Makalawena Beach (Maks)



Makalawena Beach, or as I like to call it, Maks, is one of the most pristine white beaches on the Big Island! To get a chance to enjoy this beach is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It is not easy to get to, so there are very few tourists that will make the exploration to this beautiful Hawaiian Beach.


We will give you a few routes to reach this secluded beach here on this blog. The easiest way to get here is by an extremely difficult 4×4 trail beginning off of Highway 19. The trail starts between mile marker 88 and 89. If you have a true 4 wheel drive with good clearance this road can be maneuvered driving slowly and paying attention to where your wheels are at.

Maks Beach

The Jeep trail will head west and starts off not-so-bad. About a mile in you can easily identify the road but the lava rock is exposed after years of rain run off. About a mile into the difficult terrain you will come to a fork in the road. Take a left. If you go to the right, the road gets worse but takes you down to a small pebble beach. I have gone down there and you can see the remnants of other vehicles that never came back.

Makalawena Beach

So…. stay to the left! The road starts to get better the closer you get to the ocean and about another mile in you will reach a gate. This is where you park. Unpack your 4X4 and take the trail about 300 feet to the south and you will come to the most beautiful beach you have ever seen!

Sunset on Makalawena

I was just down there a couple of days ago and we took a late modeled Toyota Tacoma 2 wheel drive Prerunner, if it had been raining it would have been difficult coming back out with a 2 wheel drive, as it was we spun out three times and had to redirect. But I have to tell you, it was worth every minute of it! It takes about 20 minutes to traverse the road and it is only about 2 and half miles.

trail to Maks

The way to get there in a car is to head down to the Kekaha Kai State Park at Mile marker 90 which is south of the before mention 4-by trail. This road is not paved but you can carefully drive down to the parking area to the Beach. It is about 300 yards from the parking area to the State Park Beach. If you walk past the Kekaha Kai beach trail and walk another 20 minutes to the north.

Maks Best Beach

Kekaha Kai Beach is also amazing and you may want to just give up on the hike and set up under a palm tree and call it a hike. I wouldn’t if I were you. The best is yet to come! The serenity of Makalawena is going to blow your mind! Don’t give up! Stay on the lava trail and you will start seeing sand dunes in the horizon, your almost there! Once you crest the sand dunes your reward will be breathtaking! You just arrived at heaven!

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