Attractions

21 Epic Camping spots in Hawaii

Waianapanapa State Park, Maui
Written by Town & Tourist

Camping in Hawaii offers you a true paradise! Hawaii’s diverse terrain stretches from lush rainforests to colorful beaches such as the emerald beaches of Papakolea to the black beaches of Punalu’u. 

Oh and of course, the 2 active Volcanoes Mt Kilauea and Mauna Loa inside the Volcanoes National Park! From Sunny days, Surf and Snorkel Sites (Hapuna Beach) to Sunsets and Starry Skies. Hawaii is a magical place and there is no better way to experience it than via camping out! 

From Beach side camp sites, to Secluded campgrounds, Camping in Hawaii is the ultimate way to get up close and personal with nature! Oh and it’s also the most cost effective, as most Hawaii Campgrounds are FREE! Which can save you thousands of dollars! 

Yes you may need a permit, but the cost savings are massive compared to an high end hotel or even a standard lodge! The best part is, when you zip open that tent in the morning, the dazzling Pacific Ocean will great you with a smile! So for your Edutainment here are 21 Epic Camping Spots in Hawaii! 

21. Haleakala Crater, Maui

Haleakala Crater is the perfect place to really get up close and personal with some of the most unique terrain in the world! As a popular Hawaii attraction, Haleakala Crater in Maui offers breath taking sunrises, diverse wildlife and stunning panoramic views! 

Two campsites, within the wild backcountry of the Haleakala Crater are great for adventurers as you will have to hike up to the high elevations of Holua at 6,940ft and Palifu at 6,380 ft. 

Holua, requires a 3.7-mile trek down the Halemauu Trail, and for Paliku you must take a 9.2-mile hike via the Sliding Sands Trail.

haleakalacrater

haleakala crater. Source: Haleakalacrater.com (Camping in Hawaii/Campsites Hawaii)

Insider Tip:

At such high elevations, it can get a little chilly, so make sure you bring some layers, a jacket and a cozy sleeping bag.

Campsite Amenities: 

Pit toilets and non portable water are accessible at both campsites, available on a first come first served basis. 

If your after one of the most unbelievable Star Gazing spots on earth then the high elevations of the Haleakala Crater Campsites offer the ultimate memorable experience. 

What if you don’t want to hike?

If you don’t fancy the trek, you can actually drive right up to the campsite. Hosmers Grove offers some great tent only sites with running water & a pit toilet. But no open fires allowed. 

20. Kipahulu Campground, Maui

Haleakala National Park , offers a diverse range of stunning terrain whether you want to to Hike right up Crater or just explore the remote backside of the Gignatic Halekala volcano. 

Even though Maui, attracts over 3 million visitors every year! The Haleakala National Park offers some of the most secluded and peaceful camping spots, in Hawaii. 

After setting up camp, you will be itching to explore the diverse landscape, offering scenic trails, Streams and an abundance of lush Plant life, native to Hawaii. Just outside the campsite is a fantastic two hour hike, which offers an adventurous & scenic route. 

Kipahulu Campground in Hana, Maui, Hawaii

Kipahulu Campground in Hana, Maui, Hawaii. Source: Reddit.  (Camping in Hawaii/Campsites Hawaii)

If you ask the locals for great camping (We did!) Kipahulu will be high on their list. Sitting on some grassy terrain, the pacific waves crashing can be heard from below. The only negative is there are few amenities on site, with no water available. So bring EVERYTHING with you! Some Campsites nearby have some quaint picnic tables, with grills which can be cool places for lunch. 

Insider Tip:

Unfortunately, the famous pools of Ohe’o are permanently closed due to the risk of landslides. However, on the plus side due to the remote of the campsite there are usually plenty of spaces available! 

19. Koke’e State Park, Kauai

Koke’e State Park in Kauai’s northwest is home to some of the most fantastic campsites in the great island chain. 

Camping at Koke’s State Park, gives you unique views of the lush valley of Kalalau, surrounded by the sparkling pacific. 

For Hikers, Kokes State Park is heaven! Offering some epic scenic trails and some of the most challenging routes! A favourite trail is hikes along the rainforest around the rim of the Waimea Canyon. 

Koke-State-Park-Hawaii

Koke-State-Park-Hawaii. Source: Pinterest (Camping in Hawaii/Campsites Hawaii)

Along the way you may be lucky enough to catch glimpses of the vast spectrum of tropical birds and native plant life. 

Camp sites here offer tent camping only, with on natural sites with no much extras. Although there are toilets and outdoor showers on site, what more do you need! 

18. Waianapanapa State Park, Maui

Can’t decide between Rock cladded, volcanic areas and lush green areas? Don’t compromise! Head down to Waianapanapa State Park, Maui here you will find a variety of terrain and some epic hiking trails.  

