Starting in Lahaina, drive north on route 30 - the Honoapiilani Highway - past Napili and Kapalua. After Kapalua the road moves closer to the shore and starts to wind back and forth. At the top of a rise, there's a small roadside parking area next to a chain link fence. This is Slaughterhouse Beach (or Mokuleia Bay), which is described in its own note. - A lot of beaches go by more than one name. We use the most common one. Keep driving. The road winds, then drops down into a broad curve with solid greenery of tropical plants on both sides. There will be cars parked by the side of the road and a dirt road off to your left. The road is gated, with a sign: ‘No Trespassing - Maui Land and Pineapple Company.’ As my son says, this must be Hawaiian for ‘Come on in! All are welcome!’ Park and walk on in. If you don't mind a slightly longer walk, drive a little further. There's more parking by the side of the road further up. Here, look for a path on the left side of the road.
It's a nice short walk through a tropical forest and across a dry (at least when we've been there!) streambed. Watch out though: This is another of the three most commonly noted spots for car breaks on the island.
The beach is rocky.
Best way into the water is to follow the old boat launch ramp down into the sand.
There is good reef to explore on both the right and left sides without much in the middle but it's a way out to the reef, so don't get discouraged.
Turtles? We got 'em! If I had to take someone out to see a sea turtle, and had only one day - I'd head here. Go over to the left side at least three quarters of the way out. If you're patient and keep your eyes open you have a real good chance of seeing a one. The water is deep enough here and there are a lot of gaps and cracks between the rocks that give the turtles plenty of comfortable places to hide.
This reef looked in trouble in 1997, particularly on the right side, because of the traffic this place gets. A lot of Lahaina boats come here with snorkel tours because it's protected - there can be a BIG difference between conditions in this bay and Slaughterhouse Beach, just on the other side of the point to the left. Deterioration comes from people standing on the coral to adjust their masks or rest, kicking the coral with their flippers and from private boats dropping anchor on top of the coral. Inside two years I could notice a difference in some outcrops on the right side.
There's no longer any growth on the tops of some, but the growth remains on the sides where the water depth exceeds five or six feet. Some reminded me of a monk's head, with the top completely bald surrounded by hair all round the sides. However, for some reason in 2000 it was looking a little better. Despite this discouraging slant, it's a great snorkel spot although we saw as many as five boats here at a time. Can you imaging the disappointment for people who pay to sail to a secluded tropical bay for a private snorkel adventure and see people like us hanging out on the shore and swimming around?
You can walk around on the left side to the point, but its further than it looks, there's some climbing involved and be sure to wear something on your feet! Those rocks are SHARP!
It is possible to snorkel around the left point from Honaloa to Slaughterhouse Beach. It was a long haul when we did it because the wave conditions changed considerably once we made the turn into Slaughterhouse. Honaloa had small waves with good visibility; Slaughterhouse had BIG waves and no visibility except in the deeps.