Kekahakai State Park in western Hawaii has an expansive dried black lava field leading to a gorgeous beach.
Ka Lae is the southern-most point in the USA, at the southern tip of Hawaii. It has a 12m (40ft) cliff jump, miles of excitingly dangerous 4WD-only dirt trails, and one of the planet’s only green sand beaches, Papakolea.
Music: Hillbilly Hellcats - Hillbillies On Speed
Ka Lae and Papakolea, a set on Flickr.
The southern-most point in the USA - Ka Lae - has a 12m (40ft) cliff jump, miles of excitingly dangerous 4WD-only dirt trails, and one of the planet’s only green sand beaches, Papakolea. Winds are strong and consistent - the wind farm was a smart move - and many trees are permanently bent at a precarious angle. After 30 minutes of extremely fun off-road driving with no clear destination in sight, I asked a local Hawaiian if I was heading in the correct direction for the Green Sand Beach. He responded with something like “see that sign up ahead that says ‘No trespassing, Hiking only, No 4WD, violators will be prosecuted’ drive right past that sign up the side of that hill, make sure you have 4WD enabled, watch out for hikers, and take the high trails so you don’t flip your truck into the ocean. All the trails eventually lead to the green sand beach.” Vroom Vroom. A few miles of amazing scary dusty dirty rocky bone-shattering suspension-melting terrain later, I dismounted my tired steel stallion, hiked 50m down a cliff wall, and arrived at an otherworldly paradise of sheer erosion-gouged rock faces, black-green sand, warm clear turquoise water, and carefree beer-drinking ukulele-playing Hawaiians.