Does Maui Have a Black Sand Beach?

Maui is known for its beautiful vistas and volcanic landscapes, but did you know that the island is also home to exotic black sand beaches?

In this article, I will cover some key information about Maui’s most famous black sand beach, from whether you need a reservation to directions on how to get to it.

So, when it comes to planning your trip away you have a better idea of what to expect.

Keep reading to find out more.

Black sand beach on Maui.

What Is The Name Of The Famous Black Sand Beach In Maui?

The most famous black sand beach on Maui is in Waianapanapa State Park, and is known as Pa’iloa Beach. While known for its black sand, Pa’iloa Beach is rarely crowded. Visitors typically stop to snap photos before driving into Hana.

Besides black sand at Waianapanapa State Park, there are hikes, walks, a blowhole, sea arches, ocean caves, islets, cliff jumping, freshwater pools, camping spots, and cabins. While you can swim at this black sand beach, the currents can become strong and it generally isn’t recommended unless you’re a strong, experienced swimmer.

An easy walk around Waianapanapa will take you to two anchialine pools. These small pools form in limestone or volcanic rock and often feature unique ecosystems, populated by tiny species of crustaceans and fish.

Although it’s the most renowned black sand beach on Maui, Waianapanapa State Park isn’t the only spot where you can sink your toes into black sand.

There are also other, less famous black sand beaches that you can visit on Maui, such as One’uli black sand beach. One’uli black sand beach is a great place for snorkeling and diving. There is a coral reef located close to the shore so you can see and swim with a variety of sea creatures here, including green sea turtles.

Do You Need A Reservation For The Famous Black Sand Beach on Maui?

Yes, all visitors must make reservations in order to enter Waiʻānapana State Park and visit the black sand beach, along the Road to Hana.

Reservations can be made through the park’s website.  But know that same-day reservations are not available. Currently, reservations may be made up to 14 days in advance, and no later than the day before your visit.

Reservations are released one day at a time at midnight Hawaii Standard Time, so make sure that you book well in advance to ensure that you get your desired time slots.

A reservation at Waianapanapa State Park will allow you two and a half hours before you need to exit the car park. Generally speaking, most people spend about 1 hour at Wai’anapanapa before resuming their road trip to Hana.

That being said, adding an extra 30 minutes to your trip will give you extra time to walk on the coastal trail and snap all of your favorite vacation photos.

How Do I Get To Waianapanapa State Park?

Waianapanapa State Park and is located at mile marker 32 on the Road to Hana.

The majority of people drive to Waianapanapa. Parking vouchers are $10 and your parking reservation does not provide entry to all of the passengers in your car. You will need both a parking reservation and entry ticket for yourself and an entry ticket for the passengers in your vehicle. These entry vouchers cost $5 per person.

Bearing this in mind, the minimum you have to spend for a day out at Waianapanapa State Park—even for one person—for parking and entry is $15.

If you want to park all day, you’ll need to purchase vouchers for all the time you plan on visiting. If you want to be there from park opening until sunset, you’ll need to purchase all four time slots. However, it might be the case that not all time slots are available on a given date, so you will need to consider this if you’re wanting to park there all day.

It is also important to note that reservation dates and times cannot be changed once the purchase has been processed.

If you do not want to park your vehicle, valid forms of transportation with an entry voucher are…

  • walking,
  • a non-motorized vehicle such as a bike,
  • rideshare/taxi,
  • or carpooling with a Hawaiian Resident with State Issued ID.

If you choose the any of the above, a trip to Waianapanapa State Park would only cost you $5.

It is worth noting that you cannot leave your car on the side of the road, as it will be towed away. Always make sure that you have a parking reservation to avoid getting yourself into trouble.

When planning your trip to Maui, make sure you check out the most renowned black sand beach in Waianapanapa State Park and book a reservation in advance to avoid disappointment.

Most importantly, stay safe and have an amazing trip to Maui!

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