Along the road to Hana, stop at Waianapanapa State Park


Waianapanapa State Park is one of those not-to-be-missed stops along the road to Hana. As you can see from the photos, the beauty of this park is striking — with the black sand beach surrounded by ocean blue and a vibrantly green landscape.

Waianapanapa State Park is located between mile markers 32 and 33 of the Hana Highway. The turn is closest to mile marker 32 on the makai (ocean) side of the road.

While you’re here, I recommend you check out these highlights:

1. Walk to short path and stairs down to the black sand beach. You might be tempted to look at the beach from a distance, but there are two great reasons to go stand on this beach. First, black sand beaches are rare, so you’re getting a wonderful opportunity to be on a site that’s not found many places on earth. The other reason to go to the beach level is that this beach has lots of black lava pebbles that make a unique sound as the waves come to shore and then roll back to the ocean.

Waianapanapa State Park - Black Sand Beach

2. Check out the lava tube that’s on the right side of the black sand beach as you face the ocean.

Waianapanapa State Park - Lava Tube

3. Walk along the ocean side path to see the tiny islands that are bird sanctuaries.

Waianapanapa State Park

4. See the natural lava arch.

Waianapanapa State Park

I recommend you plan a minimum of 15 minutes here. Of course, if you have more time and want to linger, take advantage of some of the trails. There’s a short loop trail that leads off Waianapanapa Caves with fresh water pool. Some folks like to take a dip in the cool water there.

If you need a restroom break, you’ll find restrooms at the park. Picnic facilities are also available.

If you’d like to stay overnight, camping is allowed at Waianapanapa State Park and cabins are available for rent. See this link to reserve online or call 808-587-0300 for more information on camping and cabin rates.

See more photos from our visits to Waianapanapa State Park.

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