Little Beach’s name is appropriate as Little Beach is indeed small at 1/8 of a mile long. Unfortunately Pu’u Ola’i, an ancient cinder cone, causes accessibility issues for some because you have to climb up and over it to reach Little Beach. If you’re heading to Little Beach it’s highly advisable to wear a sturdy pair of shoes like gym shoes or hiking boots since flip-flops can be slippery. Don’t even think about going barefoot as lava is HOT and SHARP.
Most people go to Little Beach because it’s one of two nude beaches on the island of Maui. Although nude sunbathing is illegal throughout the State of Hawaii, on Maui the law isn’t enforced at Little Beach or Red Sand Beach in Hana. As a result Little Beach can get crowded at times, especially on Sundays, which brings us to the other main reason people go to Little Beach.
Every Sunday around sunset a group of people gather at Little Beach for a drum circle, dancing, and a bonfire. As word spread about this weekly ritual more people, both nude and clothed, come to either join in or observe. According to Maui Information Guide, “Once the sun has gone down, all kinds of fire dancers come out of the woodwork. You’ll find old naked ladies twirling burning spears as well as small children taking turns with flaming hula hoops. On occasion, you’ll find some extra creative dancers with exotic fire contraptions. One gentleman wears a flaming steel bra as well as a blazing rope penis. Wild? You really have to see it to believe it. Some of the dancers are mediocre and a bit too sexually provocative. Others are well-trained and brilliant to watch as they masterfully twirl chains with flaming balls in a controlled and visually stunning manner.” If you do attend a drum circle bring a flashlight to get back to your car.
- Boogie boarding
- Drum circle on Sundays at sunset
- Public bathrooms – Yes, portable toilets are located in the Makena State Park parking lot.
- Showers – No.
- Parking – Yes, at the Makena State Park parking lot.
- Food – No, although occasionally there are food trucks in the parking lot.
- Lifeguard – No.
- Dogs allowed on the beach – Yes, as long as it is on a leash and a human holds the leash at all times, however, many dogs will have a hard time making it up and down Pu’u Ola’i cinder cone.
Little Beach is located in Makena on the island of Maui, Hawaii. From State Highway 31 turn right into the Wailea resort at Wailea Ike Drive. Take a left at Wailea Alanui Drive. Continue on Wailea Alanui Drive until the name changes to Makena Alanui and then Makena Road. You will arrive at Makena State Park soon after the road becomes Makena Road. Turn in the first entrance, park in the parking lot, and take the path to the beach. This is Big Beach. To reach Little Beach, walk north (to your right) and climb the trail in the lava outcropping. Once you reach the top, climb down and you’ve reached Little Beach.
To many joyful beach experiences!
— Lisa Dworkin
Crowded Little Beach photo courtesy of http://tinyurl.com/4g4g9vs
Little Beach from the ocean photo courtesy of http://tinyurl.com/49uscg9
Aerial photo of Big and Little Beaches courtesy of http://tinyurl.com/4p7l5xe
Little Beach from Big Beach photo courtesy of http://tinyurl.com/4xz9p9y
Climbing Pu’u Ola’i cinder cone to reach Little Beach photo courtesy of http://tinyurl.com/3ojvqde