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Northern Big Island Hikes -Pololu Valley and Waipio Valley

Pololu Valley Hike

This was a very interesting hike which took us through a variety of different landscapes. The 5 mile hike with 1000 foot elevation gain started with a black sand beach after an initial downhill switchback, meadows growing on sand dunes and a very humid jungle of Pandanus and mango trees. Our trail was adorned with giant ferns as we trudged along the mud.

Volcanoes National Park, HI

Geology of the Hawaiian Islands

I find that I appreciate a place more when I know how it got there.  The stories of its origin, its geology, adds to the depth of what I see before me.  We learned some interesting geology facts from a Ranger talk and a sign posted at the Hohei Sea Arch trailhead. Volcanoes National Park consists of Mauna Loa and Kilauea Volcanoes.  I've included the other 3 volcanoes here for the sake of completeness.

Green Sand Beach (Papakolea) and Black Sand Beach

Green Sand Beach - Papakolea Beach, near South Point, Big Island, HI

The hike to Green Sand Beach was 5 to 5.5 mile roundtrip from the parking lot to Green Sand Beach, depending on the route you take. Locals offer a shuttle ride on the back of a pick up truck though I saw no prices listed.

Califonia, USA

I am learning that California is pleasantly diverse and geologically quite remarkable.  From volcanoes - both active and ancient, to earthquake geology to fossil beds  to deep blue glacial lakes, scenic rugged coastlines, natural rock columns and towering granite domes and walls, California is one place I can spend many years exploring and still not be completely satisfied that I have seen it all.  Here are our explorations thus far....

Chilnualna Falls, Wawona, Yosemite National Park, CA

We started our May long weekend at 10am at the trailhead at Chilnualna Falls. Parking was scarce, but we managed to snag one of the last two regular spots, lots more for creative parkers. Parking area and some of the road in was dirt/packed gravel with potholes, though our low clearance 2WD sedan made the journey just fine. A sign indicated the presence of mountain lions. Definitely keep kids close.