driving to Hawi. big island hawaii travel blog

Driving the Big Island valley itinerary. Driving from Waipio Valley to Pololu Valley. Driving to Hawi. big island hawaii travel blog

 

 

5. Arrive at the Pololu Valley parking area

Once again, you’ll see ocean views even from the parking lot!

 

Big Island Valley. Driving to Pololu Valley parking. hawaii travel blog

Big Island Valley. Driving to Pololu Valley parking. hawaii travel blog

 

 

6. Take in the views from Pololu Valley Lookout

You are basically at the lookout when you are at the parking lot at the end of the road.

 

Big Island Valley. Pololu Valley lookout. hawaii travel blog

Big Island Valley. Pololu Valley lookout. hawaii travel blog

 

 

7. Hike down to Pololu Valley beach

Hiking is the only way to get to this valley beach!

 

Big Island Valley. Hiking to Pololu Valley beach. hawaii travel blog

Big Island Valley. Hiking to Pololu Valley beach. hawaii travel blog

Big Island Valley. Hiking to Pololu Valley beach. hawaii travel blog

Big Island Valley. Hiking to Pololu Valley beach. hawaii travel blog

 

 

8. Take in the views from around Pololu Valley beach

There’s a trail along the stream too that you’ll see once you’re at the beach.

 

Big Island Valley. Hiking to Pololu Valley stream to beach. hawaii travel blog

Big Island Valley. Hiking to Pololu Valley stream to beach. hawaii travel blog

Big Island Valley. Hiking to Pololu Valley stream to beach. hawaii travel blog

Big Island Valley. Hiking to Pololu Valley beach. hawaii travel blog

Big Island Valley. Hiking to Pololu Valley beach. hawaii travel blog

 

 

And that’s a bit about one day on the Big Island driving to the famous valleys!

 

 

Day trip to the Big Island valleys

Both of these valleys are located in the northern part of the Big Island.

It can be reasonable to make it a day trip to both of these valleys on the same day from either Kona or Hilo.

 

 

MAP of Big Island valleys

Map. One day Big Island valley driving itinerary. waipio valley to pololu valley. pololu valley to waipio valley. hawaii travel blog

Map. One day Big Island valley driving itinerary. waipio valley to pololu valley. pololu valley to waipio valley. hawaii travel blog
The hikes that are a part of this one day Big Island itinerary are on the northern side of the island. Explore the map.

 

Also, if you are making it a day trip from Kona or Waikoloa (and even if it’s a day trip from Hilo or another part of the island make a slight detour!), then either on your way to Pololu Valley or the way back, be sure to take the coastal route so you can get the grand coastal views as you’re driving! (Hawaii route 270 on the map.)

 

Map. One day Big Island valley driving itinerary. kona to pololu valley to waipio valley. hawaii travel blog
Explore the map.

 

 

One day on the Big Island: The timeline

Of course, your experience may vary! But just to give you an idea of how long you might take, here is how it was for me! I generally move around at a leisurely pace. Times approximate!

Here is a perfect one day of hiking on the Big Island:

  • 10:40am – Arrived at Waipio Valley Lookout parking 
  • 11:00am – Started hiking to Waipio Valley beach
  • 12:45pm – Arrived back at Waipio Valley parking
  • 2:35pm – Arrived at Pololu Valley Lookout parking
  • 2:45pm – Started hiking to Pololu Valley beach
  • 3:50pm – Arrived back at Polou Valley parking

 

And so, I took a little less than 2 hours to hike to the Waipio Valley beach and back. I took around 1 hour to hike to the Pololu Valley beach and back. Visiting the lookouts only can take as little as 10-20 minutes to walk around from the parking lot and take in the views.

If you find yourself finishing up early afternoon, you might try stopping by Lapakahi State Historical Park after Pololu Valley. This is located along the aforementioned HI route 270. You can explore the remains of a small Hawaiian village, and this is also the location of one of the best snorkeling spots on the Big Island. (It’s a rocky beach entrance – bring your water shoes!) Sandy beaches along the Kohala coast include Waialea Beach (another snorkeling spot) and Hapuna Beach (rated as one of the best beaches in America by Dr. Beach). Closer to Kona, you may consider stopping by Kekaha Kai State Park for one of the beaches there.

 

 

See more about hiking to the Big Island valley beaches:

 

And those are some ideas on how to spend one day on the Big Island!

 

For more things to do on the Big Island that include amazing views, also see:

 

HAPPY ONE DAY OF SEEING THE BIG ISLAND VALLEYS!

 

One day Big Island valley driving itinerary. waipio valley to pololu valley. day trip from kona. day trip from hilo. hawaii travel blog

 

 

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Wearing a swim shirt means less skin that's exposed to the sun which means less sunscreen you need to apply! See about wearing swim shirts with UV protection like these when you're snorkeling.

PLUS...
Be sure to take a look at the reviews of these amazing tours on the Big Island:


ALOHA!