So one of the great colored sand beaches to see in Hawaii includes a red sand beach!
And, the Kaihalulu red sand beach is THE famous red sand beach of Maui. (And the famous red sand beach in Hawaii.)
And I’ve never heard of Hawaii having a pink sand beach. So if you’re looking for a pink sand beach in Hawaii, then a red sand beach in Maui is probably going to be the closest you’ll come to seeing pink sand in Hawaii!
So Kaihalulu Beach is one of the great beaches on the Road to Hana.
It is also one of the great hikes on the Road to Hana.
Should you visit the red sand beach when you’re on Maui?!
First, you may or may not be crossing private property to get to the red sand beach.
In Hawaii it’s not uncommon to see “no trespassing” and “private property” signs.
It can sometimes be difficult to know which are real and which property owners take these things seriously.
For now, it seems as though this isn’t enforced. Many tourists go on this hiking trail.
Maybe read the recent google reviews to see if anyone mentions any recent problematic access. There is an option to “sort” by “newest” reviews.
If you decide to go to the red sand beach, as you are on the trail and hanging out at the beach, you can secretly thank the property owner for allowing you to access the trail.
And aside from that, it does require a hike to get to. And this means it’s another somewhat of a hidden beach on Maui!
And getting to the red sand beach is a pretty short hike, but it has been known to be considered a dangerous hike.
So, do this hike at your own risk!
More below about the dangers of the red sand beach!
Here's some info on Hawaii trip prep!
- Best shoes for hiking in Hawaii
- The perfect type of shirt for swimming in Hawaii
- Do you need water shoes for Hawaii?
- Individual swim float for snorkeling and swimming
- THE top things to pack for Hawaii
- Tours and activities to see the best of Maui
- Popular Maui snorkeling tour: Molokini and Turtle Town snorkeling
Save the Maui video playlist to watch on youtube later!
Explore the outdoors all over Maui:
- Driving to the top of the Haleakala summit
- Things to do in West Maui with amazing views
- The big list of 50+ things to do on Maui (mostly free and outdoors!)
IMPORTANT!!! If you want to do the back road to Hana, be sure to check the Maui County government website before you go. As of early June 2022, it is not possible to drive the Road to Hana as a loop because of a bridge repair. This is expected to take 2 months. You can still drive the Road to Hana as an out-and-back.
Is the trail to the red sand beach really that dangerous?
If you read some of the online reviews about the trail to the red sand beach that is Kaihalulu Beach, you might start to believe that you could be seriously risking your life by doing the hike to the red sand beach. (And, depending on who you are, you might be. So it could be a good idea to look further into it.)
I’m a pretty low-risk person, and the reviews were enough to make me consider not doing it.
But as I continued reading more reviews, it seemed like the reviews were really mixed.
It seemed like there were some people who said you really shouldn’t do it because it is that dangerous.
And then there were others who said the negative reviews were overblown and it’s not actually that bad.
So… which is it?!
Well firstly, I’m also not one to take the dangers of Hawaii lightly.
Hawaii can be a dangerous place!
You need to be careful no matter what activities you do.
A calm scene can quickly turn disastrous. Tourists literally die in Hawaii.
And not all activities in Hawaii may be suitable for everyone.
Also, trail conditions CAN change quickly, no matter what hike you do in Hawaii. For example, if it’s rained recently, it could actually make the trail very dangerous, this sort of thing.
So all that said, if you are a regularly active person and interested in doing hikes in Hawaii…
On a normal day, I did not think the hike to the red sand beach was that bad. As with all hikes in Hawaii, there are certain things you need to be careful about.
So as with all hiking trails in Hawaii, you should absolutely take precautions and be careful.
What’s the red sand beach hiking trail like?
1. Loose gravel = easy to lose footing
There are trails in Hawaii in which the surface is dry loose gravel. The trail to the red sand beach is one of them, in certain parts.
This type of trail condition means that it can make it easy to slip, particularly when you’re going downhill, no matter what type of shoes you’re wearing. (Although there’s some footwear that does give better traction, and these types of footwear are better suited for Hawaii in general.)
So it will be important to be careful with your footing and use caution.
2. Narrow trail along a cliff
There’s one section in particular in which the trail is narrow and it drops off.
It’s not that narrow, but it could be enough to cause some anxiety again depending on who you are.
So this is another thing that could make this trail less than ideal.
There have been reports (here and here for example) of people falling down the cliff and getting injured. (I’m not sure where exactly on the trail, but dangers of the red sand beach hike nonetheless!)
And that’s a bit about hiking to the red sand beach in Maui on the Road to Hana!
More colored beaches in Hawaii?!
- You can also find red sand on the Road to Hana near the famous huli huli chicken stand
- THE famous black sand beach on Maui
- The green sand beach in Hawaii
More hikes in Hawaii:
- Road to Hana hikes
- Maui hikes with amazing views
- THE bamboo forest hike on Maui
- THE volcano crater hike on Maui
- Lanai hikes with great views
- Big Island hikes with ocean views
- Oahu hikes with ocean views
HAPPY SEEING A RED SAND BEACH IN HAWAII!