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Big Island options

Toronto, Canada
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Big Island options

I'll be heading to Hawaii June 9-23 (Maui 9-15, Big Island 15-23), and have a few questions that I was hoping to get some clarity on before heading out.

- My plan was initially to get some camping and hiking while on Big Island. I have read that camping can be unsafe due to homeless people, so is there any areas not affected by the volcano that would be safe to camp?

- From the NPS website, it seems like the Kahuku Unit in VNP is open. I know things can change with no warning, but as of right now, is there any issues with visiting this area of the park?

Thanks in advance for any feedback!

6 replies to this topic
Hawaii
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1. Re: Big Island options

Re Kahuku Unit - I’d be wary of extremely poor air quality in the Ka’u District at this time.

My reply on camping is specific to this emergency. Thousands of Big Island residents have been displaced. The camping spots should be left for these newly homeless lava victims.

Visitors are encouraged to come now and support the economy, which is hurting, but not to simply come on the cheap and not stay in paid lodgings (this of course doesn’t apply to people who come stay with friends and family).

As for the situation in campgrounds, it’s going to vary from one to another. I’m not up on the current conditions in each one. However, at least 500 homes burned just this week, and the shelters were already full. Also the substantial amount of camping offered by the National Park is closed, so from that alone there would a campsite crunch on the island.

There is plenty of healthy hiking to be done on the Hamakua Coast, and wilderness hiking and camping in Waimanu out of Waipi’o Valley (this requires a permit, but it might be just the ticket for you). You can do the Z trail (first leg of Waimanu hike) as a day hike.

North Kohala also has some hiking, including in Pololu.

The Kohala Village Inn offers low cost motel accommodations in a historic motel in Hawi, which would provide a base for hiking in North Kohala.

Hawaii
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2. Re: Big Island options

PS. There is a Top Question on backpacking and wilderness hiking that has one or more topics on Waimanu. I think it’s down near the bottom of the list, as it was done a while back, but the info isn’t outdated.

3. Re: Big Island options

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4. Re: Big Island options

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Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Big Island options

Thanks for the feedback. I'll be sure to check out the hikes you recommended.

I appreciate the feedback regarding the campsites. I'd never want to negatively impact any of the locals during this time, so I'll change my plans and stick to hotels/condos and day hikes. The Kohala Village Inn sounds like a perfect alternative. I'm not too worried about the costs of lodging, and the location seems great for getting some great hikes in while visiting the north shore of the island.

Seattle, Washington
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6. Re: Big Island options

I'm not sure staying up in Hawi is a place I'd want to spend my vacation but it is worth a day trip.

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