A lone Monkeypod tree stands sentinel over the taro fields near the steep Waipio Valley walls.
Waipio Valley is located on the north shore in the Hamakua District of the Island of Hawaiʻi. Waipio means “curved water" in the Hawaiian language. It was named after the river that runs through the valley.
Once the home of kings and densely populated, it was the capital and permanent residence of many early Ali’I up until King Umi sometime around the 1600s. Today, there are only 47 homes in the valley and only 6 have power.
Waipio Valley is very difficult to access. The valley floor at sea level is almost 2,000 foot below the surrounding terrain. A steep one lane road leads down into the valley from a lookout point located on the top of the southern wall of the valley. The road gains 800 vertical feet in a half mile at a 25% average grade, with steeper grades in sections. This is a paved public road but it is open only to 4 wheel drive vehicles and it is the steepest road of its length in the United States.
Copyright 2017 Susan Rissi Tregoning
USA Photographers 1.24.18
ABC Group "D is for Destination" 10.22.18
Hawaiian Photography 1.31.19
December 17th, 2017
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