Wai'anapanapa State Park
Beautiful, Remote and Exotic Black Sand Beach
Wai'anapanapa (“glistening waters” in Hawaiian) State Park is remote, undeveloped and a reprieve from urban life, offers a truly exotic Hawaiian experience. Located at mile marker #32 on The Road to Hana, nature puts on a spectacular display of vivid colors in shocking contrast to each other creating one of the most picturesque seascapes in Hawaii.
The lush tropical green vegetation and black lava cliffs surround the black sound beach buffets the white-capped turquoise water making it one of the most visually stimulating sights on Maui.
The sand is not really sand at all but tiny black pebbles from volcanic sediment as a result of relentless waves against the shoreline. Swimming and snorkeling should be done with extreme caution paying close attention to rocky reefs and strong currents.
Most people make a quick stop at Wai’anapanapa to take a snapshot but there’s more to see here than just the beach. Use the park’s main trail for a hardy family hike along the coast past the black-sand beach to discover Wai’anapanapa’s freshwater caves. Legend has it, these caves were the site of the grisly murder of Popo’alaea. She and her attendant were murdered by her husband, Chief Ka’akea. Visitors are able to enter the caves and even swim in the pools. If you prefer to stay dry, visit several ancient sites along the coastal hiking trail.
Wai’anapanapa State Park is open to visitors every day, and there is no admission fee. Facilities are limited but you do have the option to camp as long as you have reservations and a permit. For more information, visit the Hawaii State Parks website.