Extreme Hiking / Hiking in Muliwai Trail, Honokaa, Hawaii USA

Trail length:
Hiking time:
10 Hours
Honokaa town is located in the Hamakua Coast, at 40 mi/64 km in the north of Hilo. The area is a historic district of Big Island in Hawaii because the town's economy was once based on sugar production from the Hamakua Sugar Company, until 1994.

After that, the town became a touristic destination with the beautiful Waipio Valley and Kalopa Native Forest State. Waipio Valley is 1 mi/1.6 km across and about 5 mi/8 km deep, surrounded by mountains with impressive waterfalls and green fields. Muliwai Trail is considered to be one of the 40 best America’s adventures, according to National Geographic.

The trail starts at the end of Honokaa Rd, where you come across a rocky and steep road leading down to the valley floor and ends at a stream. This road is only accessible with a 4wd. It is 18 mi/30 km long (one way), about nine hours to hike in and 10 hours to hike out. It is a challenging and adventurous trail for experienced hikers only. The trail is marked with colored ribbons, tied on trees and you must, at all times, follow them because the trail does not look like a path in many parts of the route.

Muliwai Trail is one of Big Island’s most impressive places. You hike over streams, dazzling nature, green fields, huge trees, wild horses and pigs and the highest waterfall in Hawaii (1400 ft/426 m high). A breathtaking view that rewards the hiker, when looking down the valley and the Pacific Ocean.

Before you hit the trail, check the weather because if it’s raining, the terrain gets very steep and the streams along the way are flooded. Hikers should wear good hiking boots, and bright colored clothing if it is a hunting season in the valley. Take food and water with you, that will last you at least for two days although there are a lot of streams on the way. For those who would like to camp, there are nine camp sites, but you have to make a reservation by contacting Hawaii’s District State Division.

How to Get to Destination

48.7mi/78.3km, 1hour and 20mins
Drive West on Iliahi str turn right on Wainaku Ave, then right on Hau Str and left on HI-19/Hawaii Belt Rd. When you reach Honokaa/Waipio Rd drive straight until the road ends on Waipio Valley.
8mi/12.8km, 20mins
Drive North on Lehua Str towards Honokaa/Waipio Rd and straight until the road ends at Waipio Valley
Hilo International Airport,
52.7miles/84.8km from Waipio Valley


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