ALOHA!

 

The Waianapanapa Coastal Trail is a hiking trail in Hana located off of the Hana Highway.

This is one of the best hikes on the Road to Hana!

Which also means it’s one of the best things to do in Hana!

It extends for a few miles, but you don’t need to do the whole trail in order to see the amazing views!

The Waianapanapa Coastal Trail is located in Waianapanapa State Park.

Waianapanapa State Park is among the most popular state parks on Maui.

It’s home to THE famous black sand beach of Maui.

 

Things to do in Hana: Waianapanapa Coastal Trail from black sand beach. Best hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

 

And while the black sand beach is the main reason the people visit, there is some great Maui hiking that you can do alongside a visit to the beach!

The hiking trail that you can access from the black sand beach is the Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. This is also called the Piilani Trail, and it’s also called the Ke Ala Loa O Maui Trail. This is all the same.

This is a grand coastal hike across Maui lava fields.

The hiking trail is nearly entirely along the coast line!

This means grand ocean views as you are hiking!

You will also see a number of unique rock formations along the way.

 

Things to do in Hana: Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Best hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. Best hikes in Hana. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Best hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. Best hikes in Hana. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Best hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui lava fields. Best hikes in Hana. hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Best hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui lava fields. Best hikes in Hana. hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. Best hikes in Hana. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. Best hikes in Hana. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Best hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui lava fields. hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Best hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

 

 

 

Looking at the black sand beach as the main area of the state park, the Waianapanapa Coastal Trail extends in both directions of the coastline.

There is the Waianapanapa Coastal Trail to the north towards the Hana Airport, and it also goes to the south towards Hana Bay.

Below will be focused on hiking the first part of the Waianapanapa Coastal Trail to the north.

It also goes to the south, and that is the side of the Waianapanapa State Park cabins.

 

 

Now that Hawaii state parks has the Waianapanapa State Park reservation system in which you must reserve a time slot for visiting, it makes knowing what you want to do once you’re there a bit more important!

As of spring 2021, the reservation is based on 2.5 to 3 hour time slots.

If you will be happy with making your trip to Waianapanapa State Park mostly about the black sand beach only, then you can be fine with just 2 hours no problem.

But if you have plans to hike even just a part of the Waianapanapa Coastal Trail that comes with grand ocean views, then that’s when the amount of time you have can start to matter more!

If you only want to do a part of the trail, it’s also possible that you’ll be more than fine with 2 hours. It can still be worthy to even hike just part of this trail, which you can do with 2 hours of time at Waianapanapa State Park.

Below will give you an idea of how long it takes to hike to certain points along the trail so you can judge the possible time it takes a little better!

The times listed are based on how long I personally took to get to each spot.

This of course means it might be different for you!

You might be quicker, or it might take you longer!

You may spend more time taking in the views in a certain spot, etc etc! I was generally going at a leisurely pace.

I also stopped often to take pictures.

 

 

The official hiking trail info for the Piilani Trail to Hana Airport

The Waianapanapa Coastal Trail’s official name is Ke Ala Loa O Maui Trail or Piilani Trail.

According to google translate, “Ke Ala Loa O Maui” means “the best road of Maui” in the Hawaiian language.

 

The trail sign you will see off to the left side of the black sand beach. 👇
Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. Hiking trails in Waianapanapa State Park. distance. difficulty. Piilani Trail. Ke ala loa o maui trail. hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. Hiking trails in Waianapanapa State Park. distance. difficulty. Piilani Trail. Ke ala loa o maui trail. hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. Hiking trails in Waianapanapa State Park. distance. difficulty. Piilani Trail. Ke ala loa o maui trail. hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. Hiking trails in Waianapanapa State Park. distance. difficulty. Piilani Trail. Ke ala loa o maui trail. hawaii travel blog

 

Pictures below from hiking in Waianapanapa State Park!

 

 

🌋🌴

 
There are affiliate links on this page.

More photos/info below, but first...
Side note!

Most people do the Road to Hana as a day trip.
But you can stay overnight in Hana too so you can take your time exploring the lush and quiet East Maui!

Best places to stay in Hana:



It's very possible to do the Road to Hana on your own, but you can also leave the planning to someone else.

Road to Hana tours:


 

 

Hiking the Waianapanapa Coastal Trail to the north

Hiking to the north means that you will start at the black sand beach.

From the parking lot, you’ll follow the signs to the black sand beach.