Waianapanapa State Park, Maui

Waianapanapa State Park, Maui. Source: HawaiiMagazine.com (Camping in Hawaii/Campsites Hawaii)

Road to Hana, is a popular two lane trek setup the tent nearby and hop on the route. Explore both directions and take in the gorgeous sights of the picturesque coastline.  

17. Laupahoehoe Point Park, Big Island

Laupahoehoe is unique camping destination perfect for those of you who wish for a “off the grid” and peaceful camping experience. Situated in the north coast of the Big Island, the feast your eyes on the apocalyptic black lava beach! Surrounded by ancient volcanic rocks which contrast majestically with the deep blue pacific. With stunning views all around campers will feel blessed. 

laupahoehoe-beach-park-1-1500x540

laupahoehoe-beach-park-Source: BigIslandGuide.com (Camping in Hawaii/Campsites Hawaii)

History & Tsunami:

The Laupahoehoe beach was formally hit by a tsunami which reached over 50 feet and washed away a school, killing 19 kids and 5 adults! This was a terrible incident, and to show your commiseration’s you can check out the children’s names which are engraved on the rock. Luckily, after the incident the village was moved further in land to prevent another similar tragedy. 

Insider Tip:

Laupahoehoe is great for fishing so bring your rods with you! 

 

16. Waimanu Valley Campsite, Big Island

If you want a real adventurous camping trip in Hawaii then head to Waimanu Valley! Home to the 8 miles Muliwai Trail, a tough trail where you will have to head up the side of the mountain from the Waipi’o Valley. The trail is challenging, a workout and you will break a sweat but the views are so much sweeter when you have to earn them! 

Waimanu Valley Campsite- Big Island

Waimanu Valley Campsite- Big Island. Source: theblondeseyeview.com (She has a great post on Waimanu Valley Hiking ;).  (Camping in Hawaii/Campsites Hawaii)

Insider Tip: 

Don’t go after a rainstorm, as the ground tends to loosen and rocks begin to slide. Which can make it difficult. 

 

15. Anahola Beach Park, Kauai

Another popular Campground among the locals is Anahola Beach Park. A great spot for beginner divers and avid snorkelers, with a nice reef and few smaller areas great for kids to swim.

The area is also home to one of the only overnight Campsites with amenities on Kauai’s east coast. This includes, restrooms, cold showers and picnic tables. 

Anahola-Beach Park-Kauai

Anahola Bay & Beach Park-Kauai Source: markjohnson.photoshelter.com (Camping in Hawaii/Campsites Hawaii)

Insider Tip: 

Even though Anahola Beach park is quite remote, because of it’s immense beauty the area can get very crowded during the summer, many say it’s worth it! 

14. Haleakala Backcountry, Maui

Back to Haleakala in Maui, but this time in the Backcountry. We thought this spot definitely deserved two spots on our list.  True remoteness and an off the grid Hawaii experience is on offer here. The deeper into the summit district you get the more epic the sunrise and by night you will feel as though you have the moon in your backyard! 

Haleakala Backcountry, Maui

Haleakala Backcountry, Maui. Source the fantastic: www.unrealhawaii.com  (Camping in Hawaii/Campsites Hawaii)

In the area, two primitive campsites are on offer, which offer a wilderness experience. Spaces are available on first come, first served basis. 

Insider Tip:

Don’t forget to get your camping permit from the on site Visitor Center, after your free to roam the wilderness. 

Access to the campsites can be obtained via two trails, the Halemau`u & Sliding Sands Trails. 

It can be a challenging journey though, so make sure your well prepared. The fastest route to the Holua Campsite is via a 3.7 mile trek on the Halemau`u Trail. 

 To access the Palikū Campsite head 9.3 miles on the Sliding Sands Trail. If though the area tends to look like a place where Neil Armstrong took his first footsteps. It actually sees decent rainfall and thus there is a variety of lush plant life. 

13. Punaluu County Beach Park, Big Island

Punaluu County Beach Park, is located in between the epic Hawaii Volcanoes National Park & the little town called Naalehu, Punaluu. Here you will find the largest and one of the most scenic black sandy beaches in Hawaii. 

With coconut palm trees surrounding the perimeter and playful groups of native emerald sea turtles seen basking in the suns rays, this is definitely a spot you have to go! 

Punaluu Black Sand Beach Park. Source: Viator.com (Camping in Hawaii/Campsites Hawaii)

Insider Tip: 

The green sea turtles in Hawaii are cute indeed, but try not to get to close as they are protected by federal & state law. 

I wouldn’t say the beach here is great for swimming, but if it’s calm you can have a swim and even try out some snorkeling. Amenities at the campsite include, snack vendors, restrooms and showers. 

