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Solid drive in campground with toilets and beautiful ocean views. Mostly car campers at this one. The grounds were clean but very exposed to sight and the elements. Highly recommend stay here if you're planning on taking a trip to Hana. It's a perfect place to rest your feet after being in the car for multiple hours before returning to the other side - a single day trip is doable but probably exhausting. Actually the Pipiwai Trail hike is a must do on the Hana side- cannot go wrong with bamboo forests and a good waterfall.
Note: that a National Park pass ($30) here is good for 3 days of camping including sites at Haleakala.
This is a must-see in Maui! From the base of the mountain, it will take you about 30 minutes to drive to the top of Haleakala.
The roads are very twisty, and there are sections where there are no guardrails. Be sure to drive at a pace that is comfortable for you, and utilize the pullover areas to let faster traffic pass. There is no need to make a reservation to enter the park unless you’re showing up early to watch the sunrise. You’ll just have to pay a park entry fee when you arrive at the base of the mountain(don’t worry you can’t miss the payment booth).
The summit is over 10,000 ft from sea level. Due to the elevation, it is pretty darn cold and the air is noticeably thinner. When we went, the base of the mountain was about 90F(32C) and the top of Haleakala is around 50F(10C). Also, it is very very windy at the summit. You should bring a sweater and a windbreaker to make sure you’re able to walk around comfortably.
The view of the surrounding islands and the crater are absolutely stunning! Check out some pictures here: https://creditcarrots.com/haleakala-crater/))
Unreal! It’s like your on the moon. O! Watch for a NeNe, this bird is very rare and lives on at the top of this mountain . Beware the road it going up is all twists and turns. Be careful if you get carsick or are severely hungover 🤢
Ok, you twisted my arm…
Hosmer Grove Campground is a small set of primitive sites located in the Kīpahulu region of Haleakalā National Park, at the cloud line. This means it will get cold, especially at night, and even in the summer. Come prepared for this nice break from the Maui beach heat. The spaces are first come first serve, summer will likely be busier so come early. No permit needed. Fairly easy to pack in as well.
There are grills and nice picnic tables available at each site, but no campfires are allowed, so you must use the grills for your cooking. All the better to see the stars at night, right? Portable water is available and there are also put toilets only. Please be respectful of other campers since the area is so small.
Be prepared to be woken early to the sound of an array of birds, and even a clearly lost rooster up before dawn. The best thing about Maui, is that it’s an island formed out of nothing from a volcano, meaning it did not break off from a land mass carrying with it all the variety of animals and insects campers often find troubling. In fact, typical tropical concerns like venomous snakes and large cats are nonexistent here. A very safe place, animal wise, to camp, but do be warned of flash floods when hiking the area and come aware of the conditions and also prepared with a first aid kit, as outside help is far and difficult to reach. Towers were recently put in to assist with calls out, but in the valleys and at high elevations you will often find it hard to get reception. And help us an hour or more away. So hike with caution.
Sites are fairly level, close to each other, and on soft grass. The route to this area via the Hāna Hwy is almost worth the trip in and of itself, it’s truly a gorgeous area at all elevations.
Be sure to take advantage of the many guided hikes (also for safety reasons) offered by the national park and local private companies. We took a GREAT waterfall rappelling trip with Rappel Maui and enjoyed all their info about the area and expertise in rappelling. Be prepared for mosquitos, however we really didn’t encounter too many in June.
Check out the Pools at ‘Ohe’o and the many many waterfalls around the Nat Park as well as the state park while there. And the rocky, rough-waved cost on that side of the island (not great for swimming but so so beautiful).
This campground was the largest by far we saw on Maui - it was a large grassy area down a road past the visitor's center for Kipahulu. The area is for both tent and car camping, and there's no separate parking lot for tent campers since it is a bit of a walk from the visitor's parking lot. There's no running water, but two small buildings with pit toilets inside and hand sanitizer. There's also a group area that I believe needs to be reserved ahead of time and is at the back of the main camping area, as well as a trail off the campground that leads to shady tent camping spots (you definitely couldn't get a car in there) under large trees. We liked the campground a lot, especially how grassy it was (rather than dirt, like at Olowalu) but unfortunately we stayed on a Friday and Saturday night - and boy did the other people there like to party. We spent the first night stuck next to a HUGE party that didn't quiet down til late at night. Even after moving our van to a spot farther away from them, we realized that there were quite a number of groups partying til late at the site. I bet this wouldn't be the same case on a weekday night, but it's good to know that this campground is popular with the locals/residents on Maui and from other islands - probably because it's so cheap and accessible ($25 for 3 nights, which is essentially your entrance fee to get into the 7 sacred pools and hike the Pipiwai Trail).
As for Kipahulu itself, it's a beautiful place. we swam in the 7 sacred pools (which get pretty crowded in the afternoon from day tourists) and hiked the Pipiwai Trail. We LOVED Pipiwai - it's a bit grueling, and is 4 miles there and back, but the 100 foot waterfall at the end of it is incredible and a must-see. For the price, Kipahulu is a great place to camp at, and to make the most of your money, I'd suggest spending a night or two here and then heading to Hosmer Grove on your way to the summit. Note that there's no running water here, so come prepared with water jugs. While there's running water in the bathrooms at the service center, as well as a water fountain to fill up your water bottle there, there's no faucet or anything that you could use to fill up a big water jug. One of the major downsides to the site, in addition to the noise.
We hiked through here on a day hike through the crater, and stopped here to rest and chat with some campers. The campground has one cabin available to reserve online (but reservations fill up fast) and then a grassy area to camp with a tent in. The guys we talked to said it was constantly raining the night before, so they camped in a small lava cave near the campground. It was a beautiful area of the crater to be in - truly 'in the clouds' - but it was misting the whole time we were there and I'm not sure I'd want to spend a night there if it was in a tent. The cabin seemed well maintained. There's an outhouse/toilet there, as well as water that must be treated/filtered. It was about 6-7 miles in, starting from the Sliding Sands Trail, or about 4 miles from Halemau'u Trailhead.
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!