Is it worth the drive? Only if you have a four wheel drive with great clearance.
NOTE: Hiking in to Green Sands is the most environmentally-conscious, ecological choice. I would not hike the 3 miles in, as there isn't any shade, it can be very windy, and it is dusty. There are no bathrooms or drinking water, so be prepared. It isn't a difficult hike, just hot and windy. Bill says he wouldn't hike in either. There are prettier hikes on Hawaii and much easier beaches to get to; but if you do hike in wear good shoes and sunscreen; go early, and carry water. There isn't any cell phone reception. The destination is great.
This day there were a group of locals stopping and discouraging people from driving in, and encouraging them to pay $15 (now it is $20) to stand in the back of their pickup, so they could and drive them to the beach and back. I have no idea if that was a one way fare or both ways. The young couple from Italy who we offered a ride on their way out, said it took them a little over an hour to hike in. Note: They had rented a car that could have driven it, but were stopped by locals and told they couldn't drive in. By the way, there isn't any parking fees. I think it is much safer to walk than to ride standing in the back of a truck.
Here is a picture of the area from Green Sands looking back the way we came. You decide.
|Tracks coming into Green Sands.
No those aren't walking trails, because there aren't any, you just choose the car path and keep the ocean on your right going in and on your left coming out.
It is difficult to understand the scale in the photo. Each path is as wide as a car or wider, and some are as a deep as a car or deeper. Not of the faint of heart, the road is rough, and it is difficult to decide which path is better (it isn't obvious and I'm sure always changing). It took us about 30 minutes to drive in and another 30 to drive out. I would think it would be very expensive if they have to haul your vehicle out. Don't attempt driving without 4-wheel drive and high clearance.
|But after you get there here is the rewarding view from above.
Bill looking at a turtle swimming in the surf. Last time there we snorkeled, but I don't think it is worth bringing the gear if you're hiking. This is more about building sand castles, playing in the waves, and taking photos. We'll go back, I forgot to take a closeup photo of the sand.
|Bill at Green Sands is a good photo for scale.