Big Island East Shore Beach Park
Pohoiki Black Sand Beach
In the spirit of adventure, add Isaac Hale Beach Park to your bucket list. Many every year flock to this gorgeous stretch of black sand beach, perfect for sunbathing, bodyboarding, or just relaxing. Lay on the sand as you watch the huge waves crashing onshore.
Overview of Issac Hale Beach
Off the beaten path on the northeastern side of Pohoiki Bay lies a spectacular black sand beach is known as Issac Hale Beach Park. A 2-acre oasis of dark lava rocks, Isaac Hale Beach Park, bears the name of a slain soldier of the Korean War. This beach experienced a majestic transformation in 2018.
Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, began its latest eruption on May 3, 2018, from the lower east zone of the volcano into the Puna District. The lava flow destroyed hundreds of homes and structures throughout neighborhoods in the Puna district. Yet, it also added acres to the island with its lava flows into the Pacific Ocean. The Volcano eruption has created an entirely new beach out of the park’s infrastructure, sending molten rock into the sea to cool and form a stunning black sand beach.
Today, the beach offers visitors a chance to view Hawaii's natural beauty and enjoy an afternoon picnic or swim. Green palm trees frame this long stretch of sand. Thus, it makes for a calm and protected space. The coastline along this area of the Big Island is exceptionally rugged and barren.
Whether you’re looking for a secluded place to sunbathe and swim, or if you’re interested in seeing some fantastic underwater creatures up close, Issac Hale Beach Park is a great place to visit while on the Big Island. Isaac Hale park has a rocky section on the west side and a sandy beach section on the east side. Both sides have areas where you can launch your kayak or SUP.
Getting There- Issac Hale Beach
The 2018 eruption of the Kilauea volcano covered part of Hwy 130 and Pohoiki Road with lava, but by November, They had cleared a new road between MacKenzie State Park and Pohoiki. The best way to get to Isaac Hale Beach Park is to follow Hwy 130 (if you start in Pahoa) to the end, turn left onto Hwy 137, and drive to its limitations at Pohoiki.
Issac Hale Beach Amenities
This park has many amenities that make it an ideal spot for picnics, swims, and long walks along the beach. The park features ample parking and picnic areas. There are pavilions with picnic tables and barbecues available for use on a first-come-first-served basis. There are showers and restrooms available near the pavilions and benches throughout the park. There is a large grassy area where children can play, or groups can have a game of volleyball or other sports. In total, the beach has :
- Boat launch
- Picnic Tables
- BB Grills
- Campsites, on a first-come, first-serve basis; however, campers with annual permits get priority over those without permits occupying their designated campsite when they arrive.
Essential Tips for a Great Issac Hale Beach Visit
Be aware of high surf advisories on this beach. The beach can be dangerous for swimming during periods of high surf. In addition, there are some rocks just offshore that can make getting in and out of the water difficult in certain places. It can be challenging to find parking at Isaac Hale Beach Park on weekends and holidays. It is best to arrive early in the morning or at an off time like late afternoon.
— article continued below —
Funtimes at Isaac Hale Beach
Issac Hale Beach Activities
Isaac Hale Beach Park has several lava tube caves that make for great exploring. Visit Honu Cave for a photographic opportunity; its black lava walls contrast beautifully with bright green plants growing inside. Isaac Hale Beach Park offers a wide variety of water activities, including surfing, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and stand-up paddling.
Check out the tidepools: The rocky point on the far left side of the beach offers excellent tide pooling opportunities. The tide pools are rocks that are full of water when the waves withdraw or when there is high tide. Many different types of fish live in these pools. You can see them when you look closely into the pools or if they swim away from you as you approach them. You may also see sea urchins, starfish, and other critters in them. So definitely take the time to visit the Isaacs pools.
Geothermal Hot Pools: Tucked along the shoreline, you can find a lava tube that has collapsed into a natural hot spring. Fed by warm, volcanic water, the pools are perfect for soaking away a long day of exploring. The area rests close to the Kīlauea Caldera, the world's most active volcano.
Isaac Hale Beach Park Boat Ramp: One of the few accessible shorelines, this concrete pier extends into the bay. The boat ramp here is highly recommended because it gives Hawaii Volcanoes National Park access and is the closest point to launch from for ocean entries in that area. Lava-viewing excursions are particularly popular here since lava can be viewed more easily by boat than land.
Surfing: Surfers will find several decent surf breaks along this stretch. The surf at Pohoiki is typically tiny during the summer months (June-August) and more significant during the winter months (November-February). Beginners can paddle out to a protected cove near the boat ramp to surf in small waves with little fear of being swept into rocks. Intermediate surfers can paddle farther down the beach and catch a wave with more giant waves but fewer crowds. Advanced surfers can paddle out beyond the reef break, where they will find hollow, fast-breaking waves.
Swimming: Swimmers should be aware that there are strong currents at the beach, v so use caution when entering the water. The best time to swim is during calm seas.
Snorkeling: Snorkelling at Isaaks Hale Beach Park is a priceless experience that You can't miss on any trip to Hawaii! The reef offers up-close views of beautiful tropical fish, Hawaiian green sea turtles ("Honu"), and a wide variety of coral and other marine life. Beware of coral heads close to shore!
SUP paddle boarding and kayaking: We recommend the summer months as the best conditions for paddling. Ocean conditions are calm. You can launch kayaks from the boat ramp or shore near the boat ramp. The water is warm and clear to see the fish swimming under your board. The waves are small, and there isn't a wrong place to go out! The bay has many coves where you can explore
Go on a picnic: The pavilion is available for your use and enjoyment. You don't have to reserve it - walk right in! There are also some picnic tables nearby. Make sure to clean up after yourself when you're done eating.
Camping at Issac Hale Beach Park: Issac Hale Beach Park offers both campsites in the open and shade. The campsites can accommodate tents, campers, or RVs up to 30 feet in length. The camps have a picnic table and grill. There are no hookups available, but there are restrooms with showers nearby. The cost of camping is $5 per adult per night and $3 per child per night. Camping permits can be purchased at the park or online.
Take pictures of the landscape: Issac Hale Beach has a beautiful landscape that is great for taking pictures with family and friends. There are numerous lava tubes, lava trees, tide pools, sea stacks, and other features of interest. The black sand beach at Issac Hale Beach Park and the nearby coastal areas are popular locations to take photos.
Nearby Attractions and Sights of Issac Hale Beach
Wai’opae Tide pools (ponds near the ocean): Wai’opae tide pools are a series of tide pools near Isaac Hale Beach Park, about two miles away from the Pohoiki boat ramp. This spot is perfect for snorkeling and exploring sea life up close. Popular animals include octopus, sea cucumbers, shrimp, crabs, and colorful fish.
Volcanoes National Park: It is a fantastic sight for nature lovers. Established in 1916, Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park encompasses two of the world's most active volcanoes, Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. The park has a lot of lava tubes, rugged landscapes, volcanic craters, and much more.
Hilo Farmers Market: It is one of the best markets in Hawaii. It offers a great variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, arts, crafts, and souvenirs.
Family Activities at Issac Hale Beach
Pohoiki offers exciting lava formations and good swimming, snorkeling, diving opportunities, and fishing from the shoreline. The water is calm in the bay, making it ideal for paddling around in a kayak or SUP board that does not require any previous experience with either activity. In the spring, dolphins can be seen frolicking offshore, and in the summer months, it is not unusual to see humpback whales spouting.