Best Camping in Hawaii

Camping in Hawaii

By Alex Murphy

There's no doubt that Hawaii is a big draw for tourists from all over the world, but what about camping? If you look in the right place, you can find plenty of tent camping and even the occasional campground that can accommodate camper van rentals and off-road vehicles with rooftop tents.

Campedium sent a team to check out all the islands have to offer and came back with photos and even 360 videos.

Here's a look at some of the stops you can check out if you want to spend the night outside in the U.S.'s most unique state.

Camping in Oahu

Oahu is by far the most populated island of Hawaii and includes the capital city of Honolulu.

The Island has several State Parks to check out that are run by concessionaires. Some popular destinations include Malaekahana Beach Campground & Malaekahana State Recreation Area; both are beach parks on the northside of the Oahu. The recreation area provides more of a natural feel, while the beach campground has kayak rentals and a beach store.

Bellows Field Beach Park is closer to Honolulu on the south side of the island, and it's important to get reservations for camping as it's only open from Friday to Sunday. Be sure to check for other closures as well, like sea turtle nesting. Not far from there is the Botanical Gardens which has three different campgrounds to choose from.

The northwest corner of the island is the trickiest spot to find safe and secure camping that's guaranteed to be available. However, Ma'ili Beach Park is your best bet in the area.

Camping on The Big Island

The Big Island, which is actually named Hawaii, is rural compared to Oahu, with a much smaller population and a lot more land.

You'll find some of the best camping in Hawaii here, including one of the state's National Parks with Hawaii Volcanoes NP with Namakanipaio Campground. The park features one of the most famous active volcanos known as Kilauea.

The island's volcanoes are also the cause of some black sand beaches that include camping like Whittington Beach Park and Kiholo State Park Reserve.

Other spots on the island may not have the best camping but offer great activities like snorkeling at Mahukona Beach Park or amazing fishing at Laupahoehoe Point Beach Park.

Finally, for those who prefer to stay a little closer to amenities, you can check out Kohanaiki Beach Park, located near a golf resort.

Camping on Maui

Maui is one of the most popular islands to visit in Hawaii, with world-famous beaches and unforgettable hikes, and some of the best scenery in the state.

Travelers will most likely check out what's called the Road to Hana or Hana Highway, with beautiful views along the island's coast. It's important to know the road is also dangerously windy, and visitors should practice good etiquette and pull over so locals may pass.

Camping Near Hana Maui

Camping in Hana, a popular destination on Maui, offers many different options.

Waiʻanapanapa State Park offers great campsites for tents; however, the nearby crash of the ocean can be loud while you're sleeping.

The state's other National Park, Haleakalā, is located on Maui and provides some great camping for those with cars or camper vans. Visitors to the east side of the park can stay at Kipahulu Campground and enjoy great hikes, including the Pīpīwai Trail to the bamboo forest.

Camping in Upcountry Maui

On the westside of Haleakalā National Park, visitors will find Hosmer Grove Campground, which is primarily aimed at tent camping.

Camping in Lahaina Maui

Lahaina is located on the west side of the island and offers a few spots to check out, including the popular Camp Olowalu. Another option for camping in Lahaina is Papalaua Wayside Park; however, this campground is next to the highway.

Camping in Kauai

Lesser-known Kauai is nicknamed "The Garden Island" as it's known for its dramatic beauty.

Many of the best spots on this island are located on the northern coast and include Anini Beach Park and Hanalei - Black Pot Beach Park. Be sure to check with local officials before you go, as closures can happen from storms and other issues.

Visitors looking to hike the rim trail at Waimea Canyon can camp at Koke'e State Park, which is easily accessible by car.

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Recent Hawaii Campground Reviews

Lahaina, HI

Papalaua Wayside Park

Apr 19, 2022

"Last option camp"

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Currently only one opened state camp ground on Maui 04/22. They charge 10$ per person week days / 20$ per person weekend days, which is quite a lot for a state park on Hawaii. There were no showers at all. Only WC which were suprisingly quite clean. The camp is very noisy, the camp is next to the highway where is hight trafic till late night....
Read More

Zdenny
1 review
Lahaina, HI

Camp Olowalu

Feb 21, 2022

"Pretty park, but..."

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This is a very pretty private park along the water. Tent campsites look lovely! Unfortunately for those of us staying in a camper van, not so much. All vehicles including camper vans park in the same bark-covered parking lot, so there is absolutely no privacy nor anything to recommend camping here except for the lovely bathrooms, showers, and...
Read More

KyKampers
23 reviews
Kahului, HI

Kipahulu Campground

Feb 21, 2022

"Fantastic National Park"

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This campground is in the Kipahulu district of the Haleakala National Park. The campground itself is extremely basic with cooking grills and vault toilets. Drinking water is available only at the visitor's center. Sites are on a first-come, first-served basis and all are grass, not marked in any way except for the availability of a grill and...
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KyKampers
23 reviews
Feb 21, 2022

"Lovely State Park"

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Waianapanapa State Park is renowned for its black sand beach along the Hana Highway. Up to 6 camper vans are permitted per night (best to get reservations in advance and must bring printed copy). There is also tent camping available. The camper vans are confined to a small lot, but everyone stays out of everyone else's way. The gates are shut...
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KyKampers
23 reviews
Dec 25, 2019

"WOW!"

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Been there, done that = a wonderful experience! Much less $ expensive $ "housing" while on the island! You can tent or car camp here, reservations needed! There are more expensive buildings to rent, etc. but highly recommend the tent or car camping. Check the website closely and read ALL the rules. The entrance/exit gate is closed 7 pm - 7...
Read More

Fran
2 reviews