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Kaimu Beach Park – Black Sand Beach
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Overview
Location

Kalapana, Hawaii (Big Island)

Sights

Black sand beach, Kaimu Beach Park, igneous rock

Distance

About .72 mile round trip

Parking Lot Elevation

16 ft

Summit Elevation

sea level

Elevation Gain/Loss

16 feet

Time Required

About 30 minutes

Pets

Allowed

Fees

none

Water Info

Bring a liter of water

Best Season

All

Hours

Open year round

Sun Exposure

No shade

Trail Condition

Good dirt and rocky path

Restrooms

At the shops near the parking lot

Visitor Center

None

Camping

Not allowed

Food

Bring meals and snacks as needed. There are restaurants nearby.

Equipment

Bring shoes or sandals, towel, hat, sunglasses, bag for food and water, umbrella

GPS Coordinates:

Parking Lot: 19.360974°, -154.970353°
Black Sand Beach: 19.356668°,-154.968187°

Trail Map

Driving Directions

The Trail:

The trail begins in the parking lot area of the small community of Kalapana on the big island.  There are a few shops and places to eat if you didn’t pack a lunch.

You will leave the lush vegetation of Kalapana behind and hike on the hard black igneous rock for the remainder of the trail.  Years ago, lava flow destroyed the area, burning everything in its path including the town of Kaimu.  Now days you can see small sprouts of coconut trees growing that were placed by locals and visitors trying to restore the beach.

There is an easy trail to the black sand beach that really doesn’t lose that much elevation.  The igneous trail makes you feel like you are on a different planet though.

Kaimu Beach park

Kaimu Beach park

The black sand beach is located about .35 miles away from the parking lot.  I didn’t really have time to go swimming or relax by the beach for too long but it was still amazing to see in person.

Kaimu Beach park

Small sprouts of coconut trees

Small sprouts of coconut trees

Kaimu Beach park

Here is a picture I found of the beach before it was destroyed by lava flow.

Kaimu Beach Park 1959

Black Sand Beach big island Hawaii 1959” by Father of JGKlein, used with permission – Father of JGKlein, used with permission. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

The Return:

Head back the same way to your vehicle.

Personal Thoughts:

I would have liked to spend a little more time here walking around on the cool rocks but our time was limited.

I just can’t imagine living in a community where volcanoes are a part of daily life.

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Ratings (out of 10)
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Difficulty
1.0
Technicality
1.0
Enjoyment
5.0
The Bottom Line

Difficulty is basically the length, duration and stress of the Trek. If the Trek is really long then it will receive a higher rating. If the Trek is short then it won't receive that high of a rating. However, difficulty rating also includes how tired we were at the end of the Trek.

Technicality is how strenuous the Trek is. If there is lots of bouldering or if there is bushwhacking involved then the rating will be higher. Technicality also includes if there are steep inclines or the need for ropes and other equipment.

Enjoyment is strictly how much fun we had doing the Trek. Regardless of how tired and exhausted we were, if we had a ton of fun doing the Trek then it will receive a higher rating.

5.0
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About The Author
Jeff Johnson
Questions or comments? I'd love to hear from you! JeffTJohnson@ymail.com

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