The Insiders Guide to Honomanu Bay in Maui

If you’re visiting Hawaii, then we recommend you sample the sights and experiences on Maui Island. Maui aptly captures everything you could desire from a Hawaii trip. Its beautiful beaches are as equally diverse as the island’s rich culture and just as engaging, if not more.

Sitting at the top of the list of must-see sights on Maui are the Honomanu Bay and Honomanu Waterfall, located off Hana Highway. When browsing through any website page about Hawaii, you are most likely to find Honomanu Bay. 

Most people refer to it as a secluded paradise because its black sand beach is neatly tucked between two boulders: the Garden of Eden Arboretum and the Ke’anae Peninsula.

Key Features of Honomanu Bay:

  • Location Off Hana highway, Maui North.
  • Lifeguard on Duty None.
  • Beach Length (Approx.) 500 feet.
  • Beach Width (Approx.) 100 feet.
  • Facilities None available.
  • Activities Fishing, surfing, picnics, swimming.
  • Parking Undesignated gravel parking space available.
  • Caution Unsafe to leave valuables behind in the cars;
  • Sharks frequently visit the bay; No cell phone reception.

This article explains why Honomanu Bay, located on the famed Hana Highway (Hana Highway), is a must-see for Maui visitors. We tell you all about the magic of Honomanu Bay, how to get there, and other details that not every website divulges. 

Here’s a highlight of what we’ll cover:

Where Is Honomanu Bay?

Honomanu Bay is located in Maui’s North shore along the renowned Hana Highway, commonly referred to as the Road to Hana between mile marker 13 and mile marker 14. The bay is half a mile after Kaumahina State Wayside Park, another exciting stop for you to explore Honomanu Bay Lookout.

The legendary road to Hana by itself is a treat; you’ll enjoy snaking your way past numerous mile markers with numerous attractions, e.g., plush rainforests, incredible waterfalls, plunging pools, and dramatic seascapes.


It’s essential to note that the road to Hana is a dangerous drive, making it a bucket list experience for most visitors going to Maui Island, Hawaii. 

Hana Highway traverses from North Maui and flows to east shore Maui and finally to the town of Hana. The long road has 59 bridges and a whooping 620 curves. However, the long adventure is worth it as Honomanu Bay has one of the most beautiful black sand beaches on the road to Hana.

What Can You Do at Honomanu Bay?

The black sand beach of Honomanu Bay is mostly a favorite of local families, fishermen, and resident surfers. The beach is mostly covered with small rocks and minimal amounts of black sand, which goes against the typical ocean fun most visitors associate with Hawaii travel.

When the conditions are ideal, locals enjoy surfs at the rocky beach. However, watch out for sharks, jagged hidden reefs, and strong rip currents during winter swells. These conditions make the bay an unconducive swimming spot, especially since there are no lifeguards.

This place, however, has more to it than meets the eye. A freshwater estuary flows into the bay, ideal for fishing or kids to splash around in. Bolder travelers can hike up the valley to jump into the stream, parts of which reach eight feet deep.

The Honomanu Bay Lookout

Browse through Maui websites, and you are also sure to find Honomanu Bay Lookout, along the bay area. 

Honomanu Bay Lookout is the perfect location to soak in the best view of the bay. Located just beyond Kaumahina State Wayside Park, this pullout gives a panoramic view of the entire expanse of Honomanu Bay.

For visitors who do not want to go down the valley to the black sand beach, Honomanu Bay Lookout is the perfect pullout spot. We recommend it for taking incredible pictures, with the bay as the backdrop.

From this vantage point, you can also get a good look at the Ke’anae Peninsula around the bay area. Views from Kaumahina Wayside Park are way better than this pullout, but unfortunately, the park has been temporarily closed down.


How Do You Get to Honomanu Bay?

Off Hana Highway is Honomanu Bay which you can get to via a rough access road. If you didn’t happen to rent a jeep or 4×4 car, you can leave your vehicle at the parking lot and walk to the bay. This is because the road gets super muddy after downpours; hence not ideal for a car that can’t handle rough terrain.

The rocky beach is between mile marker 13 and mile marker 14. You’ll then turn off the highway to descend into the valley leading up to the bay. It’s advisable to ignore Google maps when it suggests using an access route around mile marker 13.5 as you descend to the valley floor as the path no longer exists. 

There is a sudden bend onto a rocky access road, little under a half-mile after you begin your ascent on the other side of the valley, that leads to a gravel parking area immediately alongside the beach.

Parking at Honomanu Bay

There is a gravel parking area right along the black sand beach that you can access via a turn-off from the main highway. Parallel street parking is not allowed on the highway because the road to Hana is narrow and busy. 

However, you will likely find white tour vans parked along the side road, which serve as ‘landmarks’ for the hidden access route. 

Tips for Visiting Honomanu Bay

Before you plan a trip to this secluded paradise, here are some tips you should know:

  • Honomanu Bay offers neither restrooms nor lifeguards, and the rip currents are brutal, especially in the winter months. Thus, swimming isn’t recommended during such times.
  • The road leading from the Hana highway to the bay’s black sand beach section is uneven and difficult. We don’t recommend this drive if you rented a convertible or minivan. It is best to use jeep or any other 4-wheel drive car for this section.
  • The beach is unfavorable for swimming, thanks to the rocky shore and strong currents.
  • It’s best to carry food and fresh water supplies if you plan to relax all day.
  • Watch out for sharks when swimming.

Frequently Asked Questions


Visit the Secluded Paradise

Whether you decide to visit Honomanu Bay to peer down into the valley from the road or descend into the valley to look up from the bay, you will definitely enjoy a spectacular view. 

Visit this secluded paradise as a pit stop to stretch your legs, have a picnic lunch, take a quick dip or explore. You are sure to carry the beautiful memories back home in your heart.