Black Rock

At the north end of Ka'anapali Beach, a great place to cliff-jump and snorkel.

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Rating: ★★★★★

In a nutshell: Black Rock is at the north end of Ka’anapali Beach, and is a great place to cliff-jump into the ocean, and snorkel.
Minuses: The uncoordinated may experience an up-close once-in-a-lifetime lava experience.
Sound-bite: “Wooohoooo!” [SPLASH!]

Black Rock

Black Rock is great fun to jump from!

Also known as Pu’u Keka’a.

DETAILS:
Black Rock was formed from one of the last-gasp lava flows on this side of the island. It is a rocky outcrop at the far North end of Ka’anapali Beach and blocks off access (from the beach) to the lesser-known Ka’anapali Resort beach called Kahekili Beach Park.

The Hawai’ian name for Black Rock is Pu’u Keka’a, and ancient Hawaiians believed that this was the place where their spirits went to jump off to join ancestors forever. Unlucky souls who could not be shown the way by their family ‘aumakua (guardian animal spirit), would wander and attach themselves to rocks in the area. This is likely where the “it is bad luck to take a Hawai’ian lava rock” superstition comes from.

Kaanapali beach facing black rock in the background.

Kaanapali beach facing black rock (in background.)

Nowadays Black Rock is used by the younger generation as a leaping-off point for fun in the ocean. There is also a resort-sponsored sunset torch lighting (that also ends with a jump.)

Snorkeling and diving are also excellent all around this point. Weaker swimmers should beware that the water becomes deep quickly, and strong currents can occur in this location. See the Ka’anapali Beach page for more information about the beach.

Key Info:
Location: At the far north end of Ka’anapali Beach.
GPS Coordinates: 20.926540,-156.696807
Facilities: Resort owned beach showers and most shop bathrooms are publicly accessible.
Get directions


View Ka’anapali Beach in a larger map

  1. This area is called Pu’u Keka’a aka Black Rock. Snorkeling is great all along the rocks. There are warning signs along the rocks from the shore warning people not to climb up the rocks because of loose rocks and risk of injury. Snorkeling is not for the weak hearted and going around Pu’u Keka’a can get tiresome. To swim around Pu’u Keka’a toward the backside is possible but my suggestion is to be prepared to have to swim hard. There is a slight current that pulls you out to sea. Reminder touching Turtles are illegal in Hawai’i to refrain from that. You could be fined up to $5,000 and have to show up in court here in Hawai’i. Also the reefs and coral are very delicate so please wear environmentally friendly sunscreen that does not contain oxybenzone or be smarter and wear a rashguard. Happy Snorkeling!

  2. Not the best spot for snorkeling, crowded and a little difficult to get to.

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