Just to clear up the truth about Kaihalulu Bay (nicknamed “Red Sand Beach”) and to clear up a few misconceptions or outdated facts…
[QUOTE]I'm not sure why some people are so anti-"Maui Revealed." They tell tourists and locals alike how to find "hidden" gems which even locals did not know existed before the publication of the first edition.[/QUOTE]
People are against the publication because it ENCOURAGES trespassing. If you ask any local anywhere on the island why they are against the book, this is the 100% answer you will get. If any of the listings start with:
“Keep going beyond the sign…”
“Don’t listen to the locals…”
THOSE are the ones that infuriate locals the most.
Yes, the trail to the property is on private property – it belongs to Hana Ranch, who has sub-leased all of the land surrounding the trail (i.e. the Travaasa Sea-Ranch Cottages). And even in little lowly Hana, there are tourists who be quick to blame the property owners for not marking the trail.
(If you’re wondering why Hana locals aren’t so forthcoming about the location of “Red Sand”, it is because actual places of business have been held responsible for giving out directions to the beach, because the Ranch and Hotel is connected to every business in town. So, please don’t assume people you’ll meet are “guarding” the secret; they’ll simply seen the worst of a “Red Sand Beach rescue”. )
So you may ask: why don’t the property owners post any signage? That’s because it is not a marked trail. It is man-made by foot traffic. It is completely “your fault” if you keep going. Hana medics are quick to respond, but the rescue also can’t be made at the beach because there’s no place for the EMTS or Medivac for vehicle access.
[QUOTE]The day I went, there was a steady line of people coming and going down the trail...which was a very easy 10 minute hike. And once you arrive at the Red Sand Beach, you will have a private pocket of paradise like none other in all of the Hawaiian Islands.[/QUOTE]
This post was written in October of 2009. The “Maui Revealed” book was written in 2002, I believe. The beach has suffered moderate erosion since then, which would make you wonder how bad the trail, which is primarily sliding cinders, is. Well, there are two trails, one cliffside, and one below that that is on the rocks. Both are extremely dangerous for different factors, despite the assurances from guides and books. The rock-side is only safe during lowtide, and the enclave actually faces out towards the ocean, so there’s no way you’ll be “washed in” into Kaihalulu (aka “Red Sand”) if you accidentally lose your footing and fall in. Walking on wet, mossy rocks with flip-flops or tennis shoes? Not the best combination (local fishermen, divers and gatherers use “aqua socks” which hug the rock surface; they usually run $35-$60 for a good pair). The cliffside trail is the one where people have been getting hurt, falling 50-75 feet to the rock trail below. We’ve had six rescues in the past year – one included a broken back and one was a elementary-age girl. All rescues were tourists. Mostly all of the local injuries go unreported.
In summation, just use COMMON SENSE. If you’re a healthy, fit. athletic type who seeks adventure, proceed with caution. But you should be okay. If you’re traveling with elderly or childen, lack strong balance and coordination, or are not fleet-of-foot, DON’T go down here. Save yourself the trouble. Remember, you have to take the trail back out too!
Don’t ruin your vacation because you’re “daring”. The beach has had more medical emergencies than any of the other local beaches that cater to 10 TIMES the foot traffic Kaihalulu Bay offers.Edited: 17 October 2012, 00:09