Black Rock (Sheraton)
Black Rock is on the site of the Sheraton Hotel. It's unfortunate that there is so much development surrounding this point, but the dive is well worth it, nonetheless. You'll need to park in the public garage, and hike with equipment-on-back down to the beach area.
Directions: Travel North on Highway 31 until mile marker 24, then turn left onto Ka'anapali Parkway. Follow the road around to the right until you end up at the Sheraton Maui. There you will find a garage for public parking.
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04/26/2013 Ali (Avg: 3.13 Review) - We went on April 24, 2013. There is no parking that is convenient, but we had our friends drop us off next to the Sheraton where there is shore access via a path along the golf course - from there it is a very short walk to an easy entry. (another option that we have used in the past is to drop off one buddy with the gear at the golf course location, and then park at whaler's village and have the driver walk back from there.) Conditions were good relative to other sites in West Maui. Lots of fish, we saw at about 6 turtles, and we got to swim with four spotted eagle rays. Very cool. Be aware that there is often (if not always) a medium current coming back around Black Rock (when you are returning northward), so make sure to allow sufficient time and energy to swim back against the current around the point. Dive is not very deep, so you can have plenty of bottom time. If you are diving in West Maui, this is a must dive.
04/24/2013 Jim Emig (Avg: 3.73 Review) - We (four of us) dove Black Rock on April 18th 2013 (my birthday) On a Maui breezy day with a tropical 82 degrees reading on my dive computer. It started with driving the car to Kaanapali beach access north and drop the family and all the gear off. I then returned to the free beach-use parking, with one spot left (8am) I joined up with the family (short walk) gathered our gear and headed to the beach. (another short walk) We entered from the North side went all the way around the rock did an air check (all 1400+ psi) and proceeded to turn around (no current) and head back to the north and exit where we started. I have been diving here many times. But this time! We saw amazing animals while listening to Humpbacks in the distance. 4 perfectly timed spotted eagle rays swam the entire time with us. We saw five Green sea turtles, a white tip reef shark and two nice green eels. The final amazing experience was a nice large sea snake not an eel but a sea snake curled up in between coral heads. The last most memorable moment was my wife (Marleen) and I watching my future son in law (Sean from Australia) propose to our daughter Shari with a white board. (she said yes!) Memories….. It's no wonder I always have Maui on my mind.
01/03/2012 Ken from Sherwood Park (Avg: 4.51 Review) - Still one of my favorites. Entry is easy both from the golf course side and from the hotel beach side. It's just a bit of a hike ether way. Lots of snorkelers on the hotel side. Lots of the usual reef suspects and a few turtles. This always an enjoyable easy dive and is well worth it as a night dive, too. Vis was OK even with the surf conditions we had.
06/07/2011 Anonymous (Avg: 3.90 Review) - I went snorkeling here from June 2-5. Conditions on the 4th were amazing--crystal clear water, visibility from top to bottom--coral in yellow, red and black. Lots of fish. Sadly, the following day I encountered surge conditions that kicked up sand so it was like snorkeling in pea soup. Currents made it dicey and I'm a novice so I exited after just a few minutes.
02/08/2011 Trish (Avg: 3.39 Review) - Black Rock is an excellent spot for beginner and intermediate snorkeling. I came face to face with a grey reef shark, spotted sea turtles and many small colorful fish.
01/02/2011 Jeanine (Avg: 4.36 Review) - We went diving on our honeymoon at Black Rock since we heard it is a great place to dive on Maui. We used In2Scuba Maui. we had an instructor named Ty. He showed us an awesome time. He pointed things out that we would have just swam past. I would recommend Black Rock for any level, and I would say ask for Ty from In2Scuba Maui to take you there. Thumbs up!!!
12/15/2009 Brian Jacobs (Avg: 3.65 Review) - As a new diver my evaluation may be a little skewed, but overall, it is a beautiful and convenient place for a beginner to experience the reality of diving in the Ocean.
