Red Sand Beach (Kaihalulu Beach), Hana

4.3
Red Sand Beach on Kaihalulu Bay is a pocket beach on the island of Maui, Hawaii on Kauiki Head.LocationKaihalulu bay and Red Sand Beach lie at, on the side of Ka'uiki Head, which is a cinder cone just south of Hana Bay, on the eastern coast of Maui island. The bay name comes from kai halulu which means "roaring sea" in the Hawaiian language. The hill name comes from ka uiki which means "the glimmer". It was the site of a fortress and temple where several battles were fought against invaders from Hawaii island. It was also the birthplace of powerful civil leader Queen Kaahumanu.Red Sand Beach is partially shielded from the rough open ocean by an offshore reef. The result is a natural sea wall that protects the bay from large waves. Kaihalulu is one of the few red sand beaches in the world. The sand is a deep red-black, which contrasts with the blue water, the black sea wall, and the green ironwood trees. The cindercone behind the beach erodes constantly, which continually enlarges the cove. This hill is rich in iron, and is why the beach's sand is such a deep red.Kaihalulu is extremely isolated and requires a fairly short, yet perilous hike to reach. The trail to the beach crosses over private property and follows a ridge high above the ocean below. The path is rather steep and narrow, and is quite slippery due to the loose and crumbling cinder as well as needles from nearby ironwood trees. The trail also passes by an ancient Japanese cemetery. Because of the beach's isolation and difficult access, some visitors consider it to be clothing optional.
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Red Sand Beach (Kaihalulu Beach) Reviews
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  • October 3, 2017
    Interesting to see, feel, & walk on. It wasn't actual red sand like we thought. its a bunch of tiny pebbles & rocks. The big boulders make a good breaker from the big swells that come into the pond ar...  more »
  • September 16, 2017
    This was one of my favourite beaches in Maui - first of all, the red sand is a must-see in itself (although not that comfortable to be on barefoot); secondly, it is not crowded and thirdly, the waves ...  more »
  • September 14, 2017
    Worth the hike to get here. Usually only 4 or 5 people on the beach. Pictures do not do it justice. A must see!  more »

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Where to stay in Hana

Located on the southeastern end of Maui--an island known for featuring lodging options for every type of traveler--Hana boasts a single luxury resort and several more affordable tropical retreats. Expect higher prices if you plan to stay near the water, especially if you want an ocean view from your bed. To stay more economically, consider one of Hana's good-value rental cottages, which make up in simple hospitality what they lack in modern amenities.
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