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Travel Blog #114 - ATV Waipio Valley with Ride The Rim

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The Waipio Valley on the Big Island is estimated to have once been the home to a city of over 50,000 Hawaiians. The amount of history and beauty that exists in this place is unbelievable and if you have enough time to make it up here on your visit to the Big Island, you should. If you do decide to make the journey to Waipio once you arrive you will find out that it is an area that is best suited for those that posses a 4wd vehicle. The walls of the valley are incredibly steep and to access the bottom you definitely need a rig that has 4wd or you'll never make it back out. If you would prefer to not go through the struggle you can settle for viewing the valley from the look out at the end of the road, but you might be disappointed if you find out that there is another lookout on private land that allows you to see much more of the valley, including the 1000+ foot waterfall near the back. Riding an ATV or traveling there on horseback is the only way one can access this private viewpoint.

Today we decided to try taking the ATV's up to the rim of the valley. We checked in at the Waipio Valley Artworks. After filling out our liability waivers we boarded the 4x4 van that was waiting to take us up to the ATV corral. The road to the corral warmed us up for the days off roading, and at one point we even had to switch on the four-wheel drive to make it up a very muddy incline.

ride the rim waipio valley

As soon as we made it to the ATV corral we were issued our safety gear and our guide went over some of the basics of the ATV's. These machines are designed to be easy to use, and with only a few minutes of instruction we were all ready to go. We made a couple laps around the "training course" to make sure that our skills were up to par before we made our way into the woods on our actual ride.

As soon as we passed through the gate at the edge of the ATV corral we immediately found ourselves surrounded by a thick tropical rainforest. It had rained the night before which was evidenced by the mud puddles that were littered all over the trail.

Eventually we reached our rest stop. We pulled the ATV's to the ride of the trail where a small footpath continued into the bushes. We made our way down the path until eventually we ended up at a beautiful jungle pool that was fed by a medium sized waterfall. Our guide carried a cooler down full of snacks and drinks for us to enjoy. We sat at the edge of the pool for a few minutes before we stripped down and went for a swim. The water was cold and refreshing and while it was a little difficult at first to coax myself to get in, as soon as I did I was glad because the water felt excellent.

After the waterfall we got back on the ATV's and rode towards the vista point of the valley. Once we reached the lookout we could make out the entire valley, from the black sands of the Waipio beach all the ways back to the waterfall. It was an exceptionally clear day and the views were incredible. We spent some time taking in the scenery before we eventually mounted up on our ATV's to make our journey back to the corral. It was a great excursion that I would recommend to anyone that wants to see the Waipio from a different perspective.

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View Comments

Frank Juarez

This trip was the highlight of my vacation to the Big Island last year. I would've given five stars if they let us go faster though.