Hike 9 miles.
The Waimanu Series:
This is the first post in a five-part series on Waimanu. See more:
This is Waimanu Valley. A lesser known camping spot on the Hamakua Coast of Hawaii’s Big Island. It’s another one of those magical places where you can get away and have an adventure.
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Shortly after returning from a backpacking trip to Kalalau (which involved hiking 22 miles along the Na Pali Coast of Kauai), I get Facebook message from Kaleo Lancaster. And it’s about a backpacking trip involving hiking 18 miles along the northern coast of the Big Island. He’s got a permit and there’s a bunch of open spaces available. Now, I didn’t know Kaleo personally at the time but as you may know, I’m a huge fan of his blog Island Trails. And in fact, it was his blog that got me into hiking.
Getting a message from him was pretty cool but, I had just done Kalalau less than two weeks ago. My knees were still recovering, I was still enjoying the feel of sleeping in my bed, still loving the feeling of pooping like a modern human (on a toilet, in a bathroom) and hiking was pretty much the last thing on my mind. While this would be a great opportunity to meet a fellow hiker/blogger, I was just not in the mood to rough it. So, what to do? The answer was obvious. It was time to chat with Cory.
Before this trip, I actually had never heard of Waimanu. It’s a lesser known camping spot with just a small fraction of the amount of camping space as Kalalau. But that’s part of the draw. Cory knew about Waimanu and when I told him about this trip, his response was basically this: “Brah, the hike is supposed to be way harder than Kalalau. It’s going to be really hard. But we should all go.”
And so we went. I figured that while I was still recovering from the Kalalau trip, in a few weeks I would be ready to backpack again. As it turns out, the 9 mile hike from Waipio Valley to Waimanu Valley wasn’t all that bad. But, the return hike … now that was a different story. And I’ll discuss that in a later post.
A backpacking trip to Waimanu Valley starts by flying to the Big Island, driving to Waipio Valley and hiking along the Muliwai Trail …
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