This is a magnificent lookout, assuming you get a parking spot. We waited between 5 and 10 minutes -- which is certainly worth it -- for a parking space. The lookout platform itself is decent, but there are better views to be had if you're willing to venture down the Pihea Trail a bit. If you do that, be mindful that the lava rocks upon which you will walk look like they will have good traction, but are just the opposite, especially when wet. Mud gets into the pores of the rocks, and the rocks are prone to having their outer edges easily torn away when walking upon them. I'm an experienced (but not in Hawai'i) hiker and this was the first time I had encountered a surface like this. As you go down the trail from the lookout, the middle and right side of it is made up of the lava rocks, but the left edge is more muddy. Surprisingly (to me, anyway) the mud-looking (left) side had much better footing, both on the way down and back up.
Oh yeah, about that view .... it's like nothing you've ever seen before. The lushness of the valley and mountainside, the steepness of the cliffs, the reds and tans of any hillsides where things aren't growing, the blues/greens of the ocean, and the blues and whites of the sky, just make the view an utter phenomenon. And, if you happen to see any helicopters or boats as part of the scene, you'll realize just how gargantuan the valley is. While you may be able to hear a helicopter exploring the valley, good luck finding it and then tracking it as it hovers around somewhere down there.
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