Wai'anapanapa Black Sand Beach

4.5 stars from 11 reviews
Address 255 Waianapanapa Rd, Hana, HI 96713
An amazing black sand beach. Not to be missed!

• Facilities: Bathrooms • Facilities: Picnic Tables
• Facilities: Showers • Sand Type: Black
• Parking: Good / Plenty

Matt Anderson's Take
Wai'anapanapa Black Sand Beach is located at Wai'anapanapa State Park in the Hana area on Maui. This is one place you will not want to miss on your trip around on the Road To Hana. In fact, I'd drive the road to Hana just for this place any day of the week.

Getting here is easy. Assuming you are heading east along the Hana Highway, take a left turn at Honokalani / Waianapanapa Road which will be shortly after (southeast of) the Hana Airport area. Follow that road and the state park signs to the end and you'll run into a large parking area. From there you can follow the signs down to the black sand beach, to the caves, blow hole, or hiking trail at Wai'anapanapa State Park.

The beach itself isn't very large and the word is out about this place so you'll have company, a lot of it. Of course, crowded in Hana isn't like crowded in most other parts of Hawaii so it shouldn't be too bad but the touristy tour buses will stop here and let the herd roam free.

The sand itself isn't like normal sand in size or texture. At the dry end of the beach it's actually large, smooth, black rocks (think river rock). As you get closer to the water the rocks get smaller and smaller until they're super tiny and smaller than fish gravel but still very round and smooth. It's a really neat size gradient thing that happens here.

To avoid the wrath of Pele, resist the urge to pocket souvenirs here. Don't believe us, see Lava Rock & Sand Souvenirs for more on that. The small rocks (sand) will stick to your bits and pieces so be sure to shake the family off before leaving the beach as well.

What's amazing here is how colorful things are. The black is super black and then you have a zillion amazing shades of blue ocean and sky and some of the greenest plant life you can imagine. Bring a camera, these photos will be keepers for sure. The water here might be a bit rough and there is no lifeguard here so we don't recommend swimming for most people. But even if you don't go for a swim it's worth a trip here just to see the views.
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Aimee T
Joined: Jan 2018
Reviews: 21
Likes Received: 0
I didn't feel comfortable swimming here but others were and seemed to be doing fine. The waves just seemed too choppy for my liking. Still, it's worth the trip just to see the colors and that amazing block sand (which is more pebble like really).
Andrea G
Joined: Jan 2018
Reviews: 16
Likes Received: 0
An amazing black sand beach along the Road to Hana.
Landen O
Joined: Sep 2017
Reviews: 19
Likes Received: 0
This is a must see beach if you're headed to Hana. The black sand is truly bizarre if you've never seen it in person before. We didn't swim here but others were but it looked a little rough for us.
Matt A
Joined: Feb 2013
Reviews: 803
Likes Received: 111
Maui is full of beautiful places but this one is very high up on the list of must see eye candy. Black sand beaches are fairly rare, and this is a great example of one of the best because of all of the other colors around it. Colors just pop here. If the ocean is calm it's fun to take a dip but if it's not you won't want to swim here.
brandy s
Joined: May 2016
Reviews: 47
Likes Received: 0
Breathtakingly beautiful the black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Park is like none other on Maui. The hike along the sea cliffs make for amazing photo-ops! There is overnight camping on site which is an excellent way to experience the beach without the daytime crowds. It is also a great way to break up the drive to Hana. The beach does get very crowded mid-day.
Joined: May 2016
Reviews: 67
Likes Received: 2
I would go so far as to say this was my favorite stop on the road to Hana. The scenery was so green and it looked fantastic against the black lava rock and black sand. I took about 300 pictures because it was just so beautiful... and not one of them are bad! (and it rained about 3 minutes of those pictures). The beach was gorgeous, the blowhole was pretty, the caves were awesome and the waves crashing were just so cool! If you don't stop here you're doing yourself a disservice.
Joined: Mar 2016
Reviews: 426
Likes Received: 12
Wow, this beach was amazing never seen anything like it! Black sand? Yes, black sand it was just unreal! Soft and very weird to see. The water was beautiful crystal blue and just great photo opportunities! Make sure you check out black sand beach it's a must highly recommended! So glad I had the opportunity to go!
thomas c
Joined: Mar 2016
Reviews: 9
Likes Received: 0
Great sand, not very big beach and too crowded to relax on.
Tom T
Joined: Sep 2013
Reviews: 579
Likes Received: 33
Have you ever visited a place because everyone says "oh, you've got to see that"? Wai'anapanapa Black Sand Beach is one of those places. The black sand is curiously interesting in a backdrop of tropical vegetation and gorgeous protruding lava formations in the ocean. But it's also a beach congested with tourist taking pictures of the sand. This is amplified after 11am when the tour buses start showing up. This is a special place. It's beautiful. But to really appreciate it in the fullest sense, arrive early around 7-8am.
Joined: Aug 2015
Reviews: 14
Likes Received: 0
Worth drive just to see it. The colors here are mind boggling with the black sand, blue ocean, and green plants. The downside is that the sand grains are very large so not a soft sand and the waves were a bit rough here.
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