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.