Camping in Hawaii

      Your complete roadmap to camping in Hawaii.

      Your Go-To Hawaii Camping Guide

      Craving an unforgettable camping trip under the Hawaiian sun? Look no further! From lush rainforests to volcanic landscapes and pristine beaches, each island offers unique experiences for every kind of camper.

      There’s nothing better than waking up to ocean views at Kīpahulu Campground on Maui, surrounded by vibrant flowers and the sound of crashing waves. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned hiker seeking adventure trails or a laid-back beach bum craving relaxation, Hawaii’s campsites promise breathtaking beauty and memories that will stay with you forever.

      Best Places To Camp In Hawaii


      The largest city on the Big Island, Hilo offers both beach camping and volcano camping options. Camp near black-sand beaches like Richardson Ocean Park or head inland to Keaukaha Campground, nestled in a rainforest with stunning views of Mauna Kea.

      Hilo Hawaii

      Mauna Loa

      As night falls, gaze up at a sky unpolluted by city lights, witnessing a mesmerizing tapestry of stars. This is camping for the adventurous soul who seeks a truly unique experience. Embrace the raw power of nature at Mauna Loa Campground, situated amidst volcanic wonders, or hike through otherworldly landscapes of cinder cones and solidified lava flows, feeling the earth’s heat beneath your feet.

      Mauna Loa Hawaii

      Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

      Delve into the heart of a UNESCO World Heritage Site at Kīlauea Campground. It’s here that you can witness the active Kīlauea Caldera spewing molten lava and explore the fascinating Thurston Lava Tube, a cavern formed by flowing lava centuries ago. Hike through diverse terrains, from steaming vents to barren lava fields, and feel the earth’s heartbeat as you stand on the edge of creation.

      Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

      Polihale State Park

      Kauai’s Polihale State Park offers another taste of beachfront camping bliss. Escape the crowds and pitch your tent on a secluded stretch of white sand, where the sound of waves lulls you to sleep. Explore the dramatic sand dunes and hike along coastal trails, feeling the cooling trade winds on your skin. Watch the sun paint the sky in fiery hues as it sets over the vast Pacific, creating a scene of unforgettable beauty.

      Polihale State Park Hawaii


      Iao Valley’s lush rainforest and towering needle peaks offer stunning hikes, while the Road to Hana winds along a dramatic coastline, revealing hidden waterfalls and secluded beaches. Campgrounds near Wailuku provide a comfortable base to explore both natural wonders and the town’s vibrant cultural scene.

      Wailuku Hawaii

      Hāʻena State Park:

      Camp steps away from the iconic Napali Coast, with its towering emerald cliffs plunging into the turquoise ocean. You can also hike the legendary Kalalau Trail, kayak through hidden coves, and witness the raw power of the Pacific Ocean crashing against the shore. This is camping for those seeking adventure and a deep connection with nature’s grandeur.

      Haena State Park Hawaii

      Things To Do In Hawaii

      Waimea Canyon

      Dubbed the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific," Waimea Canyon offers a spectacle of red rock formations that stretch as far as the eye can see. Hike along scenic trails that weave through the canyon floor, discovering hidden gems like Waipo'o Falls, a cascading ribbon of water surrounded by lush greenery. Another treat? Gaze at the dramatic vistas, feel the cool mountain air invigorate your soul, and be inspired by the sheer power of nature's artistry.

      Na Pali Coast

      The Na Pali Coast is a rugged masterpiece sculpted by emerald cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and hidden coves. Feel free to kayak through secluded bays, marvel at the iconic Bali Hai rock formation, and keep an eye out for playful pods of dolphins dancing in crystal-clear waters. Other activities include hiking the Kalalau Trail for panoramic views and hidden beaches or simply relaxing on a boat tour.

      Molokini Crater

      Step into an underwater wonderland within the crescent-shaped Molokini Crater, a sunken volcanic caldera teeming with life. Snorkel or scuba dive amidst vibrant coral reefs teeming with colorful fish, graceful manta rays, and playful Hawaiian green sea turtles. Explore hidden caverns, marvel at the underwater rock formations, and discover the magic teeming beneath the turquoise waves.

      Haleakala National Park

      Hike above the clouds and witness a sunrise unlike any other atop Haleakala Crater, the world's largest dormant volcano. As the first rays of light paint the vast crater floor in a kaleidoscope of colors, feel humbled by the immensity of nature's power. Hike or bike scenic trails, delve into the Haleakala Visitor Center to uncover the volcano's secrets, and under a blanket of stars, become one with the universe in this celestial haven.

      Hanalei Bay

      Embrace the serenity of Hanalei Bay, a crescent-shaped haven fringed by lush mountains and framed by the iconic Makana Peak. Relax on the soft white sand, let the gentle waves lull you into a state of peace, and stand-up paddleboard across the calm waters. Immerse yourself in the laid-back charm of Hanalei town, explore art galleries and local shops, and savor fresh seafood under the golden glow of the setting sun.

