Makena State Park

Makena State Park Has Two Of The Best Beaches On The Island Of Maui

Makena is among the most popular of the Hawaii State Parks especially with those visitors who just want to spend a perfect day relaxing on a spectacular beach. 

Located on 165 acres of land on the south west coast of the island, Makena State Park is virtually devoid of any facilities apart from a few picnic tables and some pit toilets. Everything you need for a good day out you should bring yourself, including plenty of water. 

A Wonderful Makena Sunset (Photo by Mr.Tavis)

There may not be the facilities and entertainments that some other American State Parks provide but at Makena you will experience something as close to a Pacific Island paradise as it is possible to get.

This one of the state parks in Hawaii actually consists of three beaches and a dormant volcano. Two of the beaches are well known and popular with tourists and locals alike, these are Big Beach and Little Beach. The third is called Black Sand Beach and is one of the quietest beaches on Maui.

Big Beach, also known as Makena or Oneloa Beach, is among the best beaches in the Hawaiian Islands and is often considered to be something of a hidden gem because it is so undeveloped.

It is 1.5 miles long and 100 feet feet from the shoreline to the back of the beach. It is a stunning match of fine white sand and crystal clear waters.

Big  Beach At Makena State Park

The ocean is attractive and inviting but care should be taken when entering the water. The waves can crash in and there is a strong undertow that can take the unwary bather back out into the sea. If you are a family with toddlers this is not the ideal place for a quiet paddle.

However, Big Beach is extremely popular with surfers, body boarders and strong swimmers and the snorkeling is excellent.

A word of warning - there is very little shade, so bring plenty of sunscreen and an umbrella if you think you will need it, also have footwear for the beach. The sand soaks up the sun and walking on it barefoot is like walking on hot coals!

Little Beach At Makena State Park

Big Beach and Little Beach are separated by a steep outcropping of lava which in the past flowed into the sea from the now dormant Pu`u Olai volcano.

A path over this lava outcrop takes you to the nearby Little Beach. It is only 660 feet long and can become crowded at times. On sundays it is a great place to go to experience Hawaiian fire dancing and drumming.

However, you should know that Little Beach is popular with nudists and this can cause embarassment to some people.

Pu`u Olai is well worth climbing, the views from the top of its 360 foot elevation are stunning and you will see the classic caldera of a dormant volcano.

Big Beach, Little Beach And The Pu`u Olai Volcano

From the top of Pu`u Olai you can look north and down onto the third beach at Makena State Park which is Black Sand Beach. It is little used and the volcanic black sand is quite a contrast to the pure white sands found a short way away on Big Beach. Black Sand Beach has its own access road and a parking lot which is almost on the beach itself. 

The Extinct Pu`u Olai Volcano From Black Sand Beach

Contact Details

Makena S.P.

Off Wailea Alanui Drive



Hawaii 96753

GPS -   20.3752N    156.2646W

Summary Of Activities







This map of the island of Maui shows the position of Makena State Park indicated by a red star