 

getting to piilani trailhead. getting to Waianapanapa Coastal Trailhead. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. hawaii travel blog

getting to piilani trailhead. Waianapanapa Coastal Trailhead. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. hawaii travel blog

 

Or first, you can walk the Pailoa Bay overlook trail to take in more ocean views! (Or save this for the end when you have a better judge of time.)

 

getting to piilani trailhead. getting to Waianapanapa Coastal Trailhead. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. hawaii travel blog

 

So heading towards the black sand beach, you’ll first come across the black sand beach overlook.

Take in the views of Pailoa Bay!

You’ll also be able to see the trail that you’ll be hiking.

 

getting to piilani trailhead. Waianapanapa Coastal Trailhead. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park from black sand beach. hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park from black sand beach. hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park from black sand beach. hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park from black sand beach. hawaii travel blog
👆 You will be hiking along the coastline there.

 

Then after you’ve taken in the views from above, you can take the stairs down to the black sand beach!

 

getting to black sand beach trailhead. Starting the trail from black sand beach. getting to Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. hawaii travel blog

 

Once you get down to sea level, off to the right side of the beach as you are facing the ocean, there’s the black sand beach lava tube.

Take a walk through that!

 

getting to black sand beach trailhead. Starting the trail from black sand beach. getting to Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. hawaii travel blog

 

Then you can get up close and personal with the black sand beach!

 

getting to black sand beach trailhead. Starting the trail from black sand beach. getting to Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. hawaii travel blog

 

When you’re ready, you can walk all the way across the black sand beach to the left side.

You’ll see a trail. That’s the trail you want to take!

 

getting to black sand beach trailhead. Starting the trail from black sand beach. getting to Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. hawaii travel blog

getting to black sand beach trailhead. Starting the trail from black sand beach. getting to Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. hawaii travel blog

Starting the trail from black sand beach. getting to Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. hawaii travel blog

Starting the trail from black sand beach. getting to Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. hawaii travel blog

Starting the trail from black sand beach. getting to Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. hawaii travel blog
👆 The start of the trail from the black sand beach.

 

And from here, we’ll start the trail timings!

Starting point from the black sand beach will be 0 minutes.

The times noted below are how long it takes to hike there ONE WAY. (Or, around how long it took me to get there anyway.)

So you’ll want to double the time to account for the time it’ll take to get back.

Maybe you’ll be quicker on the way back since you won’t stop so often to take in the views.

Or maybe you’ll take longer on the way back because you’re more tired.

 

Hiking time: 0-5 minutes one way

Starting the trail from black sand beach. getting to Waianapanapa Coastal Trail. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

 

 

Hiking time: 5-10 minutes one way

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

 

 

Hiking time: 10-15+ minutes

And then hiking further along in this section of Waianapanapa Coastal Trail is where you can find another black sand beach. Or maybe it’s a black rock beach. From far away it looks more like a black rock beach, but it also looks like there might be some black sand hiding beneath the rocks! Either way, another beach!

 

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog
👆 It does look like there’s some sort sort of trail directly behind this beach if you want to go down to it.

 

And… back to the famous black sand beach!

 

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. maui hawaii travel blog

 

And finally… TAKE CARE! Sea cliffs can be dangerous! All it takes is one mis-step for a great experience to turn BAD!

 

And that’s a bit of what you can see with 30-45 minutes of hiking the Waianapanapa Coastal Trail!

If you will be giving yourself 2+ hours in Waianapanapa State Park, you may be interested in hiking across lava fields all the way to the Hana Airport!

Hiking from the black sand beach to the Hana Airport along the Waianapanapa Coastal Trail took me around 1.5 hours one way. See pictures of hiking to Hana Airport!

 

More for your trip to Hana! Post-hike food in Hana?!

Or buy the famous Road to Hana banana bread on your way to Waianapanapa State Park!

Plus see the big list of stops on the Road to Hana!

 

Plus, if you are interested in the Waianapanapa Coastal Trail, you may also be interested in these top activities on Maui:

 

HAPPY HIKING IN WAIANAPANAPA STATE PARK!

 

Things to do in Hana: Waianapanapa Coastal Trail near black sand beach. Hiking in Waianapanapa State Park. Best hiking in Hana Hawaii. maui hawaii travel blog

 

 

👇 Explore the Road to Hana map on google maps!
best road to hana stops map. road to hana map. hana highway.

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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!
The cheapo way to waterproof your phone
You 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.

More for your Maui packing list



Watch the videos to see Maui in action!

Find more amazing things to do on Maui: Watch my Maui videos on youtube
If you see an activity you like, look in the description below the youtube video for the individual blog post about that specific activity!

ALOHA!