Laura H.

The Dyrt Pro

Honolulu, HI

Joined August 2016

I'm based out of Oahu and California part of the year. I car camp most of the time, tent camp with husband and friends and occasionally backpack!

An adventure to get there

Peacock Flats is hardly ever fully booked out due to how remote it is and requiring 4wd to get there. It's quite the adventure and can be very wet and muddy. Highly recommend having paperwork, permits, IDs all together in advance because you have to pass through military checkpoints on the west side of Oahu to get through to road to the campground. They ask for everyone's IDs. There are a couple trailheads for hiking and nice views of the north shore and west side along the drive to the campground. The drive in can take 1-1.5 hours or longer depending on the conditions of the road. Come prepared! I also recommend having an air compressor, spare tire and tow equipment if you need to save anyone or be saved yourself lol. Check the conditions beforehand. If it's rainy season and you don't have experience driving in steep muddy areas with large dropoffs and cliffs on the side, then maybe wait till summer when it's drier!

The sites can be quite wet, we hammock camped the first time we came out to stay off the ground. There are pit toilets and picnic tables under little shelter areas. Definitely recommend for the adventure and if you love off roading.

Soo peaceful and very central

We really had no clue which campgrounds to choose on our Kings Canyon and Sequoia trip so this was a random choice! It seemed like popular crowded sites were all booked out. So I chose this one because it has a nice stream nearby, it's so nice to camp near water. It was sparsely crowded, very quiet. It's a beautiful wooded campsite with spacious sites and small trails nearby. A bit of a drive from the national parks, but I think everything is a bit of a drive around these areas. It was still fairly central between the two national parks relatively. 

Easy to reserve online, picnic table, bear/food bin and firepit at each site. I liked that the firepits each had a grill on top! So convenient for cooking. Typical pit toilets close by with water spigots to wash hands and dishes. We most enjoyed having morning coffee and walking along the stream over the large boulders. It was summer so we appreciated this site at higher elevation with the chilled air at night. Very beautiful.

Best campground on North Shore Oahu

One of the best campgrounds on Oahu because it is private and very well maintained! There are day use parking areas for people to use the beach but the campsites themselves are blocked off by a gate with a keypad entry so there aren't random cars driving by your campsite ever. Initially I was bummed I didn't get a beach front campsite, ours was only a 30 second walk to the beach. But because it's the windward side, it was sooo windy and we really appreciated our campsite set a little farther back from the beach and protected by trees. I personally think we chose the site well because of all the trees. Almost all the Area 1 sites have lots of trees to set up hammocks and for the much appreciated shade from the sun. Each campsite has a picnic table and a firepit. 

The bathrooms have flush toilets and are very clean! Bring your own roll of TP to share. There are outdoor beach showers and outdoor sinks throughout the campground to get water, wash dishes and brush your teeth. So convenient. There are actually several options for camping.. Drive up tent sites, vehicle campsites for vans, hales or houses that sleep 4 with no electricity for $58 and larger suite hales or cabins that have electricity and their own bathroom inside for around $120. The beach is really nice white sand though a bit windy and they have surf board rentals and some small surf breaks. The camp store is convenient for ice or marshmallows or any small needs. Lots of fun things to do and see nearby. Overall a wonderful time camping here!

On the water

I last minute drove up to the Redding and Burney area to hike and see spring waterfalls in the area. I wanted a quieter campsite to relax at so Dusty was just right. It’s right on the water and soo pretty and relaxing. Each site had a fire pit which was nice though I didn’t use because I was by myself. There was also a picnic table at each site. The bathrooms were pit toilets and well the usual camp bathrooms. The campground is right down the road from Burney Falls so I woke up early and got there before the crowds arrived! The drives in the area are absolutely gorgeous! Another perk of this campground is the railroad/bridge that was featured in the old movie Stand By Me is walking distance from the campsites - it‘s closed off and no longer in use but cool to check out!

Lovely in the summertime

I said lovely in the summertime even though I was a bit chilly! Tropical girl in the north. Despite the cooler temperatures at night the weather was just wonderful when we stayed at Deception Pass. There were so many activities. Some trails walking distance from the campsite to gorgeous beaches while others we drove to get to other trails and scenic lookouts. I loved every minute staying there. We spent two nights at Bowman Bay right next to the beach. The facilities are nice and well maintained. I really appreciate the Washington state park system and their nice campgrounds. We walked across the Deception Pass bridge and hiked up Goose Rock which is the highest point in the park. Just a heads up for anyone afraid of heights, the bridge is super thrilling!! And the views! Even I felt butterflies walking across.

Another day we explored the tide pools at Rosario Beach and went paddle boarding close by. We saw seals and sea otters playing. Really one of the highlights of the trip!

