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What’s better than a family vacation on a tropical island? Hiking jaw-droppingly beautiful trails through lush rainforest without another soul in sight on that tropical island, that’s what! And it’s all waiting for you to explore. Here is your ultimate guide to the best hikes in American Samoa.
Where is American Samoa?
Before we start talking about the best hikes in American Samoa, let me take a second and answer the question I get asked the most: where is American Samoa? Most people have never heard of American Samoa, much less know where it is.
Believe it or not, it is a United States territory, located in the South Pacific. In fact, it is the only US soil in the southern hemisphere! You will find this tiny island territory roughly halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand.
American Samoa is your iconic tropical island. Yet, because of its remoteness, this hidden gem has none of the crowds you’ll find at more popular island destinations.
Hike #1: Blunt’s Point
Blunt’s Point is one of our very favorite hikes on the island. It gives you a bird’s-eye view of the harbor and the chance to get up close and personal with some World War II history. Your kids will love this hike!
This is a moderate hike through the rainforest, so it is shady most of the time. It is a fun and family-friendly trail.
The entire hike will take you approximately 3 hours, but you can reach the WWII guns in about 20 minutes. Sometimes, we only hike to the guns and then turn back.
The trail starts next to the IBM Laundromat between Faga’alu and Utulei on the main road. It is popular, so almost anyone you ask can direct you to the trailhead.
Hike #2: Airport Beach
For a completely different type of hike, check out the trek to Airport Beach. The name comes from the fact that it leads to a beach located right next to the airport runway.
This trail will take you over lava rock along the shoreline. You will be entertained throughout the hike with the crashing waves, spouting blowholes, and scampering crabs.
After about 30 minutes, you will reach Airport Beach, where you can swim and snorkel as you watch planes take off and land.
Beware that there is zero shade along this trail. So be prepared to bring a hat, sunscreen, and maybe some shade of your own.
This hike starts just past Maliu Mai in Fogagogo.
Hike #3: Fogama’a Crater
The hike to Fogam’a Crater is a hidden gem! It is another favorite of ours.
The trail itself isn’t that remarkable, but it does lead you through a taro plantation. What makes this one special is the end point.
The trail stops at Fogama’a Crater, which is a secluded cove with a picture perfect beach that is usually completely empty! So, you can have it all to yourself!
This hike takes about 30 minutes and is relatively easy. There is one spot where the incline gets a little steep about two-thirds of the way to the crater, but other than that it is mostly flat.
Much of the trail is not shaded, but there is shade at the Crater. This beach is an excellent place to swim and relax, especially for families.
The hardest part about this hike is finding it. It is so hidden that we couldn’t find it on our own, even with directions! You definitely want to get a local guide to take you to this one.
You can arrange one of the best guides on the island by contacting Paula and Michael at touramericansamoa.com.
If you decide to go without a guide, drive past the village of Vaitogi towards the Turtle and Shark Lodge. Just before getting to the lodge, take the last right. When the road becomes impassable, ask for permission to park at one of the houses and continue on foot.
Hike #4: Aunu’u
The tiny island of Aunu’u is located just off the eastern end of Tutuila, the main island in American Samoa.
Aunu’u has been designated a National Natural Landmark and is breathtakingly beautiful, as are the views back towards Tutuila. In fact, this is one of the most scenic spots in American Samoa.
You can hike the entire island is a couple of hours. Here, you will see everything from taro plantations and natural water wells to quicksand and impressive lava rock formations.
In addition to amazing hiking, you can also learn about the Samoan culture while on Aunu’u. The best way to experience Aunu’u is to contact Peter Taliva’a on Facebook to arrange a tour.
Kids will love this adventure, but pack some snacks before heading out to keep little tummies from getting too hungry while hiking.
To reach Aunu’u, you must take a 10-minute ferry from the boat dock in Au’asi.
Hike #5: Pola Island Trail
The Pola Island Trail is another unique hike in American Samoa. It is also the easiest hike you will ever find! It is only a tenth of a mile long and completely flat. So, everyone can participate in this one!
It is part of the National Park of American Samoa, one of the United States National Parks.
After your short walk through the rainforest, you emerge on the rocky shoreline with beautiful views in all directions.
Stand on the shoreline and admire the breathtaking views. Then listen carefully. After a few minutes, you will begin to hear the chatter of the “talking rocks” as they tumble back towards the ocean after the waves crash on them.
To reach this trail, drive to the village of Vatia and follow the road past the last house and into the rainforest. The road gets rough, so take it very slow.
Park in the small clearing where you see several National Park signs. Then finish the hike on foot to the coastline.
Hike #6 Lower Sauma Ridge Trail
Another fun, but hidden trail is the Lower Sauma Ridge Trail. It is my son’s most favorite trail.
As you drive to Vatia to hike the Pola Island Trail, stop at the lookout with the fale at the top of the mountain. This is where you will find the trail head to the Lower Sauma Ridge Trail.
This short, easy hike is entirely in the rainforest and completely shaded. It is a great one for kids because it is a place where they can roam and explore a little bit.
This hike is another one located in the National Park. It has stairs carved into it in several places, making it easier to navigate.
It is only about four tenths of a mile long, and ends with spectacular views of Pola Island and the Vatia Strait, a National Natural Landmark.
Hike #7: Tuafanua Trail
For a more challenging hike, try the Tuafanua Trail. It is also located in the village of Vatia.
This 2.2 mile roundtrip hike is steep with lots of switchbacks and ladders and ropes in some spots. After the trek through the rainforest, you will be rewarded with a hidden rocky beach with gorgeous views.
My son hiked this trail at age 7 without any problems. However, I wouldn’t recommend it for children younger than that unless they are experienced hikers due to the physically demanding nature of it.
Also, beware that this is not a place to swim. There are dangerous currents and waves crashing hard on the rocks.
You can find the start of this trail by looking for the sign just before Mount ‘Alava Elementary School.
Hike #8: Mount ‘Alava Trail
If you want to tackle one of the most challenging hikes in American Samoa, Mount ‘Alava is for you! Next to Blunt’s Point, this is the most iconic hike on the island.
It is 7 miles roundtrip through the National Park and rewards you with amazing panoramic views of the middle portions of Tutuila from the top.
This hike is pretty steep trail and can be extra difficult when it is wet. Most, but not all, of this trail is shaded.
You will find the trail head at Fagasa Pass in Pago Pago.
If you love hiking, American Samoa should be on your list of places to visit.
This small island showcases some of the most beautiful hikes on the planet. Most of these hikes in American Samoa are great to do with kids.
And the best part is that, most of the time, you will have the trails all to yourselves!
If you need help planning your trip, leave a comment here or visit touramericansamoa.com. Happy travels!
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