Papohaku Beach Park

Stroll Along Papohaku Beach Park — Molokai's Most Secluded Stretch of Sand
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Molokai is already something of a hidden gem, but this term takes new meaning to the vast expanse of sand known as Papohaku Beach Park. This huge, serene beach is the ultimate destination for a leisurely day in the sun and the sand. Enjoy a picnic lunch or a relaxed sunbathing session as you take in a spectacular view.

- The Local Expert Team

There’s no denying the classic fun of a day on the beach in Hawaii, but many of the island’s most iconic beaches force you to make multiple concessions. Often, beaches are either too rocky, too difficult to access, or too busy. None of these caveats apply when hitting up Papohaku Beach, so this vast stretch of sand just might be Molokai’s number one hidden gem.

Numerous amenities bring unmatched convenience to your Papohaku Beach Park experience. Take advantage of the comfort station, complete with showers, changing rooms, and storage space. This ADA-accessible facility is kept immaculately clean, so you’ll be happy to change into your swimsuit onsite. 

If you want to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy during your leisurely beach day, you’ll find plenty of places to sit and take it all in. There are nearly a dozen picnic tables at this park. Several are situated alongside charcoal grills, so you can prepare a hot meal if you desire. 

Unfortunately, this beach does not have lifeguards on duty. This doesn’t bother many visitors, but if you’re at all worried, you’re better off sticking to wading or sunbathing. Keep in mind that the surf has been known to get rough at times, with larger waves making water-based activities less desirable even for experienced swimmers. 

Should you choose to remain firmly on shore, you’ll find more than enough to keep you entertained during your visit. The soft sand tends to be hot at midday, but it’s pleasant to sink your toes in early in the morning or at sunset. Don’t take this sand for granted; in the past, it’s actually been ‘harvested’ from this beach and brought to other destinations throughout Hawaii.

Papohaku is often referred to as “Three Mile Beach,” and for good reason: it’s huge! Because the beach stretches so far, you can take your time and go on an enchanting stroll as you feast your eyes on the iconic Hawaiian scenery.

Footprints from previous walkers may be the only sign that anybody else has visited the beach in recent history. With the opportunity for such a romantic walk on the beach, it’s easy to see why Papohaku is a favorite destination for outdoorsy couples. 

If you prioritize serenity above all else, you can’t afford to skip Papohaku Beach Park. You might not spend a lot of time in the water here, but you’ll more than make up for that with leisurely walks on the beach and lots of sunbathing. Get ready for a blissful beach experience that invites you to relax.

Insider Tips:
-Parking is surprisingly easy, especially as compared to other Hawaiian beaches this pristine. However, you’ll need to take a short walk from the large parking lot to the beach. You’ll traverse over a lot of pine needles during this brief stroll, so think twice before walking barefoot. 
-Two campsites are available, but you’ll need a permit to stay overnight. The sites are pleasant and the rates are affordable, so this is a great option if you want to rough it.