Your Destination Guide to Maui

Destination Guide Maui - Your Destination Guide to Maui, HI

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Red Sand Beach

Red Sand Beach
Red Sand Beach

© Michael Wifall

Be sure to stop by Red Sand Beach on the Road to Hana because you won't find anything else like it on the island. Park on the roadside, then follow a short path around the massive cinder cone known as Ka'uiki Hill, where continuous erosion created and replenishes the beach you see today. The path can be sketchy at times, especially in rainy weather, because gravelly bits slip from under your feet as you scramble up and down the cliff sides. Your labor proves fruitful because less then ten minutes later, you arrive face to face with what resembles a prehistoric lair.

A towering cliff of layered cinder in every shade of crimson remains where the hillside eroded, wrapping around the beach and cove to create an amphitheatre of red. The water here reflects an unnatural shade of turquoise due to the rich colors above and below. The beach itself is perhaps one of the smallest on the island, but its uniqueness makes your stop here worthwhile. A jagged lava outcrop forms a wall just off shore, seemingly protecting this grainy crescent from being devoured by the sea. Swimming here can be tricky because the outcrop causes a churning effect when the ocean is rough. Although it's illegal to sunbathe nude in Hawai'i, you'll often find unclad sunbathers basking in this eerie, secluded nook.

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