Hiking is one of my favorite ways to amp up the activity level while seeing the local sights. While in Hawaii, I recently hiked to Papakolea Beach, also known as Green Sand Beach. Some people will pay the locals to drive them to the beach but this is the perfect opportunity for you to get in your workout! The 3 mile hike itself was fairly easy. The terrain was mostly flat with some rocky points. The difficult part was the heat. It is about a 3 mile hike, each way, without any form of shade or facilities. If you are up for it, here are my pointers for hiking to the beautiful Green Sand Beach.
1. Be Prepared
Hydration, hydration, hydration. It can get very hot and windy on that part of the Big Island. I highly recommend bringing plenty of water, a hat, and sunglasses for the hike.
As I stated before, there aren’t any facilities anywhere on the hike or the beach. No restrooms, water fountains, or even much shade. Make sure to bring your sunscreen to reapply throughout the day. I’d also recommend that you bring multiple water bottles because there isn’t anywhere to refill.
You can bring chairs and umbrellas for the beach, but I wouldn’t recommend it because you will be carrying it the whole time.
2. Get There Early
I cannot stress this enough. I highly recommend that you start the hike early. You can beat some of the heat by starting the hike just after sunrise.
As you get closer to lunch, more and more people start to arrive for the hike. The beach itself is fairly small and can get very crowded later in the day. Wake up early to beat the crowd! Trust me, it’s worth it.
3. Wear Proper Footwear
It isn’t just a short walk to the beach. You will be trekking through dirt and sand, and climbing over rocks. It’s also a steep walk down the side of the cliff to get to the water. Pack your flip flops in your backpack and wear a sturdy pair of sneakers for the hike. Flip flops won’t hold up as well. It is truly a hike, so you must dress accordingly.
There you have it! By following these three tips, you can enjoy your day at the beach without getting dehydrated, while beating the crowds and the sun, and having the proper support for the journey.