Molokai is a relatively small island that is off the tourist path. It features the highest sea cliffs in the world and is also home to some tide pools. Three of these tide pools are worth exploring if you go the extra mile to visit the island.
Molokai is remote. Be extra careful.
Before we show you the three most pristine tide pools on Molokai, please beware of the risks that hiking to a tidal pool or swimming in one brings. You can slip, or the ocean decides to act up. Not all tide pools on Hawaii are family-friendly. The tide pools at Make Horse Beach are surrounded by sharp rocks and dangerous surf.
Whatever Hawaiian Island you’re on, always take the following precautions when exploring tide pools:
● Never hike to a tide pool without a mobile phone
● Never swim in a tide pool alone without anyone watching over you
● Don’t blindly stumble around barefoot in a tide pool (You could hurt yourself or other creatures)
● Watch the waves, currents, and tides
● Don’t take selfies too close to the water
● If you get in trouble or spot a swimmer in distress, call the Fire Department at 911
The tide around Molokai
The tide around the shores of Molokai, can be dangerous, and if you get swept out into the ocean, it might be a while before the coast guard can rescue you!
Luckily, the tides are predictable. With proper preparation and timing, you can ensure you visit the tide pools during a safe time window.
Please always check the updated daily and monthly tide data.
1. Kepuhi Beach
Kepuhi Beach is a picturesque white-sandy beach located on Molokai’s west shore. The beach is divided by a few large lava rocks along the shoreline. The northern part of the beach has no exposed rocks along the coastline. The southern part is a long rock hill with a perfect view from the top and many tide pools.
This beach is excellent for walking, relaxing, and watching the sunset. Unfortunately, the currents are strong on most days of the year, making it unsuitable for swimming. However, you can still swim when the waves are calm. Also, ensure you’re an expert surfer if you plan to surf or bodyboard. In winter, the currents are treacherous. The entire beach gets hit by high waves with dangerous shore breaks.
Kepuhi Beach is easily accessible. You need to drive past some resort hotels, and you will find the public access to the beach. The beach is pretty secluded and usually only visited by locals.
2. Make Horse Beach
Also known as Pohaku Mauliuli, Make Horse Beach is located on Molokai’s west shore. It is a quiet and secluded white-sandy beach that is good for sunbathing, relaxing, and enjoying the waves. The beach is not a great spot to swim, as it has high surfs and strong currents, especially during winter. However, swimming here when the waves are calm is incredible! Ensure you visit during summer and check surf reports to avoid high surf days.
The rock formations on the northern part of the beach create a sleeping dragon rock shape with some tide pools. The best way to get to Make Horse Beach is to walk north along the shoreline from neighboring Kepuhi Beach. It is recommended to wear sturdy shoes as the rocks can be sharp. Also, watch out for thorns, especially under the trees!
3. Kapukahehu Beach
Kapukahehu Beach, or Dixie Maru Cove as it’s commonly called, is a small half-moon-shaped cove nestled along the western shore of Molokai. This protected beach is the perfect family getaway for swimming, snorkeling, picnicking or sunbathing. The best time to visit is during the summer when the waves are calm, and the water is clear. However, stay away from the water when the surf is high, as there are no lifeguards on this beach.
The rock formations create many tide pools, which are shallow and ideal for kids. Unfortunately, the beach is home to thorny Kiawe trees. Wear sturdy shoes to avoid getting scratches from the spiky thorns.
Visiting other Hawaiian islands?
Did you discover other tidal pools on Molokai? Please let us know in the comments, and we’ll add them to our list.