Wai’anapanapa State Park

Uncover Maui’s Wai’anapanapa State Park, home to the rare black sand Pailoa Beach, dramatic lava formations, and a rich Hawaiian heritage.

Wai'anapanapa State Park is a State Park located in the city of Hana on Maui, Hawaii
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Things to Know About Wai’anapanapa State Park

  • Overview: Wai’anapanapa State Park, located in the picturesque town of Hana on Maui’s eastern coast, offers a stunning and diverse landscape that is a must-see for visitors exploring the Hawaiian Islands. This remote park showcases the best of Maui’s natural beauty, making it a top destination for adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike.
  • Highlights: The main highlight of Wai’anapanapa State Park is its iconic black sand beach, Pailoa Beach, which is a rare sight and a striking contrast to the lush green surroundings. The park also features dramatic lava formations, sea arches, and freshwater caves, providing a unique and breathtaking experience for visitors.
  • Activities: At Wai’anapanapa State Park, visitors can enjoy swimming and snorkeling in the pristine waters of Pailoa Beach, explore the scenic hiking trails that weave through the park, or venture into the freshwater caves for a refreshing dip.
  • Information: Wai’anapanapa State Park is open daily from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM. There is no entrance fee, but parking reservations are required and cost $10 per vehicle. The best time to visit the park is during the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the midday heat and crowds.
  • History & Significance: Wai’anapanapa State Park is rich in Hawaiian history and cultural significance, as it was once a thriving ancient Hawaiian settlement. The park’s name, which translates to “glistening fresh water,” is derived from the freshwater springs and pools found throughout the area, which were essential to the lives of the early inhabitants.
  • Tips & Insights: To make the most of your visit to Wai’anapanapa State Park, plan to arrive early in the morning to secure a parking spot and enjoy the park’s beauty without the crowds. Don’t forget to bring sturdy shoes for hiking the trails, as well as water shoes for exploring the rocky shoreline. Lastly, be sure to respect the fragile ecosystem and cultural sites within the park by staying on designated trails and refraining from removing any rocks or other natural features.

Getting to the State Park


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