08/27/2009 Kimberly Woods (Avg: 3.76 Review) - Black Rock is great for all beginning skin and scuba divers as long as you don't mind people. Go early in the morning before the tourists wake up and fill the water with sunscreen run-off. The marine is abundant even with so many people around and the variety amazing. Every visit I've made in the past several years has produced a turtle sighting. I've come across some large lobster molts and if you're an avid snorkeler, you can spot lobster under the rock ledges. There is only the side of the cliff to view for marine life but take frequent glances back at the open sandy area to spot the turtles and pelagic fish. When the surge isn't up the shallows offer some colorful invertebrates from crabs, shrimps, to the blue starfish and pencil urchins. Remember, go early if you want a peaceful dive before the crowds come.
07/07/2009 Margaret Behme (Avg: 4.38 Review) - Up to five huge green sea turtles came to feed at Black Rock. We saw them almost every time we went to snorkel, at 7 am and 4 pm, most days. There were numerous unicorn fish, triggers, filefish, cornets, and goatfish. Saw a couple of eels and a barracuda; no sharks, no rays. The crowds can be bad even though we were there at low season but you can swim around them out to the cove around the point. Luckily surf was low so we snorkeled whenever we wanted to and visibility was good. We saw more turtles at Black Rock than at Turtle Town. We really enjoyed staying at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel, next to the Sheraton so could walk there easily.
05/08/2009 S. Williams (Avg: 4.02 Review) - Great place for beginner divers. Viz is great and there are sea turtles everywhere! Getting to the beach is tough if you aren't staying there at the hotel. There isn't much parking available. Be careful rounding the point if the surf is up. Surge was tough on one dive. This is a popular beach for snorkelers so it's best to get to the bottom quickly! Water temp was great. Wore a 2mm shorty without any problem.
02/14/2009 Rick Johnson (Avg: 3.75 Review) - As a beginner who loves the water, I had the most wonderful time. I dove 3 times and it is all I can think about as I plan my next trip to Maui in 28 days. This dive site had it all from beautiful puffer fish to moray eel's. It was like diving in my TV. I cannot say enough about this experience.
05/31/2008 Maui Maddie (Avg: 2.60 Review) - I came here and jumped off and snorkeled at Black Rock. I saw a bunch of fish and the sea turtles were great. It took me a while to jump off but afterwards it was worth it!!! If you come to Hawaii and are looking for something to do I recommend Black Rock!
10/02/2007 Beatrix (Avg: 3.78 Review) - Don't pass up this site because of the snorkelers! We saw tons of stuff here from eels and nubdibranchs to eagle rays and tons of turtles. We saw the eagle rays on both a daytime and a night dive. It's an easy entry and a very nice reef. Kaanapali Beach Hotel is a less expensive option as opposed to the Sheraton if you are looking for a hotel within walking distance to the reef. Maui Dive Shop rents tanks nearby.
08/30/2007 Anonymous (Avg: 2.93 Review) - Although a wall dive is always fun. Black Rock suffers greatly from over exposure to people. For rounding the point, north to south, this is a beginner dive or intermediate snorkel. The north side (best entrance) has a lackluster entry (sand bordered by a man-made jetty) shifting to a reasonable natural wall as you round the first point. The best views are right on the wall. Look for small fish, eels and corals in the nooks and cranny's. Small turtles frequently visit the wall near the surface to feed (we saw two). Watch for a large alcove on the main face of the wall. Not much to see but fun to stick your head in. The problems occur as you approach the south side and the exit. The visibility drops from 50-60 feet to 10-20 feet and the number of people climbs to unbearable levels. More turtles can be found in the shallows against the rock but in this area, they will be mobbed by tourist snorkels with no respect for any animal (You included. Lots of pushing and shoving to get that photo with the turtle). I found better snorkeling and diving, a half mile to the north at old airport beach. Free parking, easy access, shower, shallow beginner dive (eels and octopus plus a wide variety of fish).
08/27/2007 Anonymous (Avg: 2.65 Review) - Getting to the site was an absolute nightmare! All the major hotels have taken up access to the beach and parking is far from the dive site and expensive. We were very disappointed.
