Cliff jumping gives the body an adrenaline rush and is also a refreshing way to cool off from the hot Hawaii sun. Besides, who wouldn't want to have the bragging rights of saying you jumped off the southernmost point in the United States?

NOTE: Cliff jump at your own risk and only do so when conditions are great (calm seas, clear skies, good water visibility). Do NOT jump if you don't think it's safe for any reason or if you think you can't climb back up.

Getting to South Point on Hawaii's Big Island is relatively straightforward. Use your map app to drive down the paved roads to the point. On your way, you'll encounter Hawaii's southern country for about the last ten miles or so, one of the more remote parts of the island. The parking area for the cliff dive is a bit rocky and unpaved, so you can either park a little bit up the road or rough it with a higher clearance vehicle like an SUV if you have one.

The spot is unmistakable since it has ladders built right into the rock of the ocean cliffs. This used to be a point where they hoisted small boats down into the water since the coastline was too rocky in this area to build a dock. The boat hoists are long gone, but two ladders remain, about ten feet away from each other.

The jump into the ocean is about a 40-foot-drop. The ocean here is about 20 feet deep, so there is plenty of room for you to land. Around the ladders there are no rocks or obstructions to look out for, making it the perfect spot to take a plunge. Take caution if you decide to jump elsewhere. Climbing back up the ladder is not a walk-in-the-park, since you are heavier soaking wet and the ladders tend to sway a little bit with your body weight. However, it's certainly not difficult either, especially for someone who is fit and can hoist themselves up onto the first ladder rung. Always take extra care to make sure your jump is safe and free of obstructions (that includes other people).

If you decide not to cliff jump, the area is still fantastic for scenic views and picnicking. The actual southernmost point in the USA (not including territories) is just down the coast (left from the parking lot). Enjoy the view and relish in the fact that you're as far south in the United States as you can go! 

Pack List

  • Bathing Suit
  • Towel
  • Water Shoes (optional)
  • Camera (optional)
  • Picnic (optional)
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Elevation Gain 5 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Swimming, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Scenic
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole

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walk the plank!

Don't just come to take a look. Bring your trunks and tell yourself that you're jumping in before you get there. Don't linger too long on the edge if you are like me and can be easily talked out of jumping off something tall. If the waves are rough - don't jump. But don't walk away from the southernmost point of the US without getting wet. There are two ladders to climb out, but if that's not your style, swim to the right of the ladders and around the rock, there is a nearly stair-like climb out of the water on rocks. The water is crystal clear and ~30 feet deep according to locals. Bring your snorkel and goggles and look for yourself before you leave - the clearest water we had snorkeled on the Big Island! Clearer and deeper than Two Step. Would not recommend swimming in the hole (you'll see what I mean), but still another interesting rock formation and feature here.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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