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“Panoramic ocean views, crashing waves, black sand beach, hiking trail to Hana”

Wai'anapanapa State Park
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Small-Group Road to Hana Luxury Tour and Helicopter Flight
Ranked #1 of 31 things to do in Hana
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Waianapanapa State Park is on the road to Hana, Maui.
Sunnyvale, CA
Level Contributor
372 reviews
101 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,511 helpful votes
“Panoramic ocean views, crashing waves, black sand beach, hiking trail to Hana”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 23, 2013

This was our last stop on the road to Hana, before we reached the town. Well documented with road signs pointing the way. It's down a one lane quarter mile side road from the main road to Hana, but it's easy for vehicles to pull off to the side for oncoming traffic. There are about three different parking lots. You want to drive down to the first parking lot, and then turn left, driving to the farthest parking lot.

Things to bring: swimsuit, towels, raincoat, packed lunch, camera, binoculars, sun screen, hat, mosquito repellent, day pack, and suitable hiking shoes.

The parking lot to the farthest left has the restrooms and about a half dozen picnic tables. We got there at about 11am on a Saturday, and the parking lot was almost full, after a 2.5 hour drive along the road to Hana. I told my wife to go to the restroom first, before the tourist buses arrived. Sure enough once the buses arrived in mass, there was a long line to the women's rest room.

Next we sat down at one of the picnic tables, and started in on our packed lunch meal. The picnic tables are sheltered by the nearby trees from the sun, and surrounded by well maintained grass cover.

This is the northeast corner of Maui, and it gets about 325 inches of rain in the rain forest area on the road to Hana. Temperatures in the low 80s year around. Fortunately for us, it was not raining, and gentle breezes off the ocean cooled things off considerably.

There is a pathway leading to the black sands beach well below near the ocean. Great ocean views from this area, as we are about 50 feet above the beach. In a distance we can see the black lava bridge with a hole underneath. Strong surf, with giant waves crashing against the beach. Not a place to go swimming, but some people were walking in their swim suits on the beach with water flowing over their feet.

There's a path going north which leads to a cave filled with a deep pool of water, and trails leading from there. Go south, and the path leads past the other two parking lots and eventually 3 miles to the ocean front of the city of Hana.

Visited November 2013
3 Thank robert c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
1,614 reviews
1,088 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,305 helpful votes
“Early morning or late afternoon”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 22, 2013

After driving the road to Hana you may be ready for a lice walk on the beach, viewing the pools and looking for the caves. But, be prepared to share that experience with vans of tourists swarming the area by mid day. Best to leave early am and get to enjoy less crowded time, or plan to stay late when they all head back like ants down a hole. If you stay over night, you will have the beach to yourselves. We left early am, took our time driving and stopping and waterfalls, were well ahead of the vans and got the best of the day. It can be a long day for little children, so plan some play time in Hana.

Visited November 2013
1 Thank James H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olathe, Kansas
Level Contributor
73 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Favorite part of Road to Hana day”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 13, 2013

Beach/bay is gorgeous. We had never seen black sand before and was amazed at the gradual change is rocks as you approach the water. Starting with standard lava rocks with sharp points and lots of nooks and crannies, going to amazing smooth black stones worn down by the suft, and ultimatley black sand. So cool. Kind of crowded and there was a tourism board photo shoot at the time we were there so it was a little more crowded than normal.

Visited October 2013
Thank Cody H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wailuku, Hawaii
Level Contributor
27 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Park amazing; cabins are indoor camping at it's almost worst!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 12, 2013

This park is amazingly beautiful with the most beautiful ocean views, hiking trails and pure serenity, especially very early in the morning before the tour vans arrive.

The cabins are in deplorable condition and are basically indoor camping with electricity and a private bathroom with hot water. I brought Clorox wipes, my own kitchen utensils and mostly microwaveable food other than bbq items based upon other reviewers. I didn't even want to put my extra sheets on the single beds as the coverings were so soiled and nasty looking, even after Cloroxing them to death with my wipes. The good news is according to the states website these cabins are being scheduled for rennovation soon. Once they are complete I would then consider coming back to stay in them. It's a shame that the State has allowed these cabins to fall into this condition given the absolute and sheer unspoiled beauty of the park itself.

Another tip: Maui's rainy season starts in Nov and lasts until Feb/March according to experienced locals. It rained so hard while we were there I was glad to be under this basic shelter of a cabin.

Visited November 2013
1 Thank TriedandTrue2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Siloam Springs, Arkansas
Level Contributor
41 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Lots of beauty”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 11, 2013

We went to the park three times. (Honestly, the last time was to try to catch the water spout.) There are several hikes you can take and lots of variety to see.

The short loop hike takes you on an exceedingly lush path by beautiful fresh water pools with a legend that goes with them. We went early in the morning the second time to beat the crowds. We had the trail all to ourselves, and thus could get to the pools with ease and enjoy the quiet beauty.

The black sand beach wasn't as impressive as I've seen in the Caribbean, but it was still lovely nonetheless. If you walk up to the ocean close to the cave on the right of the small shoreline, sit still and listen to the sounds of the waves rolling across the black rocks. At the right time of day the water pulling back sounds like hissing or applause (depending on the size of the rocks at that time). Fascinating!

There are other hikes to either side of the beach, both worth taking. You could go forever since the hikes are part of the King's Highway.

The only drawback to this park is that tourist vans pour in and fill the park with people. Come early in the morning and you'll miss all that. Another reason to spend a night or two (or more!) in Hana.

Visited October 2013
Thank Lissa J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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