So Pailoa Bay is home to THE famous black sand beach in Maui.
This is located in Waianapanapa State Park. Once you get to the state park, you won’t have to look very hard for a paved trail along the coastline. It’s a trail with ocean views!
This is also the trail that will take you to the Pailoa Bay overlook aka the black sand beach overlook!
There is the Waianapanapa Coastal Trail (aka Piilani Trail) that is THE hike to do in Waianapanapa State Park. This goes for a couple of miles along the coast in both directions of Pailoa Bay, to the north and to the south.
The trail to Pailoa Bay is basically the “middle” part of the Waianapanapa Coastal Trail.
Walking along this middle part of the trail will give you views of Pailoa Bay and the vast ocean that it opens up to!
How much time do you need for the Pailoa Bay overlook?
If the ONLY thing you want to do is SEE the Waianapanapa black sand beach from above, then you can give yourself 15-20 minutes to only walk along the trail that overlooks Pailoa Bay.
This paved trail that overlooks Pailoa Bay is not that long. So this will be enough time to walk around at a leisurely pace and take in the ocean views of Pailoa Bay and the Pacific Ocean!
How much longer you want beyond seeing Pailoa Bay from above will depend on how much time you want to spend at the black sand beach, and how much time you want to spend hiking the Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. You can make it a 30 minute Waianapanapa hike from Pailoa Bay, or you can make it a 2+ hour Waianapanapa hike from Pailoa Bay!
More pictures below of what you can see from walking the trail to the Pailoa Bay overlook, and then some!
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?
- THE top things to pack for Hawaii
- The top 5 Maui adventures you definitely need to think about doing: Maui tour OR on your own?
- Driving to the top of the Haleakala summit
- Road to Hana food stops
- Best Road to Hana hikes
- Things to do in Hana
- Things to do in the West Maui mountains
Here’s more of what a quick trip to the Pailoa Bay overlook can look like!
First a bit off to the right as you’re facing the ocean… (aka away from the black sand beach…)
And then saving the best for last, you can head for the “main event” of Waianapanapa State Park, THE black sand beach, and THE main overlook of Waianapanapa State Park! Or, if you want to go straight to the black sand beach, then that will be off towards the LEFT as you are facing the ocean.
And that’s a bit of what you can see at Pailoa Bay from above!
And then if you want to make time for it…
You can take the stairs that you’ll see from the overlook down to Pailoa Bay so you can see the black sand beach up close and personal!
There’s also a small little cave formation off to the right side of the beach too!
And then if you want to make time for even more…
You can further walk across the black sand sand beach and continue on the Waianapanapa Coastal Trail! (Yes, I do think it’s worth going at least a little bit! I consider this hiking trail one of the best hikes on Maui!)
More about hiking the Waianapanapa Coastal Trail from the Pailoa Bay overlook:
And those are ideas for your trip to Pailoa Bay!
Nearby food stops in Hana:
More more stops for your Road to Hana drive:
HAPPY SEEING THE BLACK SAND BEACH FROM THE PAILOA BAY OVERLOOK!
Top things to pack for your Hawaii vacation!
The ultimate beach towel for travel?!Turkish towels are considered to be more absorbent and lightweight than your average beach towel. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these!
Possibly among the best Maui maps for tourists!The Franko maps of Hawaii have a high level of detail for activities and it's beachproof aka waterproof. There's an "adventure" guide map and a "snorkel/dive" guide map. Plus a wall map for home to get you excited for your upcoming trip!
The cheapo way to waterproof your phoneYou can take underwater pictures with a simple waterproof phone case like this. Touch screen may not work well underwater - try the volume button to snap the pic instead!
Get your suitcase more organized!Packing cubes can make it so you're spending less time on your vacation looking for things! They are basically a form of drawers in your suitcase. Take a look at these packing cubes.
Wear less sunscreen by wearing a UPF swim shirt!Wearing a swim shirt means less skin that's exposed to the sun which means less sunscreen you need to apply! See about wearing swim shirts with UV protection like these when you're snorkeling.
Be sure to take a look at the reviews of these amazing tours on Maui:
- Molokini Crater and Turtle Town snorkeling or snuba tour
- Haleakala sunrise tour with breakfast
- Road to Hana driving tour with lunch
- Dream Hawaii helicopter flight #1: Fly over 2 Hawaiian islands to see Maui and Molokai waterfalls, rainforest, and sea cliffs
- Dream Hawaii helicopter flight #2: Hana waterfalls and rainforest from above plus Hana fruit plantation walk on the ground
- Sailing the ocean with a sail + snorkel trip