The Black Sand Beach at Waianapanapa State Park is located in Hana, a small town at the northeastern tip of Maui. The road to Hana is 54 miles long (starting in Kahului) and is extremely curvy. Driving the road is best done as an all-day trip, with a planned overnight stay in Hana, although a day trip is possible, especially if you get going early in the morning.
The black sand that forms the beach comes from volcanic rock, gradually pulverized over thousands of years by the incessant wave action at the shore. Much of the sand is actually very tiny pebbles, although higher up on the shore the pebbles give way to actual sand.
This beach is not very large and often has high surf, especially in winter. There are signs (permanently posted) warnings of everything from man-o-war to being swept out to sea, and there are life rings positioned around the surrounding cliffs. Be very careful if you decide to venture into the water here.
Hours of Operation
Waianapanapa is a state park CLICK HERE FOR PERMIT but seems to have no official hours of operation. The parking lot has a gate which may be closed at times. The camping area is open to permitted campers 24 hours a day, however, a permit is required. Hana Camp Gear can assist you with your permits between 10 am – 2 pm.
Kīpahulu Campground – Seven Sacred Pools
The Kipahulu campground is about 1/8 mile (.2km) south of the Kipahulu Visitor Center. It overlooks ocean cliffs and is a short walk from Oheo Gulch. In the evenings, the sound of the ocean waves makes this a peaceful place. The campground has picnic tables, BBQ grills, and pit toilets. No water is available at Kipahulu; you must bring your own water supply. There are two general stores in the nearby town of Hana (10 miles[16km] away) where you can purchase water and basic food supplies. Be prepared for rain, harsh sun, and mosquitoes.
One of the best ways to see Kipahulu is to plan a couple of days hiking and camping. The Maui Info Source website can give you detailed information and you might check with them about a guided hiking tour.
Kipahulu is one of the favorite Maui Campgrounds by locals. Sitting on a grassy area just above the ocean, warm breezes bring the sounds of crashing waves to your campsite. This area is often wet with regular rains, which causes this site to be a favorite for local mosquitoes as well. Kipahulu Campground is only a short walk to Oheo Gulch and the Seven Sacred Pools just north. With no water available, this camping area does have a few amenities, though you’ll have to bring most everything you need. It has some picnic tables at select sites, a grill at every site, and some communal chemical toilets. A maximum of 100 people are allowed to camp here. Seek out your spot, and then take a walk to the Kipahulu Visitor Center only 1/8 of a mile away for your permit. The park officials here are quite friendly, and lax about what time you need to pay them, so long as you do.
Here you can camp here or swim in the icy pools. If you do decide to swim, however, please read all safety protocols and remember to use extreme caution as flash floods and rock slides can and do occur often. If swimming isn’t your thing, you can stroll along some of the area’s marked trails. Cultural activities are also offered at Kīpahulu’s visitor center, as well as with the Kīpahulu ʻohana. Check out what Bruce Fisher has to say about Maui on the Hawaii Vacation Blog – Hawaii Travel Guide, Hawaii News.
|QUICK FACTS – see Maui Info Source for more information|
|Activities: Waterfall and pools swimming, hiking||Nearest Store, Gas, Dining: Hana town about 30 minutes away|
|Bathrooms: Yes, Restrooms||Parking: Yes, close by. You can even park right at the campsite.|
|Best Time To Go: All year, but it rains a bit more in the winter and almost always rains at night no matter what time of year you go.||Time Allowed: Maximum of three nights per month|
|Other Facilities: Picnic tables, outdoor grills||Water Available: No, bring your own in.|
|Nearby: Charles Lindbergh Gravesite||Type of Camping: Tent & Vehicle only|
|Costs/Permits: $10 per vehicle (14 max) or $5 per person (motorcycle or foot). Campsite is on a first come, first serve basis. Campground limit is 100 persons and no more that twelve per group.||Directions: From Kahului, take the Hana Highway (Hwy. 36), which becomes highway 360, to Hana, and then keep going pat Hana town until you reach the National Park. You cant miss it.|
|More Information/Obtain Permits:
Oh… and just one more thing – Maui Hiking and Camping Etiquette:
- Do not damage or remove any plants.
- Do not molest or disturb any animal, bird, or its habitat.
- Do not damage, deface or remove any object of antiquity, monuments, or geological features.
- Place all waste materials in provided receptacles.
- No fires shall be built except in provided fireplaces.
- Portable stoves or warming devices may be used in established camping and picnic areas.
- Please have respect for other peoples right to enjoy their surroundings.
- Pets are not permitted to run at large in park grounds and buildings.
- No person shall drink or display to public view any intoxicating beverages.
- No person shall engage in peddling, soliciting, selling, advertising, or charging of admission without a permit.
- AND don’t take home any lava rock. Visitors who have taken rocks from Pele’s
land have returned them in hopes of ending scary streaks of bad luck. Hawaii
Volcanoes National Park and most of the hotels are inundated with packages
containing rocks from guilt-ridden vacationers who are intent upon reversing
their sudden spates of misfortune.
Contact: Hana Camp Gear ● firstname.lastname@example.org ● (800) 332-4022
P.O. Box 53, Hana, HI 96713