Beach Personality: Beautiful, Remote And Hard To Reach
Red Sand Beach Maui
Red Sand Beach is located in Hana on the rugged east coast of Maui. Hana is definitely off the beaten tourist path. Most people get there by driving the scenic, but slow, road known as the Hana Highway. It’s a beautiful drive with narrow one-lane bridges, waterfalls, rain forests and ocean vistas, and an experience in itself. However, to give you an idea of how slow you actually have to drive, most people take over 3 hours to drive the 52 miles from Kahului to Hana, and that’s without stopping along the way!
The beach is known as Red Sand Beach because the sand is truly red. It’s red because the beach is actually a partially submerged cinder cone so the sand is pulverized lava, which unfortunately isn’t very soft. Instead it’s more the texture of crumbly pebbles. That’s one reason most people don’t spend the day there since it’s not too conducive to sunbathing.
Not For the Faint of Heart
The other reason most people don’t usually spend the day there is because the beach has no amenities and anything you bring in with you has to be carried down a very narrow, somewhat unstable path. Plus, there’s not all that much to do at Red Sand Beach. The water is sheltered from the open ocean by part of the unsubmerged cinder cone, so it is possible to swim as long as you stay inside the sheltered area. You can also snorkel because there is a small reef in the sheltered cove. And you’ll definitely want to take pictures. But, that’s about it.
At this point you may be wondering why anyone would go to Red Sand Beach! Having been there myself I can honestly say if you love beaches, adventure, and unique experiences this beach is not to be missed. I was so determined to reach Red Sand Beach that I temporarily overcame my fear of heights to walk down the “scary” path. I did it VERY slowly, my entire torso pressed to the hillside the whole way, but I did it.
Once at the beach I stripped down to my birthday suit, put on snorkel gear, and hit the water for some nude snorkeling. It was a blast. Was the snorkeling the best I’ve ever experienced? No, but how many places can you snorkel in the nude? My husband even did it and he doesn’t like snorkeling. Today we both agree it was one of the best experiences of our lives and something we will remember forever.
- Public bathrooms – No.
- Showers – No.
- Parking – Yes, on the street.
- Food – No.
- 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, most dogs will have a hard time on the steep path to and from the beach.
According to To-Hawaii.com the best way to reach Red Sand Beach from Hana is to “Drive to the dead end of Uakea Road, south of Hana Bay (in Hana). Across from the Sea Ranch Cottages, the trail to the beach begins. From here, it’s a steep, 10-minute hike to the beach.” I can personally attest to the steepness of the trail to the beach.
To many joyful beach experiences!
— Lisa Dworkin
Image Source: Adobe Stock