Hike to Papakōlea Green Sand Beach

Hawaii Papakolea Beach

  • Activities:

    Chillin, Photography, Swimming, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

Beach
Easy Parking
Scenic

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?

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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Reviews

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We visited the olivine beach after we did some cliff jumping and snorkeling at South Point, the hike out was not difficult but there is no shade, bring a hat and plenty of water. The most breath taking view of the beach is on the way in. The hike down to the beach looks intimidating from far away, but its totally do-able. After we did lunch and watched surfers and boogie-boarders, we hitched a ride back. The locals hang out at the beach and give rides back when asked. The ride back is a completely separate and terrifying adventure on rough recreational vehicle paths, but still worth the money back if you were as exhausted as we were.

4 months ago
4 months ago

The reviews of this area totally undersold this hike. We opted to run the 3 miles each way and it was so worth it. Running was just as fast as taking a ride with the locals but allows you to check out the cliffs. Look out for sea turtles surfing the waves. Make sure you hike to the top of the cliff that overlooks the beach at the end. Keep going around the point to get to a coral beach that is more private.

8 months ago
8 months ago

Long hike but you can ride in one of the many trucks taking people to and from the beach! Such a beautiful view. Totally worth the hike (:

8 months ago
8 months ago

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.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years 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 2 years ago
over 2 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 4 years ago
almost 4 years ago

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

almost 4 years ago
almost 4 years ago

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

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