The road down to Waipi’o Valley on the Big Island of Hawaii is steep. The 800 foot (243.84 m) vertical rise averages a 25% grade. At .6 miles (0.9 km) in length, it is the steepest road of its length in the United States. Because of the grade, only hikers and four-wheel drive vehicles are allowed on the road.
Although our shins ached after making the trek down to the bottom, we were rewarded with one of the most beautiful black sand beaches on the island. Waipi’o means curved water in Hawaiian and it’s easy to understand why the gently rounded coastline earned its name.
We found this beautiful outrigger canoe on the beach just waiting to be taken out for some recreational pleasure.
After exploring the shoreline and wandering a few trails that took us further into the valley, we began the slow, calve-challenging hike back up the hill to where we started. (This photo was taken several years ago. Waipi’o Valley is located on the northeast side of The Big Island. The current volcanic activity is located much further to the south.)
Sunday Stills is a weekly photography link-up co-hosted by my blogging friend Terri Webster Schrandt. Each week there is a new word prompt to inspire a shared photo (or photos). Follow this link to learn more about it, see other submissions, and to share your own.
56 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: Recreational”
This seems like one of those spots in Hawaii that are not ‘actively’ visited by the tour buses. And for that reason alone, well worth the effort to access it and hike out. Beautiful picture!
That’s one of the wonderful things about The Big Island; fewer tourists and more places that feel secluded… or at least less crowded.
Beautiful. Many years ago I spent a month in Hawaii bumming around. I loved the big island probably better than Oahu. So many quiet beaches and hideaways. I’ve always wondered if it’s still the same.
I spent some time on the North Shore of Oahu a long time ago but haven’t been back to that island since. I much prefer the relative quiet of The Big Island too. Of course with the volcanic activity, it probably isn’t all that quiet right now.
I was there in the 70s and there were roads that were “flooded” from lava from some activity within the months before. I was stunned at how it broke up the macadam roads as if they were china plates. Also loved Kauai and Maui.
Look at the gorgeous blue sky and the deeper blue water! Stunning. And the black sand beach. This photo was worth the trek down that road and then back up. Thanks for sharing.
🔹 Ginger 🔹
Fortunately, I wasn’t on a schedule because the hike back took a long, long time 🙂 But it was well worth it for the experience!
You said 25% grade and my shins got immediately sore. Nice beach.
Sore doesn’t even begin to describe the way my legs were feeling after that trek 🙂 Fortunately, a lovely lunch afterward restored my sense of well-being.
Wow! Your photo is spectacular, Janis. This was definitely worth some sore shins!
I had no idea what I was getting into when I started the hike down but I’m glad I decided to take that first step.
Hi Janis, love the photos and good for you doing the hike to explore further. We have been seeing on the news in Australia a volacanic eruption on one of the inhabited islands in Hawaii. I hope it wasn’t this one!
Sue, yes the volcano is active on the Big Island, but as Janis said, the eruptions and fissures are on the south east part of the island. The smoke may be everywhere. Our little house in up country Hilo, well out of the way, but things can happen!
Oh it must be terrible for those who have lost their homes and rather terrifying.
Same island but different area. The eruptions are scientifically fascinating but so devastating to the landscape and the people it its path.
Janis, what a cool image (and find) of the outrigger just waiting to be played upon! Next time we go to the BI we want to visit some other areas. That black sand is so smooth and amazing looking. Thanks for linking up to #SundayStills!
We spent five weeks there so I have a few recommendations for you if you’d like. Looking forward to next week’s prompt.
So sweet to find a boat waiting for you!
That was nice, wasn’t it! Too bad I couldn’t sail it back up the hill!
It’s funny you should write about The Big Island. It’s been on my mind a lot lately with all the volcanic activity. When things happen far away, it feels more personal when you’ve been there. We spent a few days in Volcano National Park and now I wonder what’s left of the places we visited and where we stayed 😕
Although we didn’t visit Waipi’o, we did swim at a black sand beach further to the south. The black sand is amazing!
When we were there a few years ago, we saw vast fields of old volcanic rock. It was hard to imagine that hundreds (thousands?) of years in the future those fields would be lush and green. I understand that it’s all nature’s plan but it’s hard to feel good about what’s happening now.
I’m both appalled and in awe at the same time.
Hi, Janis – You are a very talented photographer, and I am glad that you are included your photos in Sunday Stills.
BTW – I think that I would have been okay with that hike DOWN to the beach…but the hike BACK UP may have killed me!!
