Big Island: A Short Hike to This Green Sand Beach

Hawaii Papakolea Beach

Added by The Outbound Collective

  • A flat ~2 mile hike out to the beach unless you get a "taxi" from the locals
  • Have you ever been to a green sand beach?
  • Duration: Half day

Papakolea Beach aka Green Sand Beach is situated in a bay cut into a side of a cinder cone that erupted thousands of years ago. The green sand is created by a silicate deposit (mineral deposit) of lava called, which stays on this beach because it is heavier than the other, lighter components of the lava.

To get to the beach, It's possible to get a ride from locals for a few bucks from the parking lot to the beach, but the 2.5 mile hike out there isn't too bad. The path is relatively flat until you climb down onto the beach. The only thing to keep in mind is that the hike is really exposed so if it's windy, the sand will be blowing around a bit. Once you get there, enjoy the beach and go for a swim if the waves aren't too big or you're a comfortable ocean swimmer. You may also want to grab a coconut or a cold one from the local vendor before heading out to the beach.

Pack List

  • Trail shoes
  • Swimsuit
  • Towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Cash if you take the "taxi" from the locals out to the beach
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Chillin, Hiking, Swimming

Skill Level:



Year Round



Easy Parking

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How to Get There

about 1 year ago

hitch a ride

bring something to offer someone for a ride back! people with 4x4 cars can make it all the way. it's not a terribly long hike, but it is HOT.

about 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

A very cool bay to visit. Parking and walking from the end of the paved road is recommended as the road is deteriorating and the walk is very scenic.

over 1 year ago

almost 3 years ago

On a hot day when the winds are blowing, its definitely worth hitching a ride with one of the locals (bring cash) or planning ahead and renting a car with four wheel drive. After checking out the Green Sand Beach, head over to South Point for some cliff jumping and to see the southern most point in the US!

almost 3 years ago

about 3 years ago

There is no Shade... Bring lots of Water!

about 3 years ago

Added by The Outbound Collective

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