Papakolea Green Sand Beach

The Big Island has a rare green sand beach that's a nice stop on the coast road to Volcano.

Having never seen — or heard of — a green sand beach we had to check this one out. We paid $30 to ride in the back of a pickup truck from the parking lot to the beach and back. (Otherwise, it’s a three-mile hike each way.) Locals take turns taking people back and forth. Our driver was earning money for college. He joked about tourists who tried to drive out to the beach in their 4wd rental and getting stuck. There were lots of different tracks to choose from. We were glad we didn’t try to hike it. It was a really rough ride.

The hike down to the green sand beach was easier than we expected. It’s stark and beautiful and the sand really is olive green. 

Even if you don’t hike down to the beach the view from the top felt like the end of the earth.

The photos below show the different tracks out to the beach and the view up the cliff face from the beach.