Pololu Trail

Pololu Trail
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Phone (808) 961-9540
Address 52-5100 Akoni Pule Hwy, Kapaau, HI 96755
Short but very steep trail to a black sand beach.

• General: Cost: Free • Hiking: Hiking • Hiking: Length: 0-1 Miles • Hiking: Level: Moderate • Hiking: Major Elevation Changes
• Hiking: Out & Back Trail • Sightseeing: Great Views

The Pololu Trail is a short, 0.5 mile long hiking trail located in the city of Kapaau along the North Kohala area of the Big Island. Getting here is as simple as driving to the end of Highway 270 which will dead end at the Pololu Valley Lookout with the trailhead nearby.

Although the out and back trail isn't long, at only a half of a mile long (about 1 mile round trip), the trail is very steep. It starts at around 400 feet in elevation and switchbacks down to sea level. At the bottom is Pololu Valley Beach which is a black sand beach. For most hikers it takes about 30 minutes to get down to the beach.

We all love a black sand beach for the novelty, but this one isn't good for swimming or water activities. The currents here can be very strong and dangerous and the bottoms is quite rocky. This beach is more about the views and the overall experience rather than getting wet. And before you consider taking home some of that black sand as a souvenir, be sure to read Lava Rock & Sand Souvenirs.

As for the hike, it's said to be of moderate difficulty but it's not for everyone. The path can be very steep in many parts and there is a very long drop if you fall off the trail. We do not recommend this for amateur hikers, families with children, or the elderly. If you have a fear of heights, skip this one for sure.

If you do decide to give it a try be sure to read up on Hiking Safety & Essentials and go slowly. If the trail is muddy it's going to be extra slippery which might be a good excuse to skip it or come back another day.