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Hawaii > Hawaii State Parks > Makena State Park
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Makena State Park

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Quick Facts
Hazards: Dangerous shore break
Swimming Conditions: Dangerous Dangerous shorebreak

General Information

Description - This state park encompasses 165 coastal acres south of Wailea on Maui. The site provides access to a variety of beach activities.

Attractions - Makena State Park includes a large, white-sand beach, and Pu'u Ola'i cinder cone. The cinder cone is the most prominent feature of this state park and lies north of the beach area. This popular beach is sometimes referred to as "Big Beach". The beach is over one-half mile long and more than 100 feet wide. A lifeguard is on duty but beware of a dangerous shorebreak.

The site has limited development with pit toilets being the only facilities. There is no drinking water available at the site.

Recreation - This state park is an excellent site for beach activities. Water-oriented recreation should be limited to days of calm seas, as at any beach location. Swimming, body surfing, board surfing and shore fishing are all popular activities from Makena's white sands.

Climate - The climate is pleasantly mild on Maui throughout the year. Temperatures vary annually between 60 and 90 degrees F. Summer temperatures range from 68 to 82 degrees F with the water usually near 80 degrees. Winter temperatures vary from 61 to 80 degrees F with the water temperature close to 77 degrees. More rainfall occurs during the winter than other seasons of the year and most of it falls on the northeastern or windward portion of the island. Temperatures on this island vary more with elevation than seasons. Expect temperatures to drop four degrees F for every 1,000 feet gained in elevation.

Location - This state park is located on the western shore of east Maui, south of Wailea. To access the site travel to the end of Wailea Alanui Road.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
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Filed By: Jeff (Carlsbad, CA)
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: I grew up bodysurfing the Wedge at Newport Beach, CA. The Wedge is known for very large (8 to 20 feet) shore break during summer south-swells, but the water is freezing the other 9 months and there are no waves. Of course Big Beach at Makena has warm water year-round, and it is also known for very large shore break. I was there at the beginning of October, 2005. The waves were 6 to 12 feet with very good shape. There were only about 6 other people in the water either body-boarding or bodysurfing. If you are not an expert swimmer, these waves will look very intimidating. One day, during a two minute-long flat period (in between sets), a young couple waded into the beautiful water about chest-high. Within a few seconds, a set of about four 10 foot waves came and completely took them both by surprise. The young man saved his own life by swimming out further. The girl was toppled over and over. She was able to crawl out of the water after being sucked back in several times. She nearly lost her bathing suit in the process, but she was very lucky. The locals generally will not initiate a conversation. They do like to talk though. They are very nice and will give good advice.

Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: This beach was amazing! Very secluded, quiet. Beware of the shore break! My husband and I say two men in their 70's get tumbled by the waves. I work on a rehab unit and have personally worked with 4 patients who have spinal cord injuries from Makena beach! Needless to say, my husband and I didn't body surf there. Ok for swimming if the water is VERY calm.

Number of People Encountered: 50+ ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: One of Maui's best beaches. Very scenic, you won't see any hotels, etc. It is very unspoiled, and beatiful. Our favorite place to relax! A hidden, clothing optional beach is there as well. Great swimming, beatiful views, easy to access. Highly recommended!

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Beach Activities Access to a variety of beach activities.
ICON Fishing Shore fishing.
ICON Surfing Body surfing and board surfing.
ICON Swimming & Waterplay Beware of dangerous shorebreak. Swim only on calm water days.

More Information

Contact Information:
Maui District, Hawaii State Parks, 54 South High Street, 101 , Wailuku, HI, 96793, Phone: 808-984-8109

Additional Information:
Hawaii Beaches -
Hawaii State Parks - Hawai'i's State Park System is comprised of 52 state parks encompassing nearly 25,000 acres on the 5 major islands.
Maui - Maui is the second largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. On its shores and mountains are many sites of natural, cultural and historical interest.
Maui State Parks - Maui's state parks preserve and protect significant natural, cultural and historical sites throughout the island.


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