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Hilo Beaches

Carlsmith Beach is a beautiful beach with many coconut tree islets just off shore. The beach is surrounded by turquoise waters, too choppy for my snorkeling tastes unfortunately, though many other visitors felt very comfortable swimming. There were sharp black lava rocks to walk on (bring water shoes) and white sand-bottomed coves. Carlsmith Beach is probably the most beautiful beach we went to in our attempt to turtle-spot, though we did not spot any here. Parking here was limited and the beach was busy, but for good reason. 

 

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, add 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.

Southern Coast - Green Sand Beach (Papakolea), Black Sand Beach (Punaluu) and Pu'uhonua O Honaunau (City of Refuge)

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.

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.