Papakolea Green Sand Beach

MODERATE 78 reviews

Papakolea Green Sand Beach is a 4.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Naalehu, Hawaii that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
4.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
236 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

off road driving

walking

beach

views

wildlife

rocky

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!

9 days ago

Loved it a must see!

hiking
13 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

A nice, relatively easy hike. Deceptively hot, given how windy it is. The green sand beach and bay are beautiful and it’s a great spot to swim. Pretty heavily trafficked, including by cars (which are supposed to be banned).

22 days ago

Very cool hike. The route itself is consistent with a great view. The destination is definitely worth it. Amazing water color.

hiking
22 days ago

Coast line trail that is more nature walk than hike. That is, until the end. There are no doubts when you arrive at the beach. There are a couple of picnic benches at the top and some wood stairs down. We'd recommend bringing a snack and some swim trunks to enjoy the beach

22 days ago

Bring lots of water, no shade.

hiking
23 days ago

24 days ago

1 month ago

It was a great hike when raining because it wasn't too hot!

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Although the destination is indeed breathtaking, the hike to and from just flat out isn’t. It’s merely hot, dusty, and littered with garbage that has either washed up on shore or is left by people making their way to the green sand beach. For these reasons, the hike is far from pleasurable and becomes quite the chore on the way back to the parking lot.

Avoid the lackluster hike by enlisting the help of a local and their 4x4. Or just drive it yourself in your rental Jeep (no signage as far as I could see citing any regulation preventing you from doing just that). Either way, save the energy for another more beautiful hike or for swimming at the green sand beach.

If you still decide to hoof it, I’d suggest AT LEAST 4L water per person on the typical 85-90 degree F day. Sunscreen is an absolute must-have, as there is ZERO shade.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful views and unique coloring of the sand. We were short on time so took the "shuttle." This was a fun experience riding in the back of the pickup truck. Takes you back to the earlier years before seatbelt laws.

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago