Is the Red Sand Beach on Maui Actually Worth a Visit?

Hawaii is famous for its mesmerizing black, green, and pink sand beaches. However, few rival the incredible beauty of Kaihalulu Beach. This red sand beach on Maui boasts tall, rust-red hills that pop against the shimmering blue water. It’s the perfect place to snorkel, sunbathe, and birdwatch on one of the island’s most secluded stretches of shoreline! The next time you visit Maui, plan a trip to this crimson cove and use our free Adventure Guide to create your vacation itinerary.

Explore the Incredible Red Sand Beach on Maui

Kaihalulu Beach in Hana, HI, is one of only a few red sand beaches in the world. It’s part of a crumbling red cinder cone that cuts deep into Ka’uiki Head on the eastern side of the island. Here, visitors can explore a seemingly prehistoric landscape complete with ‘Iwa and Koa’e Kea. These seabirds are impressive to watch as they cruise the sky looking for prey. Below, the rugged coastline and sapphire waves of this crescent-shaped beach attract adventurous tourists, eccentric locals, and the occasional nudist. Hey, it’s Hawaii!

Tip: Swimming is not recommended here because the water is rough (Kaihalulu means “roaring sea” in Hawaiian) but there’s a protected cove that’s suitable for snorkeling and wading. We recommend staying in this area when the water is calm.

How to Get There

Getting to Kaihalulu Beach is no easy feat. The trail to reach it is made of loose cinders and is steep, narrow, and slippery; sturdy hiking shoes and sure footing are a must. Visitors should also keep in mind that there are no facilities at Red Sand Beach. Feel free to borrow beach chairs, blankets, and a cooler from our inn — just be sure to take your trash home with you.

Kaihalulu Beach is accessible via the Hana Highway. There’s minimal parking on this part of the road, so we suggest parking by the Hana Ballpark and walking. For directions, mile markers, and other Road to Hana stops, read our blog.

Come Home to The Old Wailuku Inn at Ulupono

King-size bed with blue quilt in the Bird of Paradise Room

Do you have what it takes to hike to Kaihalulu Beach? Start planning your trip to Hawaii and find out! Our bed and breakfast in Wailuku gives guests a 30-minute head start on the Hana Highway. You’ll be ahead of the crowds coming from major resorts and can experience an unforgettable adventure on your way to Red Sand Beach.

After an exciting day, come back to one of our beautiful accommodations and unwind. The Bird of Paradise room is a guest favorite and is especially popular with couples. Enjoy the comfortable, king-size bed, original elliptical shower, and a variety of luxurious amenities. We even offer a delicious, homemade breakfast each morning of your stay. There’s truly nothing better!

Looking for more of the best Maui beaches? Don’t forget to download our free Adventure Guide! It has everything you need to plan the ultimate Hawaiian vacation. Use our guide to find restaurant recommendations, outdoor experiences, local events, and so much more!