Walk a Black Sand Beach on the Road to Hana in Maui

I have been to the creamy white sand beaches of the Caribbean, the finely compacted beaches of Georgia’s St. Simons Island and the course salt & pepper beaches of Northern California. But, never have I seen a black sand beach. Until now. Until Maui.

The Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach is at mile marker 32 on the Road to Hana drive. Just one more stop that justifies why the Road to Hana made the bucket list off the Best Things to Do in Maui.

Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach

Counting mile markers whilst driving the Road to Hana, number thirty-two was amongst my favorite, the Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach. After six hours on our travels and a dozen of impressive prior stops, we arrived at the Waianapanapa State Park and headed straight for the black sand beach.

We parked our car and followed the self-explanatory arrows towards the beach. The path was paved and steep, yet abundantly scenic. This was tricky for my clumsy self.

Watching my footing while trying to take in the beautiful backdrop was a challenge. But, absolutely worth the potential hazard.

Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach Maui

After a short descent, we arrived to the beachfront which was layered with black rock all the way to the waters edge.

It started with large coal colored rock, followed by shiny black sand with descending sizes of pebbles.

As soon as my foot touched the beach, I made a run for the water. Didn’t even bother to remove my shoes. I  just couldn’t bare leaving without scooping up a handful of the Waianapanapa black sand. I even thought about sticking a handful in my pocket as a souvenir. But, then if everyone did that there would be no sand left for you to see.

Annette at Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach

There were several other attractions at the 120 acre Waianapanapa State Park; a lava tube, blow hole and sea arche. Bonus. Yet, all supporting actors to the star of the show.

Have you ever been to a black sand beach? Have you driven the Road to Hana?

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18 thoughts on “Walk a Black Sand Beach on the Road to Hana in Maui”

  1. Ahhh what a fabulous place to have visited, I would love love love to see a black sand beach in real life! Also, I love your pics, especially the life is good one :) xx

  2. What a beautiful place!  I played volleyball on a black sand beach on a Greek island.  It can be rough when you dive as the surface is often rocky.   I've never seen hieroglyphs on a plant, so cool.  Thumbs up to Rachel and you for taking the picture.

  3. Thanks for sharing your post. I agree that what I would do differently next time is spend more time at the black sand beach!

  4. I desperately want to go to Hawaii. My friend made it all the way through medical school and took a trip there as a graduation present to herself. She walked on the beach the first day and her feet broke out in a rash of some kind. I don’t know if this was from black sand or if she even saw a black sand beach, but I sure would like to.

    • There is something special about Maui: the smell, the air, the laid back attitude. I hope you make it there one day! Even if you can not see the black sand, your feet will definitely know the difference :)

  5. Was at the black sand beech today… there was a horrible hydrogen sulfide or sewer smell near the top of the beach…. our hands smelled for hours after touching the pebbles. What it was really worries me…. park rangers or authorities should do an analysis for sewage or chemicals…

    • That’s horrible. I did not have that experience when I was there, so I wonder what is going on. Hopefully they will clear up the smell soon so other visitors don’t have the same experience!


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Annette White the Owner of Bucket List Journey
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