Minnesota Farmer


North Kohala, Hawaii
March 24, 2010, 9:11 am
Filed under: Hawaii, travel

North Kohala is the northwestern most part of the big island of Hawaii.  It contains a few small towns, the Kohala mountains and the Kohala forest reserve.  After we left the Pu’ukohala Heiau we continued North on 270 along the coast to Kapaau.  In front of the courthouse stands the original statue of King Kamehameha that was supposed to be in Honolulu.  There is an interesting story here that I’ll let you discover.

Statue of Kamehameha at Kapaau

This statue is near the birth place of King Kamehameha and seems a little off of the beaten track.  I’m sure they don’t get many tourists here.

Our journey continued on to the end of 270 at the Pololu Valley Lookout.

Pololu Valley Lookout

There is not much for parking here and very little room even to turn a car around much less a bus, so I’m sure there are not a lot of visitors here, but there were people a plenty.  Besides the scenery, there is the hike down into the valley.  This hike should not be taken by those not ready for rough conditions.  It is rocky, rutted and steep.

Pololu Valley trail

In places they have posted falling rock warning signs.

Kopolu Valley trail

That being said, the view at the bottom, and the black sand beach are worth it.

Kopolu looking east

Kopolu looking west

However the presence of parts of a dead whale and a shark warning kept swimmers out of the water.

Kopolu Valley

The brackish pool that leads south into the valley is mostly cut off from the Pacific by a berm of sand.  Since there is not a lot of rainfall here there was not a stream flowing into the ocean, but the valley is a beautiful cattle pasture and a good place to visit.

After hiking out of the valley we made our way back down 270 until we could turn south on 250 to go around the Kohala mountains.  Once we got back to the ocean at Honokaa we turned west again to the Wiopio Valley Lookout.  We did not go into the valley, but did look back west along the shore hoping to see something of our Pololu scene, but the distance was too far.

Waipio Valley

The Waipio is still an agricultural area with taro fields and fish ponds on a family scale.

Our return that evening took us through Waimea and the Parker Ranch.  The Parker Ranch was once the largest privately owned cattle ranch in the United States, but at 225,000 acres, it’s still formidable.  They have shipped as much as 10 million pounds of beef in a year.  Waimea is located on the ranch and most people in the town are ranch employees, including those in the restaurants and stores.

We wound our way back down 19 to our resort, a walk on the beach and our beds for the end of our first full day in Hawaii.

Michael

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4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

the last pic is wondeful

Comment by lovebug25

I mean *wonderful*

Comment by lovebug25

Actually, having been there (Waipio Valley lookout), NO picture can do justice! Sometimes you can even see a waterfall running down the far side of the valley – really awesome place!

Comment by Tom Graham

I saw that waterfall. It’s just a thread at the distance we were. Doesn’t show up on my picture.

Comment by Michael




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