08/12/2007 Bo from Charleston (Avg: 4.19 Review) - 7/23-8/1/07: Stayed at the Sheraton (because of this dive site's location) for my 25th wedding anniversary. This was the best shore dive site we found. All others were packed with inexperienced snorkelers by 10:30am and had silt on closest areas of reefs, thus forcing you to swim farther than at Black Rock. Black rock had 3 very friendly turtles, tons of tropicals, and night time eels, etc. Dove 7 dives here in 10 days, including video and night dives. I can u-tube the vide if needed. Best way to dive BR: Pack on the east side of the Sheraton at the edge of the golf course. Unload and suit up there. (If not staying at the Sheraton, you wont be able to get into the lot there. You might get a parking ticket if you left the car on the road there, but I never say any one try it or fail. I never saw a cop near there, etc.) Walk with tank on and fins in hand to east side of Black rock and walk into the water off the beach (2min walk max.) The dive begins there, and proceed down current slowly. The best dive is the middle 1/3 of the drift. The turtles usually sleep under the ledges or free swim there. The last 150ft of black rock will be on the Sheraton side, and will be packed with snorkelers by 10:30am. The viz in that area will drop to 20ft from the 50ft viz enjoyed farther east. Finish the dive on the Sheraton side of the beach, walk up to the showers (straight ahead) and shower off. Rest by the pool until they check you for a room #. Get back to the car by walking thru the beach level of the Sheraton towards the tennis courts. Your car will be on the other side of the tennis courts. Local dive shop in Lahaina rented 10 tanks for 35$. Best boat dive: scubadivemaui.com (best dive guide: Scotty, very funny and talented diver).
06/21/2007 Mark at Fort Atkinson (Avg: 3.76 Review) - This was our first trip to Maui. We stayed in the condos north of the Sheraton and simply walked right into the water. This was my favorite activity and only cost me $5.25 a day snorkel rental. We beat the crowds by enjoying the waters on the north side of the rock by the old pier. Floated around the rock to the Sheraton side and checked out 5 turtles in the channel. It was awesome until I ran into the hoards of people on the other side.
05/03/2007 Travis (Avg: 3.60 Review) - We went out on our second day of snorkeling in Maui today. Our last stop was at Black Rock. What a great place!! I gave it a good rating for facilities because I just used the Sheraton Hotel property for everything (even though I was not a guest). Parking can be a hassle... all the properties along this beach are resorts and a mall called Whalers Village. Whalers has a parkade that costs too much, but we used the Sheraton garage. If you are a customer at either, they will validate your parking for you. There is still a fee, however.. UNLESS you use the Sheraton garage and stay until after 7. It seems like the attendant leaves around then.. we parked here twice and left after 7 both times for free parking!! I found the snorkeling excellent. Visibility was max. The wall reef was beautiful. I heard that there was a turtle in close to shore on the south side of the wall, but by the time I got out I only had scads of fish to look at. Highly recommended for novice snorkelers and experts alike.
01/04/2007 EnjoysWater (Avg: 3.05 Review) - My dive buddy and I snorkeled above his dad and bro while they dove. This was fun, we would dive down and snap shots of them sucking their air away. The current can get going out at the end of the rock. This would make for a good drift dive from the other side (north) back to the heavily snorkeled spot. If you want a great dive, and a notable place, don't go to the Black Rock. Yes, it has a cool wall reef structure, but the Mala wharf/ramp/old concrete pier will excite you more. It gets you away from the same reef/fish/turtle dive that many shore dives on Maui offer. These are great, but Mala is a good place to save for a day you want a fresh dive. Beware of snorkelers and other divers at black rock. You just might trip over someone on the beach, too. There are a few parking spots, but it is quite a pain to access this area, unless you are staying at a resort/hotel on the beach. Snorkeling was fun, but if you are in the area, hit up the old Mala pier.
08/04/2006 Jeremie from Florida (Avg: 3.44 Review) - My wife and I snorkeled Black Rock amongst the mass of people and decided we needed a better way to see the area, so we rented tanks. If you get them at the Sheraton it is a pain, plus more expensive. We rented from Pacific Divers in Lahaina. Their 24 hour rental was cheap. The dive was pretty good. Very easy to access the water and it isn't a far swim. Multiple turtles, lots of reef fish, eels, and the coral is great color. Well worth the time.
