Waipio Valley Waterfall Hike on Big Island, Hawaii
A happy accident and some particularly friendly locals allowed me to hike up to the beautiful twin falls at the back of Waipio Valley known as Hi'ilawe.
There is a famous Hawaiian song inspired by these falls but few people have taken the time to visit them. The problem is that there is no trailhead so, to visit the falls, you have to make nice with the locals and ask if they'll show you the way.
We bartered some of our Hawaiian CDs and a few beers in exchange for help from one of the locals. He lamented that many people trespass on his property to get to the falls and get skittish if he comes across their path. Don't be those people and just be respectful and kind.
The hike itself is not that long but it is a bit strenuous, including stretches where you have to swim upstream, cross through rapids, and scramble across slick rocks. Be well-prepared, go with at least one other person, and keep an eye out and you'll see everything from young ginger to mountain apples growing along the way. The payoff is a sheer cliff with two 1450 foot waterfalls that are roaring so load you can barely think.