12. Hanalei Bay, Kauai

With one of the most beautiful beaches in Hawaii, Hanalei Bay is truly epic. Spanning across Kauai’s north west shore, the Crescent moon bay, gold sides are towered over by theatrical cliffs and gigantic waterfalls which cascade down from heights of 4,000 feet! 

Campgrounds at Halanlei:

The sunset here is stunning and will create an everlasting memory in your mind. The best camping area nearby is at a little part of the bay called Black Pot Beach at the mouth of Hanalei River. 

Hanalei Bay Vacation Rental

Hanalei Bay Vacation Rental. Source: BaliHali.com (Camping in Hawaii/Campsites Hawaii)

There you can find a selection of amenities, including: showers, restrooms, picnic spots and even a glowing pavilion. 

Activities 

With calm surf it’s great for beginner surfers, divers and snorkeling. Ontop of the water Kayaking is great here. 

11. Salt Pond Beach Park, Kauai

The ultimate family picnic spot in Kauai is at Salt Pond Beach Park! The well established campsite offers plenty of tables, showers and restrooms. It’s also one of the best spots for snorkelling on Kauai island.  

Camping Costs & Permits:

A camping permit costs just $3, but you must pay an additional $25/night for a 10×10 space. 

Salt-Pond-beach-park

Salt-Pond-beach-park. Source: Hawaii.com (Camping in Hawaii/Campsites Hawaii)

Insider Tip: 

BEST FOR FAMILIES! Camping at Salt Pond Beach Park is easier then most other camp sites in Kauai, making it ideal for families with young children. 

 

10. Keokea Beach Park, Big Island

On the Big Island head down to Kapaau, Keokea Beach Park, located on the northern shore close to Niuli’i, North Kohala, Keokea. 

Here you will find a little cove with a rocky coastline, surrounded by a wall of boulders which protect the area from the elements. An overall quiet area, it’s pretty secluded for those looking for an off the grid escape. 

Keokea-Beach-Park-Big-Island-Hawaii-picnic-spot

Keokea-Beach-Park-Big-Island-Hawaii-picnic-spot. Source: Xdaysiny.com (Camping in Hawaii/Campsites Hawaii)

However, even though it’s peaceful you will find some great on site amenities. From picnic & BBQ areas to drinking water, electric lights, diswashing spots and of course toilets and showers. 

Insider Tip:

Rough waters provide ideal conditions for surfers and fisherman. 

The location provides a great opportunity to check out the plantation town of Kapaau which has many galleries and historic landmarks. 

 

9. Lydgate Park, Kauai

Lydgate Park is HEAVEN for Snorkelers. With a vast spectrum of sea creatures, a great beach and crystal waters, it’s also a popular swimming area for families. 

As a well maintained campsite in Hawaii, you need a $3 permit (Unless your a hawaii resident) and must pay $25/night. 

Lydgate Park, Kauai, Hawaii

Lydgate Park, Kauai, Hawaii. Source: gohawaii.com (Camping in Hawaii/Campsites Hawaii)

Insider Tip:

Stay for at least two nights as it can great crowded. So either wake up early for sunrise or experience a peaceful BBQ & campfire when the first days crowds pack up. 

8. Spencer Beach Park, Big Island

Spencer Beach Park, is another popular big island campsite! Located just south of Kawaihae Harbor in the north west. Spencer Beach park is home to one of the very few white sandy beaches in Hawaii. 

For those who wish to soak up the sun, this is an ideal camping location. Other great activities you should try here include, swimming, diving and snorkelling. 

GREAT FOR FAMILIES, the shallow waters edge offers an ideal place for the kids to play and the comfy shoreline is perfect for a picnic. 

Spencer Beach park

Spencer Beach park. explore-big-island.com (Camping in Hawaii/Campsites Hawaii)

Campground:

Spencer Beach Park Campground, is a full setup offering all the amenities you could ever wish for. From the essential restrooms & shower areas to well built pavilions with electrical sockets. 

Insider Tip:

Curious adventurers should head to the ancient site of Pu’ukohola Heiau, just next door this was built by King Kamehameha I in 1791.

A little further along towards the north is Mailekini Heiau a sacred temple site on Pelekane beach. 

7. Bellows Field Beach Park, Oahu

If you’ve just arrived in Oahu and and looked for quick access to a well groomed campsite. Then head to Bellows Field Beach Park

Offering one of the most epic sunrises which can be seen from just outside your tent, this is a popular spot. So reserve places in advance. 

