Ka’awali’i Gulch

 kaawalii gulch

There are three big gulches as you head up the Hamakua coast up highway 19 out of Hilo and Ka’awali’i Gulch is the final of the three.  It features 5 great rappels up to 190 feet as well as a massive keeper pothole that can be avoided with some difficulty.  This is a unique and different route than many of the others listed in this section in a number of ways.  There is typically no flow until you reach an awesome spring below rappel 4.   The approach and exit are both very easy and this entire route can be completed in 6 hours with two cars.  Natural anchors were readily available throughout the route.  The keeper pothole itself is an interesting and unusual feature for this area and is a massive pit 30×80 feet wide and over 20 feet deep with an undercut, overhanging lip.  Exit from this pothole is feasible with a bolt kit but can be avoided by picking an anchor to the far edge of the cliff edge and angling the rappel around it.  Though the water located within the pothole is some of the clearest water I have ever seen.  Quite the magical place in there but not one to be taken lightly.  Come prepared to deal with it regardless.

-> Ka’awali’i Gulch – April 7, 2013 <-