MOLOKAI BEACHES – West End
The first in a series of articles about the beaches of Molokai discussing the beautiful beaches on the island’s west end.
To reach these west end beaches, take Maunaloa Highway (460) to Kaluakoi Road at mile marker 15. Follow Kaluakoi Road about 7 miles to the bottom of the hill. Then consult The Beaches Map for more details on the four easily reached beaches. Use the satellite option for a birds eye view of the area and the beaches.
Kapukahehu Beach – aka Dixie Maru Beach
Description: Crescent beach in a small cove. Favorite of residents & visitors.
Cautions: Safe swimming almost always. However, large winter surf can create dangerous shore break.
Location: Follow Kaluakoi Road to Pohakuloa Road, turn makai (toward the ocean). Follow Pohakuloa Road until it ends in a cul de sac. The beach access road is on the makai side and is narrow enough to look like a driveway. Parking is about 100 yards down the access road.
Description: One of Hawaii’s Longest White Sand Beaches. Two miles long and you’ll rarely see anyone else on it.
Cautions: Very dangerous rip currents and shore breaks. DO NOT SWIM HERE unless the ocean is absolutely, positively, guaranteed, for certain, FLAT & CALM.
Facilities: Beach Park has restrooms, showers and fresh water.
Location: Follow Kaluakoi Road to Papohaku Beach Park. Walk thru the center of the park and follow the path 50 yards to the beach. One of 2 parks that allow overnight camping. Get permits from Parks Department.
Description: A very nice beach that is a favorite surfing spot.
Cautions: Dangerous when winter surf is up, usually safe for swimming in the summer.
Location: Follow Kaluakoi Road to Kepuhi Place, the Ke Nani Kai condos drive. It’s the second available turn after you reach the bottom of the hill, turn makai. Follow the drive to its end and find a parking spot. Walk past the hotel to the beach.
Pohaku Mauliuli Beach – aka Make Horse
Description: A great spot for a summer get-away. Make, pronounced maw-kay, means dead in Hawaiian.
Cautions: Dangerous when winter surf is up, usually safe for swimming in the summer. The Keawe trees near the beach provide comfortable shade.
Location: Follow Kaluakoi Road to Kakaako Road. It’s the first available turn after you reach the bottom of the hill, turn makai. Follow the road to Lio Place, turn left and drive past the Paniolo Hale condos. There is a short (100 yards) dirt road leading to a small parking place. Follow the path another 100 yards to and then across the golf course fairway to the beach.
Hale O Lono Harbor & Beaches
Description: There are several beaches on the west side of the harbor; Hale o Lono Beach, Kanalukaha Beach, Kapukuwahine Beach, Kahalepohaku Beach and there is Halena Beach on the east side.
Cautions: Dangerous when winter surf is up, usually safe for swimming in the summer unless there is a south swell running. Exercise caution year-round.
Location: Follow Maunaloa Highway (460) to Maunaloa town. Take the first right, just past the Lodge, and follow the road forever. Okay, not quite forever, it’s about 7 miles and the unpaved road is sometimes in poor shape, so drive slowly and be alert for major potholes and washboard conditions.