Honomanu Bay is a secluded bay at the base of the Honomanu Valley, the second largest valley on Haleakala’s northern slopes. The Bay is accessible from the Road to Hana between mile markers 12 & 13. There are lookouts where you can pull over and enjoy the view. Overflow from Honomanu Falls feeds the Honomanu Stream that carves through the valley and runs out to the ocean. Much of the water from the Honomanu Stream is diverted for irrigation. The jungles on the valley mountains hold some of the oldest rocks on the island. One of the best ways to view this bay is from above (at mile marker 13 or one of the close-by lookouts), but if you walk to the end of the beach, and look back up the stream, you will have a stunning postcard-perfect view of the valley.
The Honomanu Valley was once the location of a temple surrounded by bananas, rice, 'ohia-ai and taro. Ancient burial sites called heiau remain, especially in the upper part of the valley. Some locals claim they can still hear ghosts at night. Honomanu Bay roughly translates to “Bay of Birds”. It came about this name as it was once home to many tropical birds whose red and gold feathers were gathered to make headdresses for local chiefs and kings.
Like many beaches in Hawai‘i, sand coverage can change, depending on the season. In the winter the beach at Honomanu Bay can be mostly small rocks and boulders. In the summer the sand returns. The beach is frequented by local families and surfers, but swimming here is not encouraged. There are no lifeguards. The rough surf can be dangerous, sharks, hidden reefs and strong rip currents present many hazards for anything more than causal wading. Honomanu Bay can be a great place to stretch your legs, have a picnic lunch, take some stunning pictures, or hike and explore.