Kanaha Beach is one of the major beaches located on Maui's north-central coastline. Kanaha is actually an enormous series of adjacent beaches that stretch through no less than five separate parking entrances. Like most North Maui beaches it faces directly into the north-east trade winds and so Kanaha has its fair share of winds which usually arrive in mid to late mornings. It is because of these winds that Kanaha Beach has become a favorite of wind surfers and kite boarders alike. On any given afternoon you can see dozens of colorful sails dotting the horizon in the skies and on the water making this beach one of the most active on the island.
Length: 1.4 miles, 40 acres.
Schedule: Opening time: sunrise, closing time: sunset.
Sand Type: Course grained, white sand.
Bottom Type: Reef, sand.
Kanaha is best for: BBQ, kiteboarding, mountain biking, photography/admiring the natural beauty, playing volleyball, running, swimming, tanning, using the restroom, windsurfing.
Facilities: BBQ grills, lifeguard station, picnic tables, public restrooms, showers, canoe club, 3 volleyball courts no nets provided), campground (permits required, contact Maui County Parks (808) 270-7389).
Hazards: Buried rocks, high winds, sharp reef, strong currents.
Access: Paved road.
Parking: Paved, dirt, parking lot.
How difficult is it to get to Kanaha: Easy.
Kanaha Beach is a great place to come for the day and hang out. It's normally not hard to stay entertained because there is so much that goes on here. Aside from swimming, diving , kite boarding, windsurfing and sunbathing the large park area that lines the beach has volley ball courts, areas where you can throw horseshoes, picnic benches, barbecue stations and a campground. Kanaha is a great "social" beach and is often the scene for gatherings of families and friends. Many patrons of the park bring coolers with drinks and meats for the barbecue with them. The facilities are well suited for these kinds of gatherings with plenty of tables and grills spread throughout the park. There are also plenty of bathroom facilities available. As far as parking goes, there are hundreds of parkings spots throughout the park so unless there is some sort of event happening it is normally not hard to find a place to park.
The county of Maui really has done a good job organizing a schedule for what goes on in the water at Kanaha Beach to keep everyone safe. They have imposed different sets of rules on kitesurfers, windsurfers and swimmers/divers.
Swimmers & Divers: During the morning hours before the wind comes up Kanaha Beach is an excellent spot for swimmers and divers. To allow swimmers and divers to utilize the whole area safely, windsurfers and kite-boarders are not allowed to use the beach until after 11am. After 11am swimmers and divers are required to stay in the buoyed off swimming zone infront of the life guard tower.
Windsurfers: Windsurfing is not allowed at Kanaha until after 11am. Once Kanaha is open for wind activities it is required that all windsurfers enter the water on the east side of the lifeguard tower to avoid any problems with kiteboarders.
Kiteboarders: Kiteboarders are only allowed to kite at Kanaha Beach after 11am. All kiteboarders must enter and exit the water on the west side of the life guard tower to avoid interfering with the windsurfers.
Kanaha Beach Park has many entrances. All of the entrances to Kanaha are off of Alahao St which can be accessed from the Airport, or from downtown Kahului. Most people visit Kanaha by getting off of the Hana Highway in Kahului on Hobron Ave and then making a right onto Alahao. To keep things simple we're going to provide directions to the three main entrances of the beach, the kiteboarding entrance, the lifeguard stand entrance, and the windsurfing entrance.
Kiteboarding Entrance: If you visit the beach from downtown Kahului the first set of entrances you will pass will take you to the kiteboarding side of the beach. If you've never seen kiteboarders before you should stop and look, some of the high flying tricks they pull off are incredible!
Lifeguard Entrance: If you're going to Kanaha to swim or dive you should probably go to the entrance near the lifeguard tower. This is where you will find the buoyed off area for swimming as well as showers, picnic tables and the canoe house.
Windsurfer's Entrance: If you're coming to Kanaha to Windsurf you should park at the last entrance to the beach.
Please be advised that all beaches and ocean locations in Hawaii can be potentially dangerous including this Kanaha Beach Park. Be completely aware of the ocean conditions prior to entering the water and of course, never turn your back on the ocean when you are on or near the shoreline. It should also be noted that all shorelines and beaches in Hawaii, including this one, can be frequented by sharks, jellyfish and other sea creatures which can provide potential harm to people entering the water. When you visit Kanaha Beach please be safe, and have fun!
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