Bellows Field Beach Park, Oahu

Bellows Field Beach Park, Oahu. Source: www.bellowsafs.com (Camping in Hawaii/Campsites Hawaii)

6. Miloli Beach, Kauai

Tucked away on the stunning Na Pali Coastline you will favourite this real diamond. Extremely popular with backpackers & campers, the only access point is via a boat, Kayak or even Packraft! This is part of the adventure & a memorable part of the experience! 

The narrow passage as you come through the reef can be difficult to navigate through especially with powerful winds. So best book a boat operator if your not feeling up to it. However, if you fancy yourself as quite the adventurer & would prefer to tackle the route yourself then go for it! We took our Packrafts across the channel. 

milolii-beach-main-photo.2

milolii-beach. Source: kauaibeachscoop.com (Camping in Hawaii/Campsites Hawaii)

However you get there, you won’t be disappointed upon arrival. With lush greeny, picturesque golden sands, clear crystal waters and Majestic waterfalls, it’s like your own island paradise! 

Oh and of course, because it’s not the simplest to access you will have the place to yourself!  

 

5. Papohaku Beach Park, Molokai

Another fantastic Off the grid campground can be find on Moloka’i a small, remote island. Popohaku Beach Park, is a great campsite on Molokai which offers Hawaii Longest white sandy beach. 

However, be away the seas can be pretty rough for surfing & swimming can be dangerous. So look for calm seas before venturing and keep in good contact with your group, as it’s pretty likely you will have the place to yourself! 

Papohaku Beach Park, Molokai

Papohaku Beach Park, Molokai. Source:gohawaii.com (Camping in Hawaii/Campsites Hawaii)

Insider Tip: 

Don’t forget to drop by the Moloka’i Parks HQ and grab yourself a camping permit. Because if the ranger drives, by you will definitely stand out. 

4. Camp Olowalu, Maui

One of the most well equipped & well maintained campgrounds, can be found in Lahaina, Maui. Camp Olowalu, is a private oceanfront campsite equip with plenty of lodging options to suit all ranges of campers from solo tents to large group camping retreats. For those into Glamping, stay in one of the Cabins equip with electrical outlets, cots, fans and even Wi-Fi. 

Camp-life

Camp-life, Source: Camplife.com (Camping in Hawaii/Campsites Hawaii)

Onsite, the wifi coverage is pretty good and they even offer a kitchen equip with all appliances, outdoor showers, laundry areas, Picnic tables and even a grill. 

Activities:

Fun activities include, snorkelling and even stand up paddle boarding on Maui’s gorgeous reefs. 

3. Polihale State Park, Kauai

Stunning, perfect and ever so secluded white sandy beaches are big attraction, during many avid campers to Polihale State Park. Your best bet to getting their is via the unpaved & sandy access road, so you will need a 4 wheel drive. Upon arriving enjoy breath taking panoramic views of the Napali Coast and one of Hawaii’s greatest beaches! 

Polihale state park1

Polihale state park1. Source: makanacharters.com (Camping in Hawaii/Campsites Hawaii)

With many quiet & remote spots all over Kauai it’s a breath taking place to do some exploring. Camping permits start at $12 and can be picked up here

2. Whittington Beach Park, Big Island

Whittington Beach Park is a hidden diamond in the south of the Big island. A pretty small park, (less than one acre) it packs a big punch offering unparalleled views of the pacific and majestic cliffs nearby.  

With sheltered picnic tables, restrooms and a large number of fire pits, great for a BBQ you won’t be short of suitable amenities. Although, be aware you must bring your own charcoal for the fire pits. 

Whittington Beach Park, Big Island

Whittington Beach Park, Big Island. Source:bigislandguide.com (Camping in Hawaii/Campsites Hawaii)

For swimming, head down to the little fish ponds which the locals use for taking a dip & fishing. I wouldn’t recommend the ocean as it has some pretty strong currents. 

Insider Tip:

During the weekend, the park is pretty busy with many locals. So if you can make it here during the week, you will have the place virtually  to yourself. 

1. Hulopoe Beach Park, Lanai

Lanai is Hawaii’s smallest inhabited island with an area of just 362km^2.  To the north you will find the famous shipwreck beach, home to a relic WW2 tanker.  Polihua beach offers perfect for long, secluded walks, where you can spot the native green turtles.

Hulopoe Bay, is the perfect romantic spot to experience all that Lanai has to offer. From it’s picturesque scenery to catching glimpses of amazing sea life from spinner dolphins performing acrobatics  to humpback whales swimming near the coast. These can be best spotted from the top of Munroe trail. 

Hulopoe-Beach-Park-Lanai

Hulopoe-Beach-Park-Lanai. Source: onlyinhawaii.com (Camping in Hawaii/Campsites Hawaii)

As the only place where you can LEGALLY camp on the island, expect a nice setup. With six campsites offering BBQ spots, running water, toilets and showers. 

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