Muliwai Trail

Muliwai Trail: Hiking in Hawaii Paradise

Tropical Hawaiian paradise if many traveller’s dream – especially those, who are keen on active, thrills-filled holiday. Apart from archipelago well-known outdoor attractions such as diving, surfing or kayaking one can enjoy here also one of the world’s most breath-taking tropical trekking – the Muliwai Trail. Although it is still not as popular as other, mainstream Hawaiian activities, it allows to experience the lush beauty of the Island of Hawaii in the most unique way.

Not for the beginners

Muliwai trail is by no means not for the beginners. It is quite demanding and needs to be planned well beforehand. Although it is only 8-miles long, it is also not a day hike – so do not expect to go there and back in one day, as for one-way hike you will need, depending on your stamina, from 6,5 to 8 hours. The path starts at the bottom of large, ocean-kissed Waipio Valley, located between northeastern part of the island’s coastline and Pu’u O Umi Natural Reserve’s pine forests and deep valleys riddled with countless waterfalls. Guests are faced here with almost untouched by human feet rugged terrain, marked by steep slopes of the Kohala Mountains and cliffs descending vertically towards the ocean. So, step by step – let us take you on the trail.
muliwai trail hawaii adventure

Waimanu Valley – Hawaii’s little wonder

The journey begins at the Waipio Valley Lookout, which can by reached by 4×4 vehicles easily, but by non-4×4 – not really so. As you land here, you will realize how tough is the trail – starting from the very bottom of the vast valley to the top of the cliff one has to ascend 1200 feet climbing the muddy and slippery switchback Z-trail, which traverses the vertical slope of the cliff to the very top of the ridge. But before you get to this point, you’ll need to cross the infamous river that splits the valley into two parts. Although it does not sound difficult, it may actually cause some problems-the water is waist-deep at times and turbulent as well. After passing those two initial difficulties it’s time for the Top Trail – 5 miles of constant up and downs through dense pine forests and 12 gulches on the way. Finally, you’ll have to repeat the Z-Trail – but in reverse. Descending from the cliff to the green, almost forgotten by civilisation Waimanu Valley is steep and can make your knees suffer. After reaching the valley bottom prepare for views that can compete with Hawaii’s highlights – dozens of waterfalls, falling down with unforgetable gracefulness and the small but serene beach locked between two majestic cliffs.

The Muliwai Trail is as surprising as only Hawaii can be – hiking between two unearthly beautiful valleys one can discover the islands’ true nature. Is it worth having some joined pains the day after? Well, you won’t tell until you try!

Article by: Antonina Małowiecka
Top photo by: E Palen /
Second photo by: Daniel Jo /

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