February 18, 2018

Wailuku River-September 18, 2010

wailuku-riverThe Kona Hiking Club will visit the upper Wailuku River section on Saturday, September 18. The trail is between the 13.5 and 14.5 mile markers on Saddle Road in Hilo Watershed Forest Reserve on the southeastern slope of Mauna Kea.







The name Wailuku means “destructive waters” in the Hawaiian Language. The river can rise into the trees and drop back down very fast. At 26 miles in length it is the longest river in Hawaii and its course lies mostly along the divide between the lava flows of Mauna Kea and those of Mauna Loa to the south. It arises at about the 10,800 feet (3,300 m) elevation along the eastern slope of Mauna Kea and flows generally eastward, descending steeply from the mountain and entering the Pacific Ocean at Hilo.

A 3 mile jeep trail in to the river (6 mile roundtrip mostly level at the 3900’ elev) will be the regular hike, with the more adventuresome hikers following the river downstream to explore additional pools. The jeep trail was originally built to provide access to the gauging station and is much used by hunters. Trail is sometimes wet, muddy, and dotted with small ponds which need to be passed through or around. This is a great hike on a sunny day. Just about the time you feel hot and sweaty, there is a whole river to swim in.

Although it’s been dry lately, be prepared for rain and mosquitoes. Participants must carry at least two liters of water per person. Closed-toed shoes that you don’t mind getting wet, sun protection, lunch or snack, and hiking sticks are also recommended. Don’t forget your bathing suit and towel if you plan on swimming.

Visitors as well as residents are invited to participate in this hike. There is no charge, although carpoolers are encouraged to chip-in for gasoline.

Carpoolers will meet at 6:45 a.m. and leave at 7:00 a.m. from Lanihau Center. Please park well away from the businesses, in the corner of the parking lot near Buns in the Sun. Others may meet at Pu’u Huluhulu parking lot across from Mauna Kea Access Road at 8:30 a.m. From here we will carpool to the trailhead which has limited parking.

For more information, please call Kathleen at 557-9246.

PLEASE NOTE: All members are welcome to bring guests or pass on information about our hikes to other hikers. However, if you do so, PLEASE make sure that you direct them to the Kona Hiking Club website to review the hike announcement and description. We want to make sure that everyone is prepared for the specific hike we are doing that day, whether we’re facing mud, heat, cold, steep trails, rocky trails, high altitude, exceptionally long distances, etc. Mahalo for helping us keep everyone safe!

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