I thought several times that I was not long for this world as I made my way up… but I finally did it.
A beautiful boat just sitting on the beach. Makes you want to find who owns it, and let them take it out for you.
I would have loved to see it being taken out on the water but I didn’t see anyone around.
Beautiful. That is somewhere I have never been. You were so lucky to visit there before all the recent volcanic activity – every day it seems worse from those volcanic eruptions. I will return here to read about your friend’s link as well.
When we were there, the volcano was flowing a little bit but nothing like now. I’ve been watching videos of the activity and it’s horrible and fascinating at the same time.
I agree with the horrible and fascinating aspect … the molten lava crawling along a highway and over a parked car was just amazing to me!
I spent two weeks on Big Island many years ago. I was fascinated with the black sand, and loved everything we saw. Thanks for bringing it back to me!
People really miss out when they just visit Oahu and hang out with the other tourists on the beach. We were lucky enough to have a friend who lived on the Big Island who invited us to stay for 5 weeks. It allowed us to really explore the island in all its beauty and wonder.
I have aches and pains all over just thinking about that hike! Beautiful.
Every once in a while, a four wheel drive truck came chugging up the hill and I was tempted to grab on to its bumper.
I’d have been flagging them down for a lift!
I would have but my husband was with me (although way ahead up the road) and I would have never heard the end of it. 🙂
I was confused at first, didn’t know you were in Hawaii, then saw that it was not recent. Yes, those knees can do some screaming!
It would be interesting to be there right now with all the volcanic activity. On the other hand, I imagine some of the places we were able to visit are now closed.
Difficult hikes are always better with a reward at the end, whether it’s a nice beach or a waterfall. Or a majestic view. This scene reminds me of many areas in French Polynesia, which makes sense. And, the feeling of calves and shins, reminds me of our recent 5-mile walk in the dunes. Great shot! I hope to go to Hawaii one day.
Wow, l can’t believe that I’ve actually been somewhere you haven’t been! I imagine there are people in Hawaii who need house and pet sitting… in fact, I have a friend who does that. I hope you are able to visit the islands one day too.
Yes, I’ve seen quite a few (attractive) house and pet sits in Hawaii, but we can’t afford plane tickets there. One of the reasons we remain in the US to house sit, is because we can just drive there. 🙂 Once we start house sitting internationally (which I hope we will be able to do in the future), it won’t be an affordable lifestyle anymore.
Wonderful mix of exercise and beautiful scenery. Great recreation. That outrigger canoe makes the photo so interesting. Great composition1
When we started down that hill we had no idea how beautiful – and secluded – the beach was. We also didn’t realize how steep the road was but I’m glad we made the trek.
Beautiful photo! We loved the Big Island last year. Got to see the lava flowing into the ocean, after a 4.5 mile bike ride to get out there. Like Liesbet says, the reward made the ride worth it. I wonder what interesting things await after this current volcanic activity settles! ~ Lynn
There was some very minor lava flow when we were there, but nothing like it is now. I would have loved to see it flowing into the ocean. I’ve been watching the activity on video feeds and am struck by Pele’s power.
I kind of got a perverse chuckle, wondering who ticked Pele off so badly! LOL! When we were there, a local told us about the TONS of lava that get returned to the Post Office on the Big Island, because people RETURN it to Hawaii after taking a piece home to the mainland – bad things start happening to them, so they send it back! ~ Lynn
Not smart to tick off Pele… she has quite a temper.
For obvious reasons, I’ve been thinking about Hawaii more these last few weeks. I enjoyed visiting the Big Island years ago, but didn’t try to do what you did here. Your photos are lovely, and make me want to return to give it a go. Such a beautiful place…
I definitely want to go back and I hope you can too. I think I’ll wait until after the current activity, though 🙂
Beautiful, Janis! I love Hawaii but have not been to the big island. I want to go back!
All the islands are unique in their own way, but the Big Island is by far my favorite. I hope you get to go sometime.
I’m glad to hear this part of the island hasn’t been harmed by the volcano!
Me too! The footage I’ve seen from the recent activity is incredible. Volcanic activity is what these islands are built on, but it’s hard to see the destruction when it’s happening.
Sounds lovely. I love Hawaii and the black sand beaches. Thanks for sharing.
It was lovely… the whole island is spectacular.
Fabulous photo! I loved the Big Island when I visited many years ago.
I love all the different weather and typography zones of the Big Island. You can enjoy the warm beaches in the morning and go snow sking in the afternoon (so they say, I’ve never skied there). And now with the volcanic activity… so much to experience!
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