During our first night on the Big Island, while dining at Hawaii Calls at the Waikoloa Beach Marriot & Spa, I got a text from my hiking buddy Baron Yamamoto. It turns out that Baron not only enjoys waterfall hunting and ridge hiking, but he also loves searching for ancient Hawaiian petroglyphs. He told me that, since I was in Kona, I should check out some of the petroglyph fields in the area. I did my research and found that I was about a 15 minute drive away from one of the largest collections of petroglyphs in Hawaii. We decided to check out the petroglyphs the day after summiting Mauna Kea. I was stoked.
For our recent 4-day adventure to the Big Island, we decided that wanted to visit the summit of Mauna Kea. To get to the summit, one must drive up the infamous Saddle Road. Many locals will tell you that Saddle Road is a very dangerous road to drive on. In fact, a portion of the 16 mile road, just past the visitor center, is unpaved and very rugged. To aid in our excursion through Saddle Road and to maintain the limited warranty on our rental vehicle, we decided on going with a tour group led by Hawaii Forest & Trail. The last thing that we needed was a flat tire on our Mustang at 13,000 feet with no cellular signal available .
For many Hawaii hikers, rain is a sign that it’s time to go hunting for waterfalls. Over the last week or so, I’ve been doing just that. One of the waterfalls that I decided to check out was Kalauao Falls, located off of the Aiea Loop Trail. It was a lazy Sunday. Joel drove down from Waialua to pick me up in Salt Lake. From Salt Lake, Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area is a short five-ish minute drive away. We drove to the end of the park and then set off looking for the junctions and side trails that would lead us to Kalauao Falls.
Waterfalls are always better when it’s wetter. And it’s been very wet in Manoa Valley. So wet that a trip to the popular tourist trail, Manoa Falls, was well warranted. I won’t go into too much detail on the trail in this post, for that you can check out this post and this post. I should also mention the I decided against parking in the Manoa Falls parking lot, and instead parked in the residential area just before Paradise Park. That alone saved me five bucks.
I am fortunate that my job allows me to have a very flexible schedule. I’m a lecturer at the local University here, and so my schedule is very much like that of your typical college student. This means that I have a reasonable amount of free time on my hands. Oh yeah, I also still get winter break. Yes, being a University instructor is awesome.
I recently was invited to go on a sunset cruise with Chad Kahunahana, founder of Experience Hawaii, an online booking app specializing in Hawaii’s best tours & activities. The mission of Experience Hawaii is to make it easier for visitors and locals to discover and book Hawaii’s best tours & activities. Experience Hawaii hand-selects and highlight only the very best tours. Also joining us for the cruise were a few of Chad’s friends, including Rechung Fujihira, co-founder of The Box Jelly.
You’re in town and you want a quick waterfall fix? And I mean really quick. Get your fix in Nuuanu, just a few minutes away from downtown Honolulu. Alapena Falls and Kapena Falls is the fastest waterfall hike on the island. Once you’ve parked your car, it will only take you about 3-5 minutes to reach the falls. Most of you won’t even break a sweat.
Having spent most of the first day of 2013 cleaning house, Michelle and I were itching to get out and do something. We decided to try and catch the sunset from Keawaula Beach (Yokohama Bay). Sunset hunting would be our first adventure ouf 2013.