Slaughterhouse Beach is a beautiful but coarse-sand beach in Mokule’ia Bay on the north end of West Maui. It is a popular spot for visitors to spend some time in conjunction with a visit to the nearby world-renowned snorkeling destination of Honolua Bay.
From the road, a 90-step descent is required to reach the shoreline. Once there, you will discover a sheltered cove with green water and a handful of sea caves.
This guide to Slaughterhouse Beach will describe how to get there, what to expect, and everything you need to know prior to visiting.
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Slaughterhouse Beach Photo Gallery
The Slaughterhouse Beach photo gallery below shows what you can expect to see on your visit to the north end of West Maui.
Expect to share the beach with small crowds. If you would like to see the sea caves, make sure you plan your day around low tide.
Slaughterhouse Beach Overview
- Nearest Town: Kapalua
- Public Bathrooms? No
- Picnic Benches? No
- Showers? No
- Grills? No
- Lifeguard? No
Parking is very limited with only a small parking area at the top of the stairs that lead to the beach. However, there is ample roadside parking along the shoulder nearby.
The beach itself is accessed via a short, 90-step staircase from the road to the sand. The steps begin as concrete with a handrail, however, they become uneven at the bottom so travelers with mobility issues may struggle in places.
Despite its remote location, Slaughterhouse Beach is quite popular for people staying in West Maui or snorkeling in nearby Honolua Bay. The sand is pleasant but coarse and there are no services whatsoever.
During low tide, there are some small sea caves nearby that are open for exploring.
You may be wondering how such a beautiful beach ended up with such a savage name!? The Honolua Ranch slaughterhouse and tanning shed were previously located on the cliff’s edge above the beach. While the buildings were demolished in the 1960s, the name remained.
However, the Hawaiian name “Mokule’ia Bay” is perhaps a more apt description. Translated, it means “isle of abundance” and you can expect plenty of marine life in the waters nearby. Along with Honolua Bay to the north, Slaughterhouse Beach is part of the Honolua-Mokule’ia Bay Marine Life Conservation District.
How to Get to Slaughterhouse Beach
With Navigation: Most GPS devices will recognize Slaughterhouse Beach and direct you to the parking area above the steps.
General Directions: To get to Slaughterhouse Beach from any town in West Maui, drive north along Hwy 30 (Honoapiilani Hwy). The beach and parking is located directly on the highway, just before Honolua Bay and after the town of Kapalua.
When to Visit
The best time to visit Slaughterhouse Beach is during low tide when the water is calmer, the beach is more exposed, and the caves are explorable.
During the winter, there can be large waves here perfect for experienced boogie boarders and surfers. However, the large surf can become dangerous even for those with experience.
As the cove is north-facing and sheltered, it makes for a less-impressive destination for sunrise or sunset than many other nearby Maui beaches.
Other Relevant Maui Guides
Before you go, you may want to skim some of the titles for other relevant Maui guides below to ensure you do not miss any epic beaches, sunset destinations, or noteworthy things to do during your visit to the Valley Isle!
HAWAII PACKING LIST: A printable essential packing list + 25 useful items to consider
5-7 DAY MAUI ITINERARY: How to see the entire island in one week or less
BEST MAUI PHOTO SPOTS: 15 best places for photographing Maui
MAUI SUNSETS: The Top 10 places & activities for watching sunset in Maui
SECRET BEACHES OF MAUI: The Top 10 hidden gems on the island