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Papakolea Green Sand Beach is a 5.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Naalehu, Hawaii, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and ohv/off road driving and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 5.6 mi Elevation gain 370 ft Route type Out & Back

Dog friendly

Hiking

Ohv / off road driving

Beach

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Rocky

No shade

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Getting There

One of the only true Green Sand Beaches in the world! This is a must see. The hike is easy enough, just bring sunblock and water, there are no facilities nearby. Located in a bay cut by the ocean into a side of Puu Mahana, the green sand is created by a common silicate deposit of Big Island lava called Olivine. You can hitch a ride from the parking area, but why miss the raging ocean waves uninterrupted from Antarctica?! Walk the rough rocky terrain and enjoy the sights and sounds!

You'll come to the parking area, there will be guys waiting to drive tourists to the beach for $20 a head, which is so steep it makes me sick. Take the hike, it will be so much more rewarding. On the Big Island, you encounter so many terrains, why not add orange/brown desert to that list?! It's like no where else on the island. NO FACILITIES - BRING WATER

On Hwy. 11 between the 69 and 70 mile markers, find the signed South Point road. Drive for about eight miles, and stay left at the end where there is a sign indicating the Green Sand Beach. Parts of the road are one-way. Don't need 4wd to make the trip, though it helps. After parking, take the hike. TAKE WATER. There are DOZENS of trails, as locals just plow their own path, so you can easily do the same! Stay close to the coast as the waves crashing uninterrupted from Antarctica is like no other sight or sound. I took dozens of pictures just of waves, it was mesmerizing. You'll know when you're there. Take tons of pics from above, then a small trail getting down is a little rocky, but you'll be practically running after the trip to get there. And if the waves aren't too bad the swimming is extraordinary. Great for body surfing or boogie boarding. VERY little shade.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (500)
Photos (182)
Recordings (432)
Completed (956)
Uwe Walter
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HikingNo shade
View Uwe's Recording
Jennifer Bentley
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HikingNo shadeRocky

This is less a hike than a trek to a destination. Bring water!

View Jennifer's Recording
JuliAn Guildner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 26, 2020
HikingNo shade
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Rachel Zalewski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 26, 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky

Amazing destination!!!! Rough, dusty, bumpy off roasting trails that lead you to the objective. The head wind on the way to the beach makes it feel long but the way back flys by. Great hike.

View Rachel's Recording
Andie Pivetta
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Excellent hike to the beautiful beach but I got pelted with sand a lot of the way. Still worth it.

Holly Lowe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 22, 2020
HikingNo shadeOff trail

This is my favorite Big Island Hike. I do it every time I come to the island. Tennis shoes is recommended and lots of sunscreen. There is no relief from the sun. Some uneven terrain but nothing too difficult. There is a scamper down to the cove and you’ll have to climb a little metal set of steep steps. The trail can be confusing at the point where you hit all the truck trails... best piece of advice I can give is, follow the coast. You’re headed to a beach, so it makes sense to follow the coastline. You will know the cove when you get there. Enjoy the hike.

Crendal Kear
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 18, 2020
HikingMuddy

Many paths leading to Green Sand Beach so lots of options. Beautiful ocean views but no shade so prepare with sunscreen and water. Worth the hike to Green Sand Beach. And bring or wear a bathing suit to cool off in the water.

View Crendal's Recording
Nickel Teixeira
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 17, 2020
HikingNo shade

Can be quite a lovely hike along the coast. Get there early (8am for us on a week day) if you want to see the beach without anyone around as I was blown away when we got back at around 1030 and the parking area was PACKED on a Tuesday. We got to see the beach which is really cool, and the hike itself was beautiful along the coast. Windy as you would expect next to the ocean- it was raining not even 20mins away and bright and sunny along the hike. Not thrilled to see all the trucks shuttling people back and forth, again earlier is better with this one.

View Nickel's Recording
Roger Younce
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 16, 2020
Hiking

Such a fun hike. We went early and beat the crowds and sun. I’d definitely recommend you do the same.

View Roger's Recording
Matt Marcotte
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 11, 2020
HikingNo shadeOff trailRocky

Make sure to wear sunblock. Otherwise you will be fried more than ever. Amazing hike with stunning beauty at the end where green sand beach. Take your time climbing down. Stay while and then pay for the journey back by the local shuttles. Lol. You’ll see why. I myself jogged back.

View Matt's Recording
Nick Norvilas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 6, 2020
HikingNo shade

Beautiful trails for hiking or going off road. A little hard to follow the trail since there are tons of different routes to get to the green sand beach but they all lead to the same spot. Nice contrast between the super blue ocean and the wind dried foliage. I would definitely do this one again. There is also a shuttle service to the beach but I suggest walking. Bring your sunglasses because it can be really windy.

View Nick's Recording
Becky Kim
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 3, 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky

Did this hike today and it was fantastic! The sun was beaming with no shade in sight but there was a very nice constant breeze from the ocean. It is a flat-ish trail that is dry and rocky. The ocean views are amazing and the beach at the end was absolutely awesome! The water is cold but refreshing after your 3 mile hike! And the waves are SO FUN! Of course the green sand is gorgeous against the bright blue waters. Definitely bring your swim suit, good hiking boots, sun screen and plenty of water.

Chet Lewis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 1, 2020

Nice trail along the ocean. Very windy and dusty, but good views, and reward of a green sand beach at the end.

Melanie Anderson
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HikingNo shadeRocky
View Melanie's Recording
Talor Pearson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 26, 2020
HikingNo shade

Great hike to the most beautiful Green Sand beach! It’s about 3 miles in, pretty much a flat walk all the way there. Make sure to bring plenty of water and a hat, there’s no shade! Hiking down to the beach and jumping in the water after the 3 miles makes it all worth it!

Brittany Richter
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HikingRockyScramble
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Sarah Stimson
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HikingNo shade

Great hike! Not steep at all- minus the section right at the destination, but with the ladder access and some careful footing it is very doable! And definitely worth doing. Bring a swim suit and splash in the waves, relax, enjoy the sun, then head on back- taking any route will lead ya to the same path. Pack lots of water as she’s a hot walk- luckily we had a nice breeze the entirety of it, but staying hydrated will keep ya happy. Took us an hour to walk there and an hour back.

Chantal Caron
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 19, 2020
HikingNo shade

Nous avons adoré cette randonnée! Il y avait des vents incroyables et la vue est spectaculaire presque tout au long du trajet. Quelle récompense au bout du trajet: une plage sauvage, de sable vert. Les vagues imposantes nous incitent à la prudence mais nous ne pouvons résister à l’envie de faire trempette. Le retour se fait plus aisément mais le vent maintenant de dos arrive à nous deporter carrément. Belle expérience!

Aubrey Erin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 15, 2020
BlowdownNo shadeRocky

I got horrible blisters from the Rocky terrain- the hike back was very unpleasant. It was extremely windy and hot- the sun beats down on you and the sand blows so hard it hurts. I found it to be a tough hike, however I saw LOTS of people hiking it with flip flops and dresses, so it's possible I'm just a wuss. One plus is that there is little elevation gain. The actual green sand beach was beautiful but we didn't stay long because we were exhausted and you have to scale down a sheer cliff to actually reach the beach. The waves crashing on the cliffs along the way were spectacular and the only thing that made this hike worth it.

Ashley Culler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 14, 2020
HikingBlowdownNo shadeRocky
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