When it comes to camping locations in paradise, Waianapanapa State Park remains an unspoiled gem. Low, volcanic cliffs envelop the sparkling black sand lagoon below. Located at the end of Waiʻanapanapa Road off Hana Highway, this park offers a wide range of scenic views, tropical hikes, and tons of unique recreation opportunities. Those looking for solitude and respite from the day-to-day grind of modern life are sure to enjoy this secluded campground.
Waianapanapa is unique in that it’s one of the few places where you can enjoy dark, volcanic sand beaches. Even cooler, throughout the year the various tide pools throughout turn a deep shade of maroon-red. Scientists attribute this to the shrimp colonies that visit throughout the year. However, locals say it’s a due to a haunting from the blood of Popoaleae, a mythical princess who was killed by her husband Chief Kaakea in a cave nearby. We’ll let you decide what you want to believe.
The campsites here are spacious enough to accomodate any tent or van dweller, but RVers aren’t going to find much accomodation here. The campground includes bathrooms, drinking water, an outdoor beach shower, fire pits, and tons of hikes nearby. In addition, the park grants access to shore fishing, snorkelling and scuba destinations nearby. Waianapanapa is also known for it’s natural blow-holes scattered through the park, and its world-class sea-bird watching.
Waianapanapa State Park is massive, featuring over 122 acres of unspoiled volcanic terrain. However, parking is limited and the campground itself is on the small side. If you’re looking to camp here, reservations must be made at least 3 days prior to your check-in date. For HI residents, fees are $12 per night for up to 6 people, and $2 per night for every person thereafter. If you’re not a resident, fees are $18/night, with an addition charge of $3 per additional camper. Additionally, the park also offers Cabins on reservation at $60/night for residents, and $90/night for visitors. That being said, if you’re planning on camping in a cabin be aware there is a 2 day minimum. If you’re the type to procrastinate, definitely take care of your reservations in advance as they are strict about permitting here.
Located along the Hana Highway this campground is located within Waianapanapa State Park. This is an open campground, easy to access (very short walk from parking lot). Bathrooms and an outdoor shower are located just a hundred yards from campsite. Don’t forget to get your permit in advance online otherwise I’m sure you can get it from park office. And post it on your tent while you’re there, I heard they checked for them.
I think this campground is best suited for people who are hoping to hang around Waianapanapa State Park all day, and there is no shortage of things to do at the park. Park offers black sand beach, hiking trail, blowhole, tidepooling but also lots of tourists too. I wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving tent and belongings alone with as many people that come back and forth. Altogether, this site suited our needs, had good amenities, and offered beautiful scenery with many things to do.
This was really amazing campgroung but we stayed only for one night because it was raining a lot in this part of Maui in February. I definitely loved the beach,we have seen the whales while swimming. We really loved it
Some of the best scuba diving I have ever done is right next to this State Park. We scuba dived in the morning and then hung out on the beach at this park afterward. We had a late dinner/early dinner and enjoyed people watching and relaxing by the beach. We ate lunch at the picnic area in the park, enjoying some fish and chips we bought at a restaurant nearby. The picnic area was really nice, and had about 12 different tables. Some were under cover and some were not. There is a big grass area too where we saw some people laying on towels and others playing frisbee. We ate our lunch, grabbed our chairs and stayed by the water for awhile. We actually stayed longer than we thought we were because we caught the beautiful sunset. The park was pretty busy, but as the day went on there were less people. Highly recommend scuba diving, that was the highlight of my trip. This was adjacent to the park entrance. Had a blast here, and the weather was perfect.
I enjoyed the views, hike down to the black sand beach.
This campground has nearby bathrooms and outdoor showers. It is located with a beautiful view of the black rock beach and the nearby blowhole. Lots of grassy areas for tents. A very family friendly location.
Remember, if you book online, which you should, you need to print out your permit and display your permit on your tent. Rangers come around daily.
Amazing little spot right before Hana! Fall asleep listening to the waves with a ocean breeze to cool you at night. Parking is limited and you do need a permit before you go. There is a small parking lot and short walk to the lawn where you set up your tent. Some people set up hammocks to camp in. We rented a van so had to park next to the parking lot.
This campground is AMAZING. Right next to the ocean, and black sand beaches. You hear the waves all night long! Someone comes around each night to check your permit so do not try and squeeze in here last minute! Restrooms are readily available and fresh fruit is everywhere! As this is a park as well, there are many tourist walking around so I packed up each morning just in case :)
Amazing campsite! Perfect place to watch sunrise and enjoy the hot sandy beach early in the morning before the tourists start rolling in. Reservations can only be made online. Plenty of short hikes in the area easy to medium skill level.
Since the big resorts are on the opposite side of the island, most visitors to Maui travel the Hanna Highway as a day trip. Camping on the eastern shore along the highway at Waianapanapa State Park means you get to wake up early, watch the sunrise, and get a start on your day's adventures before the rest of Maui's visitors arrive for the day.
The location is the best thing that Waianapanapa has going for it. It's a pretty basic campground which looks more like a park set right along the coast. There's some small beach inlets you can explore, but it's mostly lava rock and cliff with the campground set up high.
You'll need a permit to camp. The cost is $18 per night for up to 6 people, and there is a discount if you're actually from Hawaii. You can get the permit online and you'll need to print it out and attach it to your tent once you arrive. The process is super easy but requires a little bit of pre-planning.
There aren't many (if any) actual sites- but there are a few grills scattered around that people tend to make camp around. We picked a "site" near a couple of trees so we could sleep in our hammocks of course. The campground does have bathrooms and cold outdoor showers.
My favorite part of camping at Waianapanapa was waking up in the morning to watch the colors of the sunrise and then exploring the park while it was still pretty quiet. There are blow holes, lava tubes, some caves you can swim in, and a hike up and around the coastal cliffs. And of course, there is everything else on the Hana highway just a super short drive away.
a tropical paradise, what else could you want