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.
great open area camping spot. only thing is staff is not always around but awesome views and beach.
This was probably our favorite campground in a state park on Maui. We camped in a campervan, and there's a separate section for RV/campervans and tents. Campervans park in a mostly dirt (so it does get a bit muddy when it rains) lot adjacent to the bathrooms/beach shower and the grassy area for tent camping. The black sand beach is small and has rough waves but it is absolutely beautiful, and there's an incredibly lava tube (a cave, basically) that you'll have to do a little searching for (when you walk down the stairs that lead to the beach, look to your right when you get to the bottom and search along the rocks for an opening. You'll have to duck in, but once in the lava tube opens up far above your head and leads to an opening that touches the ocean).
You *definitely* need to get a reservation ahead of time for the park - it's easy to reserve online, but you must do it as soon as possible and print out your reservation to show once you're camping - they do have people come around and check.
The campsite for campervans has no picnic tables and just one old grill made out of bricks that looked a bit gross, but there's picnic tables near the parking lot where day visitors park, and near the trail along the coastline. There's a bathroom building at the center of the campground that includes separate women's & men's rooms with running water toilets (2 stalls in the women's), a changing area (basically just a bench) and 1 sink (with no soap or mirror). Outside of the restroom are soda machines and an open-air shower. The shower has multiple showerheads so 2-3 people can shower at a time, but they're all connected to one main rod so it is a bit awkward to be showering so close to strangers. During the day, day visitors use it a lot to shower off after the beach, but once evening comes around we saw a lot of campers use it just like a regular shower, just keeping bathing suits on. Considering the other state parks on Maui (like Kipahulu) even the beach shower was pretty nice to have to be able to shower off. There's also a water fountain next to the bathrooms and another very low-to-the-ground water faucet that many use to wash their pots and pans, and we used to fill up a large water jug.
The beach was great, as were the hikes along lava rocks - though they were definitely not super well maintained, and at times you were kind of guessing whether you were still on the same path. Overall a great place to camp!
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.