Salt Pond Beach Park, near Hanapepe on the Westside, is named for the traditional Hawaiian sea salt produced in pools located near the beach. For generations, Hawaiian families have evaporated seawater in the pans dug out of the red soil here to produce natural sea salt during the summer months. The salt is bagged and used for cooking and as an Epsom salt-like medicine and offered plain or mixed with red clay. Hawaiian salt is available at some markets on the island.
You may see families at work in their saltpans. The rights of use are handed down from generation to generation and the art is practiced with pride. Please do not walk too close to the saltpans.
With its gentle waves rolling in year-round, Salt Pond is a popular spot for family outings and perfect for young body boarders. Snorkelers will find clear water at each end of the crescent beach. Fronting the salt ponds are tide pools worth exploring. It seldom rains at Salt Pond, even when it’s pouring elsewhere. Camping is available by county permit.
To find the beach and saltpans, turn makai (towards the ocean), off Kaumualii Highway at the west end of Hanapepe, and drive towards the coast. Take Lolokai Road all the way to the ocean.