07/19/2006 Scott Iver (Avg: 4.31 Review) - My wife and I dove this site on a 3 dive package with the "Scuba Shack" staff. One orientation dive, one scooter (DPV), and one night dive. As was said, it's a VERY popular snorkel/swim site, so you have to watch out during the day. My wife and I surfaced behind a lady who freaked out because she thought we were some kind of sea monsters. The night dive was awesome, and if you have time and $$$ to do the DPV dive its well worth it. You'll go out to two "micro reefs" on boulders a little ways out from the main black rock formation. It's out into the big blue, so you'll be alone with your group. Max depth on the scooter dive for us was 41 feet. The "Scuba Shack" only has AL63's so if you want to do this without staff escort go down the concrete path along the beach to Whaler's Village to the Maui Dive Shop and get some AL80's (they also have multi tank packages). Personally I have to rate this as the #1 shore dive site on Maui, despite the crowds.
06/19/2006 Chris 6 (Avg: 3.25 Review) - I know a lot of people like this site, but I think it's best as a night dive. My wife and I dove it twice during the day and were pretty board by the end of the dive. Not to mention all the snorkelers swimming overhead, as there were more snorkelers than fish. We decided to try it at night and we then had a completely different opinion. We saw all kinds of sea life at night and even got a night video of an eel eating. Squid, lobster, and crabs everywhere. If you want to night dive this location you will have to either pay the on-site shop $80 per person or bring your own tanks. They don't rent tanks for night dives on-site. Bottom Line: Leave this site for the snorkelers during the day and use it as a night dive location. I give it an A for night diving and a C for day diving.
02/02/2006 Jill (Avg: 3.98 Review) - Love It!! My husband & I have been to many places in other Hawaiian islands, Caribbean etc. Fabulous assortment of fish; just stay still and you'll see so much more. Best time is in the mornings. Great visibility for photos.
12/21/2005 Alan from Gentry (Avg: 3.02 Review) - Don't try to rent tanks at the Sheraton Kiosk after 3pm. They would not rent a tank at 3:30pm though they were open to 5pm. The staff that day at the kiosk did not appear to be very SCUBA knowledgeable. Great snorkel spot for turtles out around the bend of the reef. Turtles stay down low until they need air and surface right by you. A little north to south current in this area also. Lessened around the southern turn toward the shore. Watch out for cliff jumpers and divers.
12/15/2005 Chad Gordon (Avg: 3.67 Review) - Pretty nice dive site. My Dad and I did this one in Nov. 2003 and we couldn't park in the parking garage so we had to walk approx 1/2 mile with gear and tanks. The dive was nice with plenty of wildlife and good vis, and I have heard it is a good night dive.
11/28/2005 Chris Walker (Avg: 4.06 Review) - This is one of my favorite dives. The best way to dive here is by doing a drift dive. Parking is far from the site (Whalers' Village), so preferably bring a friend who can drop you off at the golf course to gear up. Enter at the beach north of Black Rock (between Airport & Black Rock). Drop by the wall that is on the rock. You will see numerous reef fish, turtles, and if lucky a monk seal that hangs out. There is a huge wall that is loaded with life. Drift around the rock and you will surface at the Sheraton. There are showers there. Taking you time, this is about a 45-50 minute dive with a max depth of 35 feet. This is also a great night dive. Many of the local shops send their night dive boats here.
10/08/2005 Kendall Roberg (Avg: 4.47 Review) - Black Rock was awesome! I dove this around 3:00 in the afternoon and there were tons of people snorkeling. While it is crowded, there is not much "traffic" under if you are diving. The visibility was great! Lots of sea turtles, trumpet fish, unicorn tangs, and even a few black tangs. Very fun place to dive and easy to navigate. The hike to beach with Scuba gear is long, but the pathway is paved and the dive makes it worthwhile.
10/06/2005 Glenn Walley (Avg: 3.98 Review) - I took my sister and brother-in-law on their first night dive. It was spectacular! We saw a Spanish dancer, crabs, several varieties of lobster, the ever present green sea turtles, and several large free swimming eels. At one point my sister looked up and a turtle was only a couple of inches away from her mask, but she managed to keep her regulator in her mouth while she let out a scream. We swam out into the sand and turned off the lights and enjoyed the moonlight and the bioluminescent plankton. The spiny lobster looks like it is wearing jewelry when it comes out at night. This is a shallow dive so take your time. If you just stop and watch, things start moving.
