Kalapana Black Sand Beach


About Kalapana Black Sand Beach


The Big Island landscape is always changing, waves crashing into rocky shores and molten lava pouring into the ocean. The Kalapana Black Sand Beach is no exception, with sandy shores that are continuously shaped as crashing waters erode black lava rock. Across 1/4 mile of rocky terrain formed from a 20th century lava flow, youll make your way across a path to remote Kaimu beach. At the Kalapana Lava Viewing Area, when the volcano is active, emissions are visible as billows of smoke rise above the ocean. (Photo: roy.luck/Flickr)


The Hawaiian fishing town of Kalapana and the Royal Gardens subdivision were destroyed in the late 20th century when lava flows obliterated the area in 1990. Some black sand beaches were lost, but the shores have recovered and new beaches are available to visitors.

Facts & Trivia

  • Island: Big Island
  • Duration: Depending on lava activity and road access, we visit at least one black sand beach on the Big Island.
  • Amenities: Restrooms, picture opportunities.
  • Insider Tip: Wear comfortable closed-toe shoes to walk over rocky areas to the sandy beach.
  • Fun Fact: A local Kalapana resident started planting new coconut trees in the area in hopes of restoring the beach to its previous beauty.
  • What to Expect: Previous lava flows and quiet Kalapana Town