7 routes · Hiking
Puna Trail to Hā'ena Beach
A leisurely hike in lush jungle to a pristine white sand beach.
- 12 km
- 83 m
- 83 m
- 2-3 hrs
- Low Point
- 1 m
- High Point
- 19 m
The remarkable jungle-covered Puna Trail that leads you to the tranquil Hā’ena Beach, also known as Shipman Beach, is a perfect hike and beach day combination near Hilo. En route, walk along a dirt track (that’s sometimes very muddy) surrounded by bursting jungle followed by some relaxed hours spent lulling on a quiet white sand beach nestled in a bay that’s only reachable on foot.
To reach the hike’s starting point, head south of Hilo on Highway 130 to the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision and turn towards the ocean on Kaloli Drive. Drive until you reach the end of the road and turn left onto Beach Road until it also ends. There’s a small parking lot at the trailhead.
Head northwest on the Puna Trail, hiking your way deeper into the rainforest as you leave the exposed part of the trail behind. For the history buffs, the trail goes past a number of fascinating ancient sights, including the ancient village of Keauhau, the Ke’eau School from the 1840s, a former pillbox concrete bunker used during World War II, and Hā’eana, which is famous for having been an important site for hula traditions.
History aside, the outstanding nature on this hike is enough to make you head straight to it. You’ll walk over a collapsed lava tube, along rugged coastline with a never-ending expanse of glowing ocean, through lush jungle with wild orchids, and you’ll end up on a pristine beach away from the crowds.
The point-to-point trail included here can be turned into a loop one if you come back along the unmarked coastline path. The coastline path is unfortunately not included in this guidebook as it's off-trail. However, if you're up for the added adventure, simply follow the shoreline, staying parallel to the Puna Trail, and hugging the sea cliffs all while keeping an eye out for the sometimes-unruly waves. You'll ultimately reach a small 4WD track that heads back to the original parking lot.
If you’re not quite ready to end your adventure, once back at the trailhead, continue along the coast to Kaloli Point, where you have breezy and expansive views of the ocean heading out from the Puna Coast.
Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.
Best time to visit
- Wild flowers
- Family friendly
- Forestry or heavy vegetation