Ranger Review: Boost Oxygen at Kahana Valley State Park, Oahu, Hawaii

Ranger Review: Boost Oxygen at Kahana Valley State Park

Campground Review

If you have always wanted to camp on the beach in an idyllic bay with towering mountains all around you, then this is your campsite. The campground at Ahupua'a o Kahana State Park is located right on the beach at Kahana Bay. It's on the northeastern side of Oahu so you'll be treated to beautiful sunrises on the horizon and sunsets behind the mountains. It feels like you stepped back in time to what an old Hawaii must have looked like. The bay is open daily for day use and for camping Friday night to Wednesday morning. There are only 10 beach campsites available for tent camping. You can reserve a campsite through the state website in advance. Kahana State Park Camping Reservations. The campsite is pretty full during the summer. The rest of the year the campsite fills up on Fridays and Saturday's. If you're flexible there is almost always availability on Sunday to Tuesday nights - you may have the bay and campground to yourself!

The campground's best assets are its location and views of course! There are plenty of trees for shade and to put up your hammock. You can roll out of your tent in the morning right onto the sand and take a stroll along the beach or dive into the water. Most of the year the water is fairly protected, flat, easy to swim and great for paddleboarding. Occasionally there is an eastern swell that attracts surfers and bodyboarders. Always practice water safety if you choose to go out as there is no lifeguard on the beach. There are picnic tables at almost every campsite and nice new bathrooms located across the street that are nice to use. The bathrooms do require you to cross the street so you might be using the bushes in the middle of the night if the walk is too far.

The cons to the campsite are that it's right along the road so there isn't much privacy. People driving by can see what you're cooking on the grill and may even walk through your campsite to get to the beach. It is a no frills campsite. It looks like there were two showers there with privacy but the plumbing has been disconnected. Don't forget to bring your own grill or camp stove! Otherwise the beach and views totally make up for all of that. Enjoy!!

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Product Review

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get to try out new products from time to time. This time I tried out Boost Oxygen on an awesome steep hike close to the campsite. There are a few trails in the state park that are family friendly and well maintained; however, I chose to use Boost Oxygen on a trail that gains elevation - fast. The trail climbs up and overlooks the campground and all of Kahana Bay. It's arguably the best view on all of Oahu. For real! This hike is also quite the cardio buster. I hadn't done it in a while so I took along both Peppermint and Grapefruit Boost Oxygen canisters to use on the way. I tested them out first by my car by using the diagram on the canister and the sign pointing where to place the piece under your nose, opened my mouth and breathed in gently, almost like using an inhaler for asthma. The flavors were very subtle and pleasant and very easy to breathe in. It's definitely a good idea to test these out before you intend to use them during a cardio activity to make sure you understand where to place it in the proper position under your nose and the general feel of it.

I put one inside my backpack and the other in the side pocket so I could easily grab it. To be completely honest, I was really hesitant about trying this product out because I didn't think I would feel any difference from using it. And in reality I didn't feel a difference…at first. I took it out every 10-15 min to take a "puff" or two and sometimes a nice long inhalation. I took puffs and thought, "well this is fun and it tastes good but it can't possibly change how well I hike this trail." Until I got to the first landing where I texted my husband, "you know, I feel great, I made it up to the first lookout pretty fast." Then I went up and up on the steepest sections of the trail where it turns into a climbing scramble. I got to where I planned to stop and was just blown away. I'm not going to lie, I felt awesome. I made it up the mountain fast, didn't need to stop much, and most of all, I didn't feel wiped out at all. I was impressed.

Minor cons I experienced. The 4oz can couldn't ship to Hawaii for some reason so I could only try out the 22oz cans. The can fell out of the side pocket of my pack a couple times so I still have to figure out how to secure it in a way where it's easily accessible while I'm hiking.

Overall I really enjoyed using Boost Oxygen. I didn't feel any sudden differences or changes after each inhalation but I felt amazing after climbing that mountain. I'm looking forward to trying it out on some higher elevation hikes and backpacking trips on the other islands. After using it on this steep hike and feeling good and energized after, I think it'll really help with the slow dragging feeling I get at higher elevations! I'll try to update my review afterwards and let you know how it goes! Very cool product. 

Here's a quick video with some of the killer views from the hike: Crouching Lion trail

Phenomenal!!!

Waimanu Valley is a state campground for backpacking. It starts out at Waipio Valley lookout and continues 9 miles up to the next valley over. It's a moderately strenuous hike with a pack on your back! Be prepared with water filter, rain gear, mosquito repellant and everything else you need for backpacking. Check the weather in advance because there are two stream crossings that can get rather dangerous if it rises. Otherwise this is the most fantastic paradisiacal campsite on a beach you'll find in Hawaii! Less people than the popular Kalalau on Kauai. Research this one a ton and get permits far in advance!

