Waianapanapa State Park

Hana Highway

Getting ever so closer to Hana Town we have one last major stop at mile marker 32 on the Hana Highway. On the makai side of the highway you should see a gravel road leading down to Wai'anapanapa State Park. There should also be a road sign informing you of the location. Head down the road and look for the main parking area (to the left), near the cabins. From here a trail will lead you down to Honokalani black sand beach, located in Pa'iloa Bay. Swimming is dangerous and should be avoided here. The beach is open to the ocean with no outside reef to break the force of the waves and current. You will see many warning signs in place because of this. Once you're on the beach, you might be interested in exploring the cave opening off to your right. Though narrow at the entrance, it widens inside and takes you an open view of the ocean at the other end.

Black Sand Beach

The black sand beach isn't the only attraction at Wai'anapanapa though. Wai'anapanapa (Why-Ah-naa-paa-naa-paa) also features sculpted lava rocks, wind twisted foliage, a sea arch, lava caves and tubes, and even a blow hole in the lava rocks near the shoreline. The area around the park is also very interesting to hike through. There are a few wet caves and lava tubes with fresh water running through them. They can be reached by walking beyond the beach access point to the left, look for the trail signs to the caves. The overgrown path will lead you down to a series of pools and caves before looping back the way it came. More hiking is available to the southeast, where you could technically hike all the way to Hana town.  This is the Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. A mile down this trail is Ohala Heiau, and be sure to look for the blowhole on the way to the heiau. The large variety of sea birds here may be of interest to bird watching enthusiasts as well. Rest rooms and picnic tables are available.

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Article Edited/Contributed by: John C. Derrick
Published/Updated:

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