FATMAP difficulty grade
This is a rather short but strenuous hike from Vatia Village which goes up and over a narrow ridge to the other side of the island.
There you’ll find a deserted stretch of lava-rock beach with pounding waves.
It’s not for swimming due to the strong currents, but it makes for a dramatic beachwalk and altogether rewarding hike. The hike begins from a grassy lot in front of a large old building.
A small sign denotes the trail, which is otherwise hard to pick out in the overgrown grass.
Once you get on it, though, the trail is not hard to follow.
It zigzags steeply up the mountainside, through lush natural rainforest, on tread that can be slick with leaves and mud.
At the top of the ridge there’s not much of a view because of the foliage, so you’ll promptly turn downhill to continue toward the beach. The going gets tougher on the other side, with a series of ropes and “ladders” which are more like steep stairs.
The final obstacle is a short but vertical rock wall with a sturdy rope for aid.
After that, the trail flattens out, and you’ll be only steps away from emerging onto the beach.
It’s a stony shore bound by lava-rock cliffs on one side, but the other side stretches toward Pola Island.
It’s possible to walk the cobble beach and get almost all the way to the narrow strait that separates the two islands. Sources: https://www.nps.gov/npsa/planyourvisit/upload/Day-Hikes-SB_NPSA_high-res.pdf https://chasingabandon.com/hiking-the-national-park-of-american-samoa/