Makolea Black Sand Beach
About Makolea Black Sand Beach on Kona & West Island, Hawaii
Makolea Black Sand Beach is a hidden black sand beach north of Kailua-Kona. It’s hardly known, even though the main access is from Kekaha Kai State Park, so you might not see anyone else when you get there.
The black sand is amazing and the swimming and snorkeling is pretty good in calm waves, but the downside is that it’s a hot place due to the lack of shade and the black lava all around. Pack some of your own shade and this will be a great place for you to enjoy.
Lonely Makolea Black Sand Beach could be described as a place of solitude, but you can’t ignore the loud jets carrying hundreds of folks to and from Kona International Airport just a mile and a half away to the south. Makolea Beach and the airport are both on lava from the Hualalai Volcano lava flow of 1801.
The optimal way to reach Makolea Black Sand Beach is walking south from Kaelehuluhulu Beach in Kekaha Kai State Beach. That route is a mix of sand, loose lava and coral, and rock hard lava flows which combine for about a 0.6 mile walk. Look for a couple rock arches and several tide pools along the way. It’s also possible to get to Makolea by walking an old road from the parking area for Mahaiula Beach. This parking area is not at the end of the road, but it’s close (see our map below). We don’t recommend this route on the way there as it’s hard to determine where to turn off the road toward the beach. Instead, it’s a much better return route after you’ve been to Makolea as all you need to do is walk away from the ocean on the smooth lava and you’ll intersect the road and then simply go left to your car. You should make this trek with regular shoes and bring the flip flops in your backpack. Even though the best route to Makolea is via the shoreline from an adjacent beach, it can be rough in places.
A small hidden beach with a few trees for shade is located a half mile farther south from Makolea Black Sand Beach. Just follow the shoreline if you want to find that hideaway.
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
- Other Names
- Makole'a Point Beach
- Pet Details
- Dogs are not allowed in the state park where you begin this hike
- Free parking, no entrance fees
- Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, Fishing, Beach Exploration
- Black Sand, Rock Arch, Tide Pools, Facilities at Trailhead
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