09/28/2005 Pat Borowiak (Avg: 3.71 Review) - Swimming with huge sea turtles is a huge draw to this site. I saw about 6 of them in total each of the three times I snorkeled here. The water can be rough, since you face open ocean. One day it was exhausting to swim against the current, but the other two days it was fine. Also, beware of the dumb tourists who climb the lava rocks and then jump into the water. They ignore the signs telling them not to climb the rocks. You can be swimming out to snorkel and have one land on you. Water was clear and conditions great each time.
08/18/2005 Emily Brown (Avg: 4.38 Review) - We recently stayed at the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel and snorkeled at black rock (100 feet down the beach) with rented gear; it was awesome! We had also snorkeled at Molokini and turtle arches and there were way more fish here than at either of those other sites, even during the day when it was crowded. There were many, many types of fish including puffer fish. My dad swam around the end of the rock and saw 3 spotted rays. This site is great for people who are first timers!!!!!
04/01/2005 Anonymous (Avg: 3.25 Review) - Info on Scuba Kiosk at Sheraton: Hours: 8:00 am to 5:00pm. Tank and weights: $22.50. Sheraton-Maui Concierge (808)662-8135 Direct. Hawaii law also requires a dive flag.
03/27/2005 Gary Harmon (Avg: 3.88 Review) - Black Rock was one of my first snorkels about 6 years ago. It was nice, but crowded. I enjoyed watching the divers swim by underneath me. Have never gone around the point, but plan to on my next trip. Hear that is great! Love2Snorkel
10/14/2004 Jenni (Avg: 5.00 Review) - This was the first time I had ever dove off of anything, and I have to admit I was scared to death. I got the best adrenaline rush though - It was great! Black Rock is a beautiful place.
10/06/2004 Sean 'Stody' Stodelle (Avg: 3.66 Review) - No matter how many times I dive this area, I love it. I consider it one of the best sites on Maui. The mornings are the best. Most snorkelers stay within the front area (near the hotel), but I suggest you swim around, away from everyone. the marine life on the backside is incredible and you will pretty much have it all to yourself. The further up the beach you swim may start getting a little murky due to a fresh water run-off there, but it is well worth it. I take ALL visiting family here as it is that good.
09/01/2004 Steve Berkowitz (Avg: 3.97 Review) - I have dived the coast of California, parts of Mexico, Puget Sound in Washington, and several spots on Maui and Black Rock is still one of my favorites for two reasons. It is a relaxing dive (max out at 35ft.) and there is an abundance if life. I highly suggest diving early in the morning or early evening because this is when you will see some of the animals going to sleep and others waking up. These are therefore fairly active times for the fish and not people! Also consider a night dive as this is when many of the lesser seen animals actively feed. I typically spend thirty minutes each way (1hr. total) investigating the smaller critters and the shallow cave or two and have air to spare...Warning!...if you go faster you will miss a lot! If you make the full trip in thirty minutes you aren't looking close enough and are probably the type of diver who often wonders why scuba diving racing hasn't become a sport! In other words, this is a great spot to go slow and look around, in fact, after leaving the water one evening in January a mother whale and her baby swam right around the point!...I missed it but they were there, and I've heard of a few cool (harmless) shark sightings as well!
07/16/2004 Erik Vehmeyer (Avg: 4.43 Review) - Amazing abundance of tropical reef fish. Needlefish, moorish idols, tangs,and trigerfish are plentiful. Visability is great. Beautiful coral along the rocky point. Nice sandy bottom.Great for snorkeling,but normaly crouded.
02/29/2004 Rory (Avg: 3.12 Review) - Get air at beachside kiosk. Saves lugging tanks from far away parking spots! More expensive, but worth it.
02/14/2004 Anonymous (Avg: 2.87 Review) - Go in the morning before the crowds arrive. We went 30 to 60 minutes after sunrise, and pretty much had the place to ourselves. Turtles are seen often, which was a highlight. Fish are plentiful, but not teeming. We went once in the afternoon, when it was crowded with people, many of them poor swimmers with only rented masks and snorkels (no fins!). I was a lifeguard for 3 years, and had to tow one woman to shore who was in trouble in 50 feet of water. Two days later, a man drowned (and died) at the very same spot (February, 2004). I've snorkeled the Bahamas and Puerto Rico, and consider them to be much better (far more color and more fish). But try Black Rock and see for yourself. Just not in the afternoon. And wear fins. I also found a light full body wetsuit to be a big help protect from slightly chilly water, and also the sun. But 95% of the other people I saw wore only trunks and meager (rented) gear.