      Manta Ray Night Snorkel

      Embark on a nighttime snorkel adventure off Kona Coast, where you can witness the mesmerizing spectacle of manta rays gliding gracefully through the water. It’s a stunning location to witness their bioluminescent glow illuminate the ocean depths, creating an unforgettable encounter with these gentle giants.

      Polynesian Cultural Center

      Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Polynesia at the Polynesian Cultural Center. Witness traditional dances, demonstrations of arts and crafts, and learn about the fascinating history and customs of various Pacific island nations.

      Diamond Head Crater

      Hike or take a tram to the summit of Diamond Head Crater, a dormant volcano offering panoramic views of Waikiki and the Koolau Mountains. Explore the historic military bunkers, marvel at the rugged coastline, and witness the breathtaking sunrise painting the sky in vibrant hues.

      Hanauma Bay

      Snorkel or swim in the crystal-clear waters of Hanauma Bay, a protected marine reserve teeming with colorful fish, coral reefs, and playful Hawaiian green sea turtles. Learn about the importance of marine conservation and witness the underwater wonders of this vibrant ecosystem.

      Waimea Town

      Immerse yourself in the charm of Waimea Town, known for its art galleries, craft shops, and delicious local cuisine. Browse unique souvenirs, enjoy a leisurely lunch at a sidewalk cafe, and soak up the laid-back atmosphere of this historic town.

      Waipio Valley

      Hike or drive down the scenic Waipio Valley Road, a dramatic landscape with lush valleys, black sand beaches, and towering waterfalls. Explore ancient Hawaiian settlements, immerse yourself in the natural beauty, and learn about the island's rich history.

      Featured Hawaii Parks

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      Inspiration From Our Nearby States

      Northern Mariana Islands (US territory)
      American Samoa (US territory)

      Book an RV in Hawaii

      Escape the ordinary and rediscover paradise on your own terms with an RV rental in Hawaii. Cruise along scenic coastlines, wake up to ocean views, and explore hidden gems at your own pace. Imagine stargazing under a sky bursting with constellations, toes sinking into warm sand, and meals prepared with fresh, local ingredients right outside your door. Ditch the rigid schedules and embrace the freedom of the open road – your Hawaiian adventure awaits.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Yes, permits are mandatory for all camping in Hawaii state parks and forest reserves. Permits can be obtained online or in person at designated offices. Remember, fees apply and they are non-refundable.

      This depends on your preferences! Each island offers unique experiences. Consider:

      • Beach camping: Oahu (Bellows Field Beach Park), Kauai (Haena Beach Park), Maui (Wai‘anapanapa State Park)
      • Forest camping: Hawaii Island (Keauhou Campground in Volcanoes National Park), Maui (Kipahulu Campground in Haleakala National Park)
      • Remote camping: Kauai (Kalalau Trail), Molokai (Kalaupapa National Historical Park)

      Free camping is unfortunately prohibited on all public lands in Hawaii. Remember, permits are required even for primitive campsites. Consider private campgrounds or glamping options if budgeting is tight.

      Unfortunately, no. Camping is only allowed in designated campgrounds within Hawaii's state parks, forest reserves, or private campgrounds. Additionally, each location might have specific restrictions like permit requirements, fire bans, or pet policies. Always research your chosen spot before packing up.

      Each island offers unique camping experiences:

      • Oahu: Best for beach camping with easy access to amenities.
      • Maui: Diverse options, from beachside serenity to Haleakala's stunning vistas.
      • Kauai: Lush landscapes and remote adventures like the Nāpali Coast.
      • Hawaii Island: Volcanoes National Park for dramatic scenery and unique ecosystems.
      • Molokai: Secluded and less crowded, with historical sites like Kalaupapa National Historical Park.

      The "best" island depends on your priorities. Research each option and consider factors like desired landscape, difficulty level, and amenities availability.

      Camping fees vary depending on the island, campground, and facilities offered. Expect to pay between $10-$30 per night for basic sites, with higher costs for beachfront or more developed locations. Remember to factor in permit fees on top of campsite charges.

      Open fires are often prohibited in Hawaii due to fire risk and cultural sensitivities. Campgrounds with designated fire rings may allow controlled fires, but always check specific regulations and obtain necessary permits before using them.

      Pet policies vary depending on the campground. Some allow pets with leash and vaccination requirements, while others might not. Always check specific regulations before bringing your furry friend along.

      Camping directly on most beaches in Hawaii is prohibited. Designated campgrounds are generally located inland, offering dedicated spaces for safe and responsible camping.

      Become a Go Camping America Member!

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