The French explorer La Perouse discovered this historical landmark after Haleakala's last eruption in 1788. The eruption had recently destroyed the settlement of Keoneoio. Parts of the village remain intact today, and a strip of lava running through the bay has changed the shoreline permanently. The lava rock and desolate surroundings make for an eerie atmosphere. The bay is at the end of Makena Alanui. The terrain is really only appropriate for a four-wheel drive, and the beach is made up mostly of lava rock. It offers prime scuba and snorkel conditions, and can be a good surf spot as well, but it is not a great spot for picnics or suntanning.