The Pololu Valley Lookout is a stunning viewpoint on the northern coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. Located at the end of Highway 270, the lookout offers breathtaking views of the Pololu Valley, the rugged coastline, and the vast Pacific Ocean. In this blog, we’ll explore the beauty and history of the Pololu Valley Lookout and what makes it such a popular destination for visitors to Hawaii.
Geography and Geology
The Pololu Valley is located on the northernmost tip of the Big Island of Hawaii, near the town of Hawi. The valley is approximately one mile wide and 400 feet deep and is surrounded by steep cliffs and lush greenery. The valley floor is covered with black sand and is home to a small stream that flows out to the ocean.
The cliffs surrounding the valley were formed by the Kohala Volcano, which is now extinct. The volcano is estimated to have last erupted between 120,000 and 125,000 years ago. Over time, erosion and weathering have created the stunning landscape that we see today, with its towering cliffs and black sand beach.
History and Culture
The Pololu Valley was home to Hawaiian communities for centuries before the arrival of European explorers. The valley was a source of fresh water, food, and shelter for the native Hawaiians, who lived off the land and sea. The valley was also an important cultural and spiritual site and was home to several heiaus or ancient Hawaiian temples.
In the 18th century, European explorers arrived on the Big Island and began to establish plantations and settlements. The Pololu Valley was no exception and was used for agriculture and ranching. Today, the valley is mostly undeveloped and is home to a small community of residents who live off the grid.
Visiting the Pololu Valley Lookout
The Pololu Valley Lookout is located at the end of Highway 270, approximately 7 miles from the town of Hawi. The lookout is easily accessible by car, and there is a parking lot at the end of the road. From the parking lot, visitors can walk to the viewpoint, which offers stunning views of the valley, the cliffs, and the ocean.
The hike to the valley floor is a steep and challenging trail and is not recommended for inexperienced hikers. The trail descends 400 feet in elevation over a distance of approximately one mile and can be slippery and treacherous in wet weather. Hikers should wear sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water and sunscreen.
Once on the valley floor, visitors can explore the black sand beach, the small stream, and the lush greenery. There are several hiking trails in the valley, including a trail that leads to the neighbouring valley of Waipio. Visitors can also learn about the history and culture of the valley at the nearby Pololu Valley Overlook Museum.
Tips for Visiting the Pololu Valley Lookout
- The Pololu Valley Lookout is a popular destination and can get crowded during peak tourist season. To avoid crowds, visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
- The trail to the valley floor is steep and challenging and is not recommended for inexperienced hikers. Wear sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water and sunscreen.
- The weather at the Pololu Valley Lookout can be unpredictable. It is important to check the weather forecast and come prepared for rain or wind.
- Respect the natural and cultural heritage of the valley. Stay on designated trails and do not disturb the flora or fauna. Do not remove any artefacts or cultural items from the valley.
The Pololu Valley Lookout is a stunning destination on the Big Island of Hawaii, offering breathtaking views of the Pololu Valley and the surrounding coastline. With its rich history and cultural significance, it is not only a beautiful natural wonder but also a valuable cultural site. The Pololu Valley Lookout provides visitors with the opportunity to experience the natural beauty of Hawaii and to learn about the island’s rich history and culture.
While visiting the Pololu Valley Lookout, it is important to remember to respect the natural and cultural heritage of the valley and to take care when hiking down to the valley floor. With its stunning scenery and rich history, the Pololu Valley Lookout is a must-visit destination for anyone travelling to the Big Island of Hawaii.