Wai`anapanapa Coast Trail North

MODERATE 24 reviews

Wai`anapanapa Coast Trail North is a 2.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Hana, Hawaii that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

2.1 miles
144 feet
Out & Back

kid friendly



nature trips

trail running





wild flowers



no dogs

Starting from Wai`anapanapa State Park the trail follows a portion of the ancient Hawaiian Kings Highway from Pailoa Bay to Pakaulua Point. The path crosses Pailoa Black Sand Beach and parallels the volcanic coastline above the sea. Going north (left) from the sand beach, this section of the Kings Trail is called Kipapa O Kihapiilani Trail. The full trail is somewhat demanding and 2.75 miles round-trip. Noted sites on this portion of trail: Kapukaulua burial site, two black rock coves, a large lava tube, ruins, and Pukaulua Point which is the site of a heiau and burial mounds. Two small cobblestone beach pockets are revealed along the way. The original trail passed through the area that is now Hana Airport; as such, the trail ends abruptly at the airport security fence. To begin this trail, start at the North (far) end of the black sand beach, look for the trail, and continue to the black-stone cove just adjacent. A bit further the trail will fork, the right fork soon takes you to the Kapukaulua burial site. Backtracking to take the left fork continues the trail. The trail continues on to a second cove. The cove itself is part of the trail, and the trail picks up toward the other side. Wai`anapanapa State Park: Remote, wild, low-cliffed volcanic coastline offering solitude and respite from urban life. Lodging, camping, picnicking and hardy family hiking along an ancient Hawaiian coastal trail which leads to Hana. Excellent opportunity to view a seabird colony and anchialine pools. Other features include native hala forest, legendary cave, natural stone arch, sea stacks, blow holes and small black sand beach.

15 days ago

Hiked most of the way
Lava rock , uneven surface , natural beauty stunning views, relatively low traffic through this area

28 days ago

Great black sand beach, awesome blowholes.

2 months ago

The hike was easy with many light rock scrambling. Bring bug spray if you end up here late in the late afternoon. The hike was totally worth it and the view was awesome.

3 months ago

Pass the tourist on the beach and at the blow hole. Keep going- chartreuse sea plants, black volcanic rock and the blue ocean awaits. Keep going on the trail- it breathtaking. And you'll probably be ALONE. We were out there alone and it was wondrous- the wind, the sun, waves, birds. Enjoy this.

7 months ago

Not much of a hike but beautiful scenery with black sand beach, blowhole, water splashing against lava coast. Worth the trip but not a workout, if that's what you're looking for.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Love this park. Trails (paved walkways and stairs) are very very easy. The spring is fun to jump into but very cold. If you go into the back of the left cave in spring you use to be able to climb it (in the dark) and go through hole to surface. Fun but kinda sketchy.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Beautiful scenery! Easy trail with the right footwear. Go past the black sand beach and over the lava rocks for amazing views and less people!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Definitely take the hike beyond the black sand beach. The majority of tourists don't go beyond the beach and the views are wonderful. The bright green plants on the black rocks will make you feel like you are on the set of a 1970s sci fi tv program.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Beautiful state park with some very easy to find fresh water caves. If you have time to stop on the way back from Hana it's worth it, but not a must see.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Very quick hike to a set of fresh water caves. The trail is slick, but well maintained. This is a very popular attraction, but is not easily accessible for strollers and young ones, so the crowd is older and a little rowdy. One of the fresh water caves is a popular spot for diving into the water.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

From Pailoa Black Sand Beach (and really cool caves) at Waianapanapa State Park you follow a portion of the ancient Hawaiian Kings Highway from Pailoa Bay to Pakaulua Point. The trail goes along the shoreline to the left of the beach, and was in need of trail maintenance when we went. The trail ascends black lava formations to the Point. The scenery is unreal and the breezes are great. Watch out for woody underbrush and be careful along the sharp lava. My shoelace got caught in a bush and I tripped against the lava - result hematoma and cut on my shin... cleaned and cooled off in the healing waves of the black sand beach - this is an awesome place!

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