Waipio Valley and Mauna Kea


Waipio Valley

Following our adventure to Volcanoes National Park, we loaded up our jeep with some friends we made at the farm and headed North to the Waipio Valley. We drove for a few hours through heavy rain and because of the rain we were forced to abandon a couple stops. When we finally arrived at the Waipio Valley, we were glad we had a jeep so we could drive, rather than walk, down to the black sand beach.

To drive into the valley it is required that you have four-wheel drive, otherwise you have to walk the 4-mile long road down to the beach. The road is not particularly rough but very steep and you need to have a low gear to stay in control. We made it down to the beach, parked and checked the area out.

Waipio Valley at the beach.

Hello little bird.

Waipio River

Beautiful colors on the river

More vegetation in the Waipio Valley

After checking out the beach and river and with rain starting to build we decided to head out of the valley and head up in elevation, to the top of Mauna Kea. Some people argue that Mauna Kea is bigger than Everest if you count the relief from the bottom of the ocean to the summit, I’m not sure how true this is but it is very cool to be nearly 14,000 feet above the ocean, in the middle of the Pacific.

Astronomical Observatories on top of Mauna Kea. The landform in the distance is the island of Maui.

We had planned on staying up on the summit to watch the sunset, but unfortunately one of our friends from the farm was feeling the effects of AMS so we quickly and unanimously agreed we better head down to lower elevation. Even though we missed the sunset we still had plenty of time to chill and explore the observatories on the summit.

Some hikers climb a subpeak of Mauna Kea

An observatory with building cumulus clouds

It seemed as if you could see forever from the summit.

Building clouds made for some dramatic pictures.

The next day we slept in and went on our Volcano adventure as mentioned in a previous post.

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