02/10/2004 Anonymous (Avg: 3.94 Review) - Did this as a night dive many years ago - thought it outrageous. Saw 3 types of scorpion fish, the mother of all turtles, and much much more. A very memorable dive. Did this by snorkel more recently. 3 spotted eagle rays greeted me upon entry. Even the hotels and tourists cannot scr*w this up! I have done this snorkel several times. Just beautiful - rainbows over the Maui mountains. PS. if you start at the north Sheraton side and dive/snorkel towards the Sheraton you can sneak a hot tub at the hotel.
05/04/2003 Erik Wade (Avg: 3.41 Review) - If it weren't for the fact that this was my first experience with diving, I would agree with everyone else and exclaim this is really nothing to make a day trip out of. However, it was the greatest dive to someone who hasn't dived before! I have since spent my time at La Paz MX, Coronado islands MX, Los Cabos MX, and all over California, but I still have a place in my heart for this place.
02/26/2003 Marc Sidell (Avg: 4.19 Review) - There was lots of tropical life in a very close area. Entering on the south side there was lots of big colorful fish before I was even in ten feet of water. The coral walls were in good shape for all the activity it gets. Rounding the point I was greeted by an Eagle Ray each of my 6 dives. A little further to the next point there were a number of turtles in 30 feet of water. The turtles need to come to the surface for air so even the people above got a good show. A must on Kaanapali Beach! Lots of puffer fish and Parrot fish everywhere!
01/10/2003 Stephen Scott (Avg: 3.85 Review) - I visited the Sheraton again and thought I would give it another review. The life here seems to have increased significantly. Had some AMAZING dives here. Saw lots and lots of eagle rays (15+) over several dives. Saw at least 3 turtles every dive, up to 7 a dive. Lots of eels as well. Very good night dive with lots of eels, turtles, crustaetions, cuttle fish and maybe even an octopus. Recommend this dive!
12/18/2002 Stephen Scott (Avg: 3.80 Review) - Staying at the Sheraton Maui, I did many dives at Black Rock. It is a beginner dive and has lots of fish life (attracted by all the people feeding them) frequently see turtles swimming around or sleeping in their caves. Lots of eels to be found as well. Sometimes you will experience quite a current on the tip of Black Rock during the changing of the tides.
03/30/2002 Bill Stohler (Avg: 2.44 Review) - This is a shallow dive site (<25 feet) that has mostly a sandy bottom with a lava outcropping on the mauka (mountain) side. There are quite a few different types of eels here, including an occasional brotula. Also, a large school of bluestripe snapper cruised by. Very easy, beginner type dive in the daytime. From one end to the other of the site takes about 30 minutes round trip. Parking is very limited (garage) and there is a bit of a walk to get to the entry.
06/02/2001 Louis Cote (Avg: 3.51 Review) - It was a great dive site, with a lot of people snorkeling. It is best if you go in North of Black Rock and drift South; it is hard to swim back, but the walk back is about the same from both sides. The walk to the entry point is a long walk with all the gear on, though. Parking is far from the beach. There are a lot less people on the North side.
05/26/2001 Vince (Avg: 2.99 Review) - Good Scooter Dive!
05/23/2001 Al Mialkovsky (Avg: 3.52 Review) - I wouldn't dive here during the day as it can get very crowded, but this is a wonderful night spot. Especially if you've never dove at night before. We just followed the rock from one side to the other and saw squid, eels, countless friendly turtles and so many colorful fish that I needed a notebook to keep tract. You see many fish that just don't show up during the day.
05/09/2001 Gil (Avg: 3.44 Review) - Awesome night dive...saw TONS of eels, even had one swim with me for a while. Also saw a medium size octopus. Great snorkel site during the day too.
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This view is from the Sheraton grounds overlooking the point. You can see snorkelers enjoying the view.
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Just walk down the sandy beach, enter and kick out to the point.
Last Verification: September, 2000