Molokai has a lot of beautiful beaches on all parts of the island. However, not all of them are safe for swimming and snorkeling and many are difficult to reach. This guide provides information on the places you can actually get to without a boat, a four-wheel drive vehicle or a difficult hike.
Only three of the our beaches have restroom facilities and only two have potable water. Therefore, be sure you take plenty of drinking water with you for any day at the beach. Locals also carry a large container (gallon or two size) of fresh water to rinse off salt water and sand.
At all of Molokai’s beaches, respect the power of the ocean and exercise caution. If you don’t see residents playing in the water, you probably shouldn’t either. The cautions listed with each beach below are accurate, so don’t dismiss them. We wouldn’t want to loose you during your visit.
We have listed only the most popular and easily accessed Molokai beaches. If you’d like a more detailed Molokai beach reference, we suggest Driving & Discovering Hawaii: Maui & Molokai by Richard Sullivan, Probably the best off-line source for Maui & Molokai exploration information and beach details.
Don’t forget sunscreen, the tropical sun is very intense.
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 for more details on the four easily reached beaches. Use the satellite option for a birds eye view of the area and the beaches.
Description: Cresent 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: Hawaii’s Longest White Sand Beach. Three 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.
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.
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.
For central beaches, take Kamehameha V Highway (450) east from Kaunakakai to about mile 3.3, Where you’ll encounter One Ali’i Beach Park. Continue east on the highway to reach Kakahai’a Park and Kamalo Beach. Consult for more details on these drive-up beaches.
Description: Long, flat beach, nice sand.
Cautions: Safe wading anytime. Great for small children. too shallow for swimming
Facilities: Restrooms and showers, Pavillion and fresh water.
Location: Follow Kam V Highway to about mile 3.3, turn into driveway and park near the pavillion. One of 2 parks that allow overnight camping. Get permits from Parks Department.
Description: A roadside picnic area with narrow beach.
Cautions: Safe wading year round. Too shallow to swim.
Location: Follow Kam V Highway east to mile 5.4.
Description: Nice beach at the old Kamalo Wharf site.
Cautions: Usually safe for wading/swimming year round..
Location: Follow Kam V Highway east to mile 10.1. The highway makes a 90 degree turn mauka (toward mountain). Just opposite on the makai side is a short dirt drive into the beach area.
To reach the east end beaches, take Kamehameha V Highway (450) east from Kaunakakai to about mile 15. Puko’o Beach and Kawili Beach require a short stroll from their parking area, Murphy’s and Sandy are right on the highway. Consult for more details on these four easily reached beaches. Remember the satellite option for aerial views.
Description: Short, flat beach about 50 yards long.
Cautions: Safe swimming when ocean is calm or no south swell.
Location: Follow Kam V Highway to about mile 15.8. Look for beach access sign on makai side and narrow dirt access road. Parking is about 100 yards down the access road. Follow the path to the end of the boulders on the left side to find the beach.
Description: Molokai’s favorite snorkel spot, a lovely point of golden sand and calm water.
Cautions: Snorklers should be there from mid to high tide. The water is shallow
Location: Follow Kam V Highway east to mile 20.
Description: Small, white sand, cresent shaped beach.
Cautions: Can be dangerous when south swell is running, usually safe for swimming in the summer.
Location: Follow Kam V Highway past Honouliwai Bay and Honoulimalo’o Bay past mile 21. Sandy Beach is right on the road.
Description: A fairy long curved beach with nice sand.
Cautions: Dangerous when winter surf is up, sometimes safe for swimming in the summer. Exercise caution, regardless.
Facilities: Restrooms in the Halawa Park.
Location: Follow Kam V Highway to the pavement’s very end in Halawa Valley. Then take the dirt road that continues another 50 yards to a parking area.