Explore the most popular trails near Naalehu with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Beautiful walk to a gorgeous green sand beach. The dirt road is grass on one side and rocky/ lava rock coast on the other. There are tide pools along the way with intense green sand and the payoff of great swimming at the larger green sand beach. Not a hike as much as a walk. Well worth the trip. The walk in took about an hour

Very hot and rocky hike. Landscape is a study in contrasts - wind swept grassy plain meets desert-like trails meets rugged ocean coast. Beach is at the bottom of a steep cliff but there are paths to help you down and up. Sand is truly green. Amazing view.

On a cool & breezy day, it's an awesome hike with amazing ocean views; on a hot & sticky day, it's a bit of a dusty slog. Go early and bring lots of water!

Closed

This hike is actually 5.75 miles fr the parking lot before becoming a dirt road only usable by 4x4s and atvs. The area is beautiful but in all honesty the sand doesn’t even look green. I followed the advice in a previous review and found sand that looked greener about a mile from the beach near the ocean. It wasn’t the hike I had hoped for but we made the best of it. It was really busy and crowded.

Loved it a must see!

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).

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

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

Bring lots of water, no shade.

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

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.

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.

*LOVED* the map feature on here!!!!
Thank you!

A bit disappointed to see the Green sand beach is no longer green but if you really want to see real Green sand, hike to this beach and stay close to the water. Halfway through, you see real Green sand. You can stop and just sit around here if that's what your goal is. if you don't believe me, hike to the end and come back and you will prove me right. I am posting the photos from my hike. The photos are from halfway to the Green sand beach.

The Essentials: Easy hike, a little longer than expected, hot, bring lots of water, fun payoff but probably not quite as awesome as you expected

Details: Upon arrival, an enterprising 9-year-old stopped our car in the parking lot and asked, "You need a ride or hiking to Green Sand?" We told him our plan to hike. He'd perfected a feigned surprise response, "Hiking it? 6 miles round trip? Wow. It's hot out there."

Yes, he was trying to sell us on a rocky pick-up ride down to the beach, but he wasn't exactly wrong. It's a hot hike on dusty and rocky trails with non-stop sun exposure the entire way. A beautiful view of the ocean keeps things interesting though. Bring sunscreen and maybe don't backpack shirtless to "improve your tan" if you're a pale gent from the midwest (learned the hard way).

It might work best to undersell yourself on the beach. If you're expecting to see sand the color of well-irrigated grass, you're going to be disappointed. It mostly looks like typical sand but with a greenish tint. It's still a pretty cool and unique phenomenon, but only if you hike over that ridge knowing beforehand that you're not going to be looking down on a sea of forest green. Might work best if you don't hike for the green sand alone, but rather for the cool and isolated cove. It's a pretty neat out-of-the-way place.

The hike back seems to go a little quicker, since you're usually refreshed from the ocean and you know how long that mostly flat & dusty path is going to lead before you reach the parking lot. You'll probably run into a handful of folks heading out who'll be wondering exactly how much further they need to go before they hit paydirt.

Last thing: That sand's a little bit different in terms of touch and stick as well. Seemed a little bit tougher than normal to remove from our feet before putting our hiking shoes back on. We used our socks to whip it off our feet but maybe a cloth or rag could be helpful (or beach towels if you're coming really prepared).

walking
8 months ago

If you have the time, definitely hike to the Green Sand Beach instead of taking a shuttle. We were nervous at first because the way isn't really marked, but we knew to walk down to the ocean and head east, so we followed tire tracks heading in that direction and stayed along the coast. Took us about 40 minutes to walk out there. On the way back, we felt a little more confident, so we cut inland a little bit. There's some uneven footing and lots of dust, but we really enjoyed this quick hike and the destination is so beautiful.

walking
8 months ago

If you have the time, definitely hike to the Green Sand Beach instead of taking a shuttle. We were nervous at first because the way isn't really marked, but we knew to walk down to the ocean and head east, so we followed tire tracks heading in that direction and stayed along the coast. Took us about 40 minutes to walk out there. On the way back, we felt a little more confident, so we cut inland a little bit. There's some uneven footing and lots of dust, but we really enjoyed this quick hike and the destination is so beautiful.

hiking
9 months ago

Easy hike, but super hot when it's sunny. Pack lots of water. Trail will get dusty with wind and vehicles driving by. Beach is well worth it!

Not overly difficult, it's basically a scenic walk along the coastline with a little bit of uneven footing. It is very hot though, so water is a must. But all that effort is worth it because you can reward yourself with a nice dip in the ocean once you finally reach the Green Sand Beach. I also highly recommend checking out the cliff jumping at South Point since it is so close by. For more on my adventure here, check out my blog post:

https://www.thehikinghi.com/single-post/2016/12/19/Papakolea-Green-Sand-Beach-and-Cliff-Jumping-at-South-Point-The-Big-Island

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