Welcome to Hawaiian Walkways hiking tours! These itineraries are priced as indicated for a minimum of two, maximum of 10 per group. We supply light packs, walking sticks, rain gear, lunch and beverages, and guide services including engaging and accurate information about the lands and people of Hawai’i. We offer three choices in our Big Island Hiking Tours:
1. Classic Tours are our core hiking tours. These are what we began offering in 1984: a set destination with specified timing and mixed group composition. These remain the core of our business and work well for most of our clients. Our Classic Tours are all listed below.
2. Personal Tours (Classic Tours Personalization) are a variation on our classic tour itineraries designed to give up to four guests the advantage of customized timing and the assurance of privacy and concentrated attention to the individuals booking the trip. Our Classic itineraries all can be arranged as Personal Tours. Additional persons can be included for the Classic individual fee.
3. Exclusive Tours offer maximum flexibility: a van with 10-passenger capacity and a driver-guide are available for as much as 10 hours to visit and explore some of Hawai`i Island’s amazing places. Details are listed below under Exclusive Tours.
It takes a special combination of geography, climate and geology to create reliable waterfalls in the Islands of Hawai`i. You won’t find them on the leeward side or on the active volcanoes of the Big Island! Ample, regular rainfall, a land aspect facing into the trade winds, ground where lava rock has been mantled by late-phase eruptions depositing ash layers, and a relatively intact forest above: these constitute the essentials for waterfalls.
On the Island of Hawai`i, those constraints limit waterfalls to the east-facing slopes of the volcanic mountains Kohala and Mauna Kea. Stretching from the north end of the Island down the rugged mountain flanks and sea cliffs of Hamakua all the way down to Hilo, waterfall-conducive conditions occur.
Hawaiian Walkways goes to great lengths to access waterfalls ranging from the margins of Waipi`o Valley to the vicinity of Hilo-town. Agreements with private landowners and arrangements with governmental agencies allow us to reveal a good number of waterfalls to our guests, with varying levels of required walking. The awesome power, the subtle healing properties and the hypnotic effects of rushing water falling into lovely pools make for trips with magically memorable qualities.
Kilauea Volcano Discovery
As part of the U.S. National Park system, a world Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve, Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park is clearly a place with special qualities. Discovering the attributes of this intensely dynamic area in the company of a guide with decades of experience and special training in volcanism and Hawai`i’s natural and cultural history is a richly rewarding experience. Whether you enjoy the stimulating company of others on a Classic Tour, the special arrangements of a Personal Tour, or the more extensive and wide-ranging options of an Exclusive Tour, you will, at day’s end, reflect on a rare and happily memorable day immersed in the features and the lore of one of the earth’s most amazing places.
Saddle Road Explorations
Stretching across the 5,000` level of Mauna Loa’s north flank is a remarkable trail, owned by the State of Hawai`i and controlled by permits. Hawaiian Walkways has for years led hikers with a naturalist inclination through the mélange of sparse growth on historic-era lava flows, open native forest, and dense islands (“kipuka”) of ancient forests that characterize the area. Just to the east of the “saddle” formed by the mingling eruptive material of two of the earth’s most notable volcanoes, this trail continually facilitates shifts of focus from splendid distant vistas of old and new volcanic land-forms to close-up scrutiny of new-sprung and ancient forest growth. Habitat to wild goats and pigs, and to native birds and plants, the land just keeps offering more. Like reading an absorbing book, the pages of Hawai`I’s story keep turning as we walk, leaving us feeling well-repaid for our day’s efforts.
Kona Cloud Forest Botanical Walk
On forested land under the stewardship of a retired professor of horticulture, Hawaiian Walkways enjoys a special privilege of access. Trails winding through the property are lined with a jungle of plants, native to Hawai`i and to many other lands as well. Their beauty and their stories, as revealed by your guide, make for a walk high-lighted by feelings of peace and appreciation of nature’s gifts as augmented by the labors of love invested in this cloud forest sanctuary.
Some years ago Hawaiian Walkways was approached by the owner of Paradise Helicopters to partner on an itinerary that would overfly the volcanic activity of Kilauea, the windward coastline and valleys, then shift to an on-the-ground experience of the majestic rim of Waipi`o Valley. It troubled him, he said, to know that some thought that they had seen Hawai`i when they had only seen it from the air. They would be missing an essential component of the Island not to sense it directly by walking on its natural surfaces and taking in the powerful experience of a quiet, slow-paced encounter with the land, the sky and the winds.
We’re pleased to offer this wonderful combination, booked directly through Paradise Helicopters, and encourage you to check out the video on our website to get a sense of this special offering.
Exclusive Tours offer you maximum flexibility in your Big Island Hiking Tour: a van with a 10-passenger capacity and a driver-guide are available for as much as 10 hours to visit and explore some of Hawai`i Island’s amazing places.
Sometimes the itinerary focusing on a specific site just won’t do. Our “Big Island” has over 4,000 square miles of area. Its highly varied geography requires time and distance to experience the natural and cultural riches it offers. In consultation with you we establish a day’s experience beginning with our extraordinary offerings and shaped by your preferences, the dynamics of natural powers (e.g., volcanic activity, weather conditions), and the bounds of reason.