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Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches

Kekaha Kai State Park

Big Island, Hawai'i

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Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches

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  • Ka'elehuluhulu Beach in Kekaha Kai State Park.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • Ka'elehuluhulu Beach in Kekaha Kai State Park.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • Ka'elehuluhulu Beach in Kekaha Kai State Park.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • Picnic areas include tables and barbecues. Ka'elehuluhulu Beach in Kekaha Kai State Park.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • Ka'elehuluhulu Beach in Kekaha Kai State Park.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • Hawaiian monk seals (Neomonachus schauinslandi) are endangered and are one of two mammalian species native to Hawaii.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • Ka'elehuluhulu Beach in Kekaha Kai State Park.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • Ka'elehuluhulu Beach in Kekaha Kai State Park.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • The airport lies just to the south of Ka'elehuluhulu Beach, so some air traffic is part of the scene.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • Mahai'ula Beach sits just to the north of Ka'elehuluhulu Beach.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • The parking area is visible from Mahai'ula Beach.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • Mahai'ula Beach.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • Rock outcropping on Mahai'ula Beach.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • Mahai'ula Beach.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • Mahai'ula Beach.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • The path leading straight to the parking area from Mahai'ula Beach.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • Mahai'ula Beach.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • The Magoon Beach House at Mahai'ula Beach.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • The Magoon family owned this land until 1993.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • One of the outbuildings from the Magoon estate.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • A palm tree grove near Mahai'ula Beach.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • A palm tree grove near Mahai'ula Beach.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • A palm tree grove near Mahai'ula Beach.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • The path from the parking area leading directly to Mahai'ula Beach.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • The path from the parking area leading through the lava flow directly to Mahai'ula Beach.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • These folks chose to ignore the fact that dogs are prohibited in Kekaha Kai State Park.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • The parking area for Mahai'ula and Ka'elehuluhulu beaches.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • The road servicing Mahai'ula and Ka'elehuluhulu beaches is really rough, but it is doable in a normal two-wheel drive car if you drive slowly.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • The road servicing Mahai'ula and Ka'elehuluhulu beaches is really rough, but it is doable in a normal two-wheel drive car if you drive slowly.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
  • Entering the Mahaiula Section of Kekaha Kai State Park.- Mahai'ula + Ka'elehuluhulu Beaches
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Multiple beaches. Beautiful setting.
Cons: 
Not the best for swimming. Rough access road. Few amenities.
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Region:
Big Island, HI
Congestion: 
Moderate
Location type: 
Sandy beach
Rocky shore
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Team

Mahai'ula and Ka'elehuluhulu beaches are the first beaches visitors encounter at the end of the rugged road accessing the Mahai'ula Section of Kekaha Kai State Park. Ka'elehuluhulu Beach sits straight off of the end of the road, and Mahai'ula sits just to the north. You can access Mahai'ula via a short walk from Ka'elehuluhulu Beach, or you can take a short access path leading directly through the lava field from the parking area. 

The two beaches have very different characteristics. Ka'elehuluhulu Beach has the nearest restrooms and picnic tables, but the coarse sand and rocks make this a less appealing spot for swimming. Still, this is a great spot to bring the family or a group for a picnic and some tide pool investigation, and there is plenty of space to find your own piece of beach for the afternoon.

Mahai'ula Beach is a smaller beach that feels more intimate. Trees separate the lava from the sand and provide a fair amount of shade in the early hours of the day. The fine sand here is much nicer on bare feet, as well. This beach tends to attract more attention, though it is farther away from the restrooms at Ka'elehuluhulu. Swimming here can be a trick for little ones as the beach plunges quickly into the water. There are no lifeguards at these beaches, so please be vigilant and evaluate the conditions. This beach may set up nicely for boogie boarding when the waves are right, and surfers sometimes find waves off of the north point. 

Mahai'ula Beach is the site of the Magoon family house, built in the 1930s, which you can find at the north end. The Magoon family owned this land until 1993, when the state purchased it and transformed the area into a state park. The north end of Mahai'ula Beach is also where you'll find the path leading to another of Kekaha Kai State Park's beaches, Makalawena Beach

Note that pets, alcohol, smoking, camping and beach fires are prohibited here. The park hours are officially 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. There are very few trash receptacles, so plan to carry out what you carry in, grab any litter you see, and leave no trace. Also, there is no potable water in the park, so be sure to bring plenty of water from home.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(2 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(28 within a 30 mile radius)

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