If you are up for a good hike that will take you to a secluded black and white sand beach, then you want to hike to Shipman Beach (Ha’ena Beach). Although the hike is very long and hot, you have a great chance at having this beach all to yourself!
There are a lot of beaches here on the Big Island of Hawai’i, and many of them can only be accessed by hiking there. We have only hiked to a few beaches; however, Shipman Beach has to be the best of them so far. Yes, it is a long and hot hike, but it is well worth the hike once you get there.
I have read many articles about Shipman Beach and let me just say that the hike is longer than they let on. The route we took was approximately a four-mile hike, one way, to a very secluded beach. There may be multiple routes to take and some being a shorter distance, therefore, take caution as to which way you take so you don’t get lost. We just followed the main trail path and made our way to the beach. You want to head out early for this hike because as the day goes on it gets a lot hotter on the trail.
As I mentioned, it is approximately a four-mile hike (each way) to the beach. The hike its self is easy enough that a four-year-old can do it, however, you need to be prepared. It is uneven terrain, multiple grounds to walk on, muddy if it has recently rained, and in some parts of the hike, you are in direct sunlight with no shade.
Be sure to have a lot of water when you set out on this hike, you will need enough for everyone and sufficient for the hike back. Keep extra cold water in your vehicle for your return because you will need it. Wear appropriate clothing. Yes, you are going to a beach, but you will need good shoes/boots for the hike, and you will want some clothing on. Don’t go hiking in your swimwear! Bring and wear mosquito repellent; you will need it.
Depending on the day you go to Shipman Beach, you may be the only one there. For the most part, the beach area is a protected cove. There is a spot where fresh water meets the ocean. This water does rush into the ocean from the mountains, and it is super cold! Be careful in that area as it is rocky.
Most of all, please keep in mind that all of the property surrounding the beach is privately owned. Also, take note that there are no facilities.
Directions to Shipman Beach
Both the parking location and the location to Shipman beach are marked on this map. Zoom out to see both markers.
Have you hiked to Shipman Beach? What did you think of the hike?
Want to hike to another beach on the Big Island of Hawaii? Try the hike to Green Sand Beach.