Treat yourself to a bird’s-eye view of the verdant stretch of land nicknamed The Valley of the Kings, a place of striking beauty and historical importance.
Climb to Waipi'o Valley Lookout to get a whole new perspective on the natural spectacle of Waipi'o Valley below. This picturesque area is known locally as “The Valley of the Kings” and is celebrated for its important role in Haiwaiian royal history. However, the exquisite tropical landscape itself is every bit as captivating as the stories that surround it and this lookout point gives you a chance to see it as its best.
Waipi'o Valley’s poetic nickname comes from the story that the island’s kings once resided here. Most importantly, legend has it that King Kamehameha I, who united the Haiwaiian Islands, was raised in secret here after prophecies about his future power placed him in danger.
Look up at the hilltops up to 2,000 feet (619 meters) above as you lose yourself in the mythic past of this natural wonder. Imagine the time when this valley buzzed with thousands of inhabitants. Today, there are fewer than 100 people living here, but the valley’s significance remains. It has survived an amazing amount, including a tsunami that nearly destroyed it completely in 1946.
From the overlook, scan the valley for its most famous highlights. Look for Hawai'i’s tallest waterfall, Hi'ilawe Falls, as its waters crash down from a height of 1,300 feet (396 meters). This is just one of several waterfalls that shine like diamonds against this lush green backdrop. Look down into the rich valley, thick with tropical plants and trees, as you think about the many stories that surround this place. See neat taro fields spread out below you and turn towards the other side of the overlook to take in some stunning sea vistas.
Waipi'o Valley Lookout is easily accessible via a nearby highway. At the end of the road, leave your car in the lot and walk the short distance to the lookout itself. The valley below can only be reached by four-wheel drive, due to the steep hill, but in any case, the most interesting way to discover its stories is to join a guided tour. Consider taking a horseback tour to experience the ultimate journey into the past.