You will need a reservation to visit the Black Sand Beach. Without a reservation, you will be turned away which can feel devastating after driving for hours to get there.
It’s recommended that you purchase entrance tickets at least a few days in advance. You can book the reservation up to 14 days in advance and no later than 1 day before your visit (no same-day reservations are allowed).
The Black Sand Beach at Waiʻānapanapa State Park is somewhat small compared to other beaches in Maui, but there is still plenty to do including hiking, swimming, and picnicking.
After parking, you can head to the left along the cliff path. This trail will provide stunning panoramic views of jagged volcanic rocks scattered along the shoreline including a Sea Arch.
The Black Sand Beach consists of a small cove but there is plenty of space for visitors to spread out and lay on the beach. If you’re up for swimming, you can also get your feet wet in the water. But the waves and current here was a lot more powerful than at other beaches we visited in Maui.