Simple and easy

I give this campground 4 stars for being easy and convenient. It's right on the Columbia river and one of the few campgrounds that allow bonfires. Otherwise I'd give it 3 stars for no frills about the location. There isn't any privacy at the campsites due to it being the desert. The stars and moon gazing are excellent!

Neat spot

The campground has cabins, RV hookups and tent sites. It's nothing to write home about. It was just convenient to be close to the springs since it's a decent drive from any other major city in Florida. The springs themselves are quite cold so in the end we didn't spend that much time swimming - we probably could have driven back home and not camped after all. The Devil's Den itself is very neat to see, definitely worth going to at least once to snorkel or scuba dive. But if you can drive back to wherever you're staying, I would! I only took pics of the spring and not of the campground unfortunately. Enjoy!

Our favorite getaway on Kauai

Polihale is our favorite drive in campsite on Kauai. It's far enough away that it's rarely crowded. On the weekends it's definitely a local spot for camping and surfing. You can drive your 4wd out on the sand. Or a normal vehicle can make it down the end of the long dirt road and you can walk a little ways onto the beach and set up your tent on the sand. There are bathrooms and outdoor beach showers. I don't think it's potable water though so bring your own! :) the large long beach is unbeatable and the towering mountains at the start of the Na Pali coast is spectacular!

Wonderful!

If you're lucky or go during the off season you'll get a creek spot on the lower Johnny Creek campground (versus the upper one down the road). The lower spots might be a few dollars more but well worth the more spacious and beautiful setting. Pit toilets, picnic tables, fire pits with grill top and plenty of hammock trees.

Beautiful and lovely!

We went during the off season to camp here so there were plenty of spots along the creek. There were a couple trees down so it opened the view up to the mountains where we caught a beautiful sunset hitting the summits and trees. The facilities were normal - the expected pit toilets, nice fire pits with a grill top and picnic table. Overall it was lovely. We had driven around and though it was a little nicer than the lower Johnson campground down the road.

Safe and peaceful!

I started out on a roadtrip from Phoenix alone and didn't know where I'd sleep for the first night. As the sunset approached I stopped at a few viewpoints at Lake Powell to take photos and happened on this spot. It was so fun to drive on the sand right up to the beach and water. It looked like most normal cars did fine to get down - I was thankful for all wheel drive though. I didn't see water facilities but there were bathroom shelters up the beach a ways. Overall it was very cozy, gorgeous sunset and sunrise and everyone nearby was friendly! I wish I had a kayak or paddleboard with me. Enjoy!

Perfect family friendly campsite

This campsite fills up fast! We happened to get the last available tent campsite right on the water and it was GORGEOUS! This is the more peaceful campground in Hope (there's another one in town that seems more fun but more noisy too). They have large picnic tables, one spot seemed handicap accessible even. There was a nice fire pit that helped for us novice fire makers. The camp hosts were super helpful and informative. There are two great hikes nearby within driving or walking distance. A perfect weekend getaway from Anchorage! You'll adore this beautiful spot.

Relaxing and peaceful

Besides Polihale, this is my favorite beach park to drive up and camp at on Kauai. It's a little off the main road so it's quieter than other campsites farther down. It's also safer than campsites nearer town. It's very peaceful and the water there is protected by an outer reef that makes it a family friendly swimming/snorkeling area. You don't have to worry about the tide coming in high to your campsite. There are bathrooms, drinking water, showers and a small boat launch. Enjoy!

Great overnight backpacking trip

Who doesn't love camping on an isolated beach! Halape is a backcountry backpacking trip in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. You have to go the day before or the morning of to get camping permits from the backcountry office on a first com first served basis. There are a few trails to take to get to Halape ranging from 8-11 miles - people choose them based on elevation gain and how bad it is on your knees when hiking with a full pack on. Check with the backcountry office when you get your permits about the water supply there. There is generally plenty of water available at the beach site but bring your water filter or purification tablets! Bring fishing gear or a knife to collect opihi to eat. Be aware of the earthquake/tsunami history of the campsite in the past - the park rangers are good about telling you what to do in case of anything! Overall it's a mini paradise with a gorgeous beach to yourself. Walk over to Halape Iki for another perfect little beach cove.

Camping on the beach

It doesn't get much better than camping on a beach down on the Homer spit! We luckily had clear skies and no rainy/windy weather when we camped here. The tide goes out about 15 feet and comes back in regularly. It was a blast to walk out and explore all the tide pools at low tide. It was nice to sleep on the sand though with air mattresses to avoid some of the rocks! The bathroom facilities were nice but a bit of a walk especially at night - we peed next to our car usually. Otherwise, great location! Walking distance to the water taxis, restaurants and bars on the spit. I loved every minute of being there right on the beach!