A rugged coastal trail along barren lava rock featuring panoramic ocean views


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Located inside Wai'anapanapa State Park, this out-and-back trail along the eastern coast of Maui offers sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean.

The biggest draw of Wai'anapanapa is the black sand beach of Pa’iloa cove, located down a short staircase from the beginning of the trail.

This area can get crowded during mid-day, but continue to the far side of the beach past the small cave and the crowds significantly decrease.

The rugged path leaves the beach via a very short, but steep, scramble to the northern section of the coastal trail.

From the ridge, the path meanders in and out of hala (screw pine) groves as it traces the rocky volcanic shoreline.

A series of lookouts provide stunning photo opportunities; sea turtles can often be seen swimming in the waters below.

The trail surface is sharp and uneven, so sturdy, closed-toed walking shoes are recommended.

The trail continues to the far side of Pa’iloa Bay and ends at Pukalula Point.

Access to Wai'anapanapa State Park is by timed reservation only.

These can be made up to 30 days in advance from www.gowaianapanapa.com.

Each ticketed entry is good for a three hour window.

This is enough time to explore the trail, but consider extending your visit to half a day or longer if you care to explore other sections of the park or spend additional time at the beach.

Picnic tables, bathrooms and outdoor showers are available by the trailhead.