Imagine black sand beaches with dramatic coastal views and lush forest trails that highlight remnants of ancient cultures. This place exists at Waiʻānapanapa State Park on the diverse and picturesque island of Maui. Waiʻānapanapa, which means “glistening waters,” is a nature lovers’ dream that offers incredible hiking, sightseeing, history, and fishing. This Maui state park is over two hours from our Epic Realty properties in Lahaina, but the drive is worth it! The splendor of Waiʻānapanapa State Park is something you have to see for yourself; here are a few things you can’t miss!
Before you head to Waiʻānapanapa State Park, make sure to book your reservation up to two weeks in advance. All visitors must have a parking voucher before entering the state park. This is an effort to protect this unique environment from overuse and overcrowding. After your reservation is in place, you will be free to explore everything this Maui state park has to offer!
Waiʻānapanapa is most known for the black sand lava field of Pa’iloa Beach. The contrast between the black sand, blue water, and the surrounding greenery is genuinely breathtaking. On the east side of the beach, you will find an ocean cave to explore.
Maui is home to many volcanoes that leave lava tubes like the one found at Waiʻānapanapa State Park. Hike the popular Kipapa Trail, also known as the North King’s Trail, to find the lava tube and snap some memorable pictures.
There are several spots along the beach to cast your line for fantastic fishing. Some of the most popular fish caught here include snapper, ulnar, and sea bass. Bring your own gear and spend an afternoon fishing at this beautiful state park.
Hiking & History
All of the hiking trails are interconnected, so you can plan a hike as short or long as you would like. There are two main trails to take heading north or south on the King’s Trail. Besides being full of natural beauty, the park is also home to fascinating history and ancient ruins. Ancient Hawaiians once occupied Waiʻānapanapa, and more than 30 sites remain here today, offering a glimpse into the past. Many of these sites remain unprotected, so please remember to be respectful on the trails.
- Pi’lani Trail: This route that dates back to the 15th century will take you south on the King’s Trail through Hala forests and historic sites. You will see a pictograph, ruins of an ancient Hawaiian temple, and burial grounds.
- Kipapa Trail: This trail can be found on the North end of the black sand beach. Hike this trail past a burial site, two black rock coves, a blowhole, a lava tube, and more ancient ruins.
Maui Vacation Rentals with Epic Realty
Waiʻānapanapa State Park is a must-see destination during your Maui vacation. The combination of natural beauty and ancient history makes this state park a gem of our island. Choose Epic Realty to host your getaway and plan a day trip from Lahaina to Waiʻānapanapa. There is no place on Earth like Maui; it’s time to discover it for yourself!