You can get some great scenic views from the Pololu Valley lookout right near the parking area.
There’s also a trail that starts from the Pololu Valley lookout that goes down to sea level and makes for a great coastal hike.
By hiking, you’ll get better views of the beach down below, which is notable for being a black sand beach!
Pololu Valley is home to one of the many black sand beaches on the Big Island. In terms of color, it’s not the blackest black sand beach on the Big Island, but the wet sand can make it appear especially black.
Even so, reasons to come here are for the lookout, the hike, and/or the black(ish) sand beach!
Bathrooms near Pololu Valley trailhead
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 trailhead.
It can be distressing for locals to see people coming out of the bushes near the Pololu Valley trailhead, 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 trailhead. Consider making a stop there before you go to Pololu Valley, just in case! MAHALO!
More below on what a trip to Pololu Valley can be like!
Here's some info on Hawaii trip prep!
- Swim with manta rays
- Best shoes for hiking in Hawaii
- The perfect type of shirt for swimming in Hawaii
- Do you need water shoes for Hawaii?
- Personal swim buoy float is perfect for snorkeling and swimming in the ocean
- THE top things to pack for Hawaii
There are affiliate links on this page.
You can read reviews for the best Big Island tours at getyourguide.
The best of the Big Island:
- Big Island hikes with amazing views
- Where to see lava fields on the Big Island
- List of (mostly free) things to do in Kona
- Tours and activities to see the best of the Big Island
Epic only-on-the-Big Island tours:
Here’s what your time at Pololu Valley might look like!
So going to Pololu Valley requires a time commitment. Maybe it’s best to think of this as a half day activity.
Pololu Valley is a solid 1.5 hours from Kona, maybe more depending on where on the Kona coast you’re staying. If you’re staying a bit further north in one of the Waikoloa resorts on the Kohala coast, it’s a bit closer and might take around an hour.
If you’re looking for something to do somewhat in the area, you might have a look at Lapakahi State Historical Park for a top Big Island snorkeling spot and to walk through an ancient Hawaiian village, or Hapuna Beach state park which has been called one of the best beaches on the Big Island. See more state parks on the Big Island.
You can also make it a valley beach hike kind of day and make this day on the Big Island a “Pololu Valley + Waipio Valley” kind of day. The drive between these two valley lookouts is around 1.5 hours. See more ideas for planning out your days on the Big Island.
Map of Pololu Valley
But being in a more remote part of the island, you can see this as a good thing! It means it’s yet another quieter part of the Big Island, and it means it’s yet another nice scenic drive getting there!
Once you get closer, you’ll start to see signs for Pololu Valley.
And then basically you will be driving to a dead end.
There’s a small parking lot at the end of the road. Otherwise, you can park along the side of the road before that dead end parking lot too.
And you are at the Pololu Valley lookout!
To hike or not to hike?!
You will get the coastal views at the Pololu Valley lookout without even stepping foot on the Pololu Valley trail.
By doing the hike, you’ll get better views of the black sand beach as you’re going down, and it’s a nice scenic coastal hike!
It might take around 30 minutes to hike down to the beach from the lookout.
Here’s what you’ll see on the hike to the Pololu Valley black sand beach!
You’ll arrive down to the black sand beach!
Your hike down to the beach was mostly facing the ocean, and your hike back to the parking lot will be more of facing the valley!
And that’s a bit about the Pololu Valley lookout and hike to the black sand beach!
If you’re interested in Pololu Valley, you may also be interested in these great Big Island activities:
- Waipio Valley hike
- One day of hiking to the Big Island valley beaches
- Akaka Falls loop trail
- Kua Bay
- Kealakekua Bay hike
- More beach hikes on the Big Island
HAPPY HIKING TO THE POLOLU VALLEY BLACK SAND BEACH!
- Best things to do in Maui
- Things to do in Haleakala National Park
- Best things to do in Oahu
- Best Oahu beaches
- Best things to do in Lanai
There are affiliate links on this page. Among other partners, as an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission from this.
Top things to pack for your Hawaii vacation!
The ultimate beach towel for travel?!Turkish towels are considered to be more absorbent and lightweight than your average beach towel. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these!
The cheapo way to waterproof your phoneYou can take underwater pictures with a simple waterproof phone case like this. Touch screen may not work well underwater - try the volume button to snap the pic instead!
Get your suitcase more organized!Packing cubes can make it so you're spending less time on your vacation looking for things! They are basically a form of drawers in your suitcase. Take a look at these packing cubes.
Wear less sunscreen by wearing a UPF swim shirt!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.
More for your Big Island packing list
- How a cheapo waterproof phone case works
- Why wear water shoes for the beach
- Why a personal swim buoy is an essential for snorkeling and swimming in the ocean
- Essentials to pack for Hawaii
- Best shoes for Hawaii