This area offers one drive-up campground. Campers are advised that Kīpahulu is wet, remote, and far from most amenities. Come prepared - bring water, food, and a tent. There is no water available, but shared grills, picnic tables and pit-toilets are provided. Permits are not required, but campers must pay the $20 park entry fee. Camping is limited to 3 nights in any 30-day period.
The Kīpahulu campground is about 1/8 mile (.2km) south of the Kīpahulu Visitor Center. It overlooks ocean cliffs and is a short walk from ʻOheʻo Gulch. In the evenings, the sound of the ocean waves makes this a peaceful place. The campground has picnic tables, BBQ grills, and pit toilets. No water is available at Kīpahulu Campground; However, drinking water is available at the Kīpahulu Visitor Center restrooms. There are two general stores in the nearby town of Hāna (10 miles[16km] away) where you can purchase water and basic food supplies. Be prepared for rain, harsh sun, and mosquitoes.
Kipahulu Campground is part of the coastal district of Haleakala National Park and although there is a fee to enter the park, camping is free and on a first come first serve basis. Camp sites are located all along the lollipop of the road that leads into the campground as well as some more spots along the shore. Road to get to the campsite runs along the right of the overflow parking lot of the park. Filtered water and nice public bathrooms are available at the visitor center, however there is no shower at the park. Make sure to get all necessary food items in Hana as this is the last big town on the Hana Highway before the park.
The campground has great spots for whatever you are looking for in your camping trip. The options include open areas to set up next for other people for large groups or along the shore under your own personal hala tree for seclusion and serenity. We were able to grab a spot under a hala tree our second night that was just a walk away from the shore and was so peaceful, and perfect to set up some hammocks. If you hope to get a site along the shore I recommend you arrive to the park early. And if you hope to explore the gems of this district such as the Pipiwai trail, bamboo forest, and seven sacred pools - get up early and do them before the tons of tourists arrive for the day.
This is a first come first serve campground inside the National Park. There aren't any designated camping spots so pretty much you can setup camp anywhere you can pitch a tent. My family and I usually camp by the beach where you can fish or swim in the pools.
I recommend this campground due to the location, easy access to waterfall hikes and beach front camping.
I discovered this campground by accident when an avid camper/ bartender in Maui pointed me in this direction with a hand-drawn map (see photos) It was easily my favorite camping spot during my week in Maui.
The campground itself is nothing to speak of- it looks mostly like a big green field with sites designated by grills and parked cars. From the parking/grill area however, you could wander off the path and find sites right on the cliffs under big trees with picnic tables. As a hammock camper, I found a tree to sleep under towards the edge of the cliff with a view of the ocean from my bed--and I was able to watch the sunrise over the Pacific without even getting out of my sleeping bag!
Amenities at the campground are basic- but you get what you pay for. There is no fee to camp here for up to 3 days as long as you've paid the Haleakala NP entrance fee --which of course everyone who makes it to the end of the Hana highway does anyway!
There's plenty of hiking around the campground in the national park- the most popular is the Waimoku falls that you reach by hiking through the bamboo forest up the Pipiwai trail. Camping at Kipahulu means that you can hit the trail early before the resort /day visitors make it to this side of the island. The campground is also very close to the Seven Sacred Pools (which were more mud than sacred looking during our visit).
For sunset, there is an unmarked trail that begins in the South East corner of the campground and will take you up over the cliffs for a good evening view. You can also hike down to some pools to swim if the tide is low.
Note that this campground is pretty far away from the closest town so you'll want to be sure you're all stocked up on fuel, water, and all the things you need when you pass through Hana. There aren't any showers, but if you're driving back north, you can always pop into Waianapapana State Park and hit their outdoor shower.