Makalawena Beach

Makalawena Beach information

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This 4WD–hike combination leads to several coves of progressively softer white sand and turquoise waters that, though popular, absorb crowds so well you may have a minibeach to yourself.

The first cove after clearing the dunes has a protected baby pool on the south end and brackish Opaeula Pond inland for washing off the salt; keep walking north to the second cove for more protected swimming and good bodyboarding waves, especially in winter. At the third cove, the sands are even softer and snorkeling is a possibility; give the many sea turtles a wide berth.

Practice aloha during a visit here by packing out your trash and respecting the privacy of others. This is a local camping and fishing getaway and the growing popularity of these beaches is contentious for some.

There are several ways to get here. With a 4WD, take the Kekaha Kai State Park access road between the 90- and 91-mile markers. After 1.25 miles (but before the park's main entrance), turn right onto the lava road. Park in the lot there and walk across the lava flow and dunes to the beach. The walk is under 30 minutes on a well-beaten path over bitchy ʻaʻa .

No 4WD? No problem. Take the Kekaha Kai State Park access road as far as you dare and hike the remainder, accessing the trail heading north after 1.25 miles of walking along Mahaiʻula Beach.