Situated at the end of Wai’anapanapa Road Off Hana Highway, Wai’anapanapa State Park boasts some of the best sights in the state. This lovely state park in Hawaii is home to one of Maui’s volcanic-sand beaches, so visitors are treated to spectacular views of the rugged shoreline and sea arches.
The outstanding nearly 360-degree panoramic views is something to behold. The green jungle gives way to the black basalt and lava coastline. When you look out to sea, the white cresting waves and deep blue ocean are dramatically blasted into spray as they pound against the jagged cliffs.
Those who come to the park only to stop for a brief moment, snap that Instagrammable photo and leave, are losing out big time because the park has so much more to offer. However, this is a good thing from the perspective of people who do want to stay because it is rarely crowded and the parking turns over quickly too.
Aside from the spectacular scenery, there are leisurely walks, hiking trails, cliff diving, camping, pre-archaeological remnants, freshwater pools and cabins to enjoy. The black sand beach is a popular site, and you can often see crowds there enjoying the water although the swimming can get marginal at times.
However, do remember to wear something on your foot as the sand and the pebbles can get quite hot and hard on your soles. The tide pools at the Wai’anapanapa State Park turn red several times in a year, and scientists believe that this is because of the arrival of the small shrimp.
The explanation according to folklore is entirely different though. According to ancient beliefs, this is because of the blood of Popoaleae. A princess murdered by her husband, Chief Kaakea. The seabird colonies in the area are of interest too. If you are on the way to Hana, this state park is a great stop.