Explore ancient volcanoes and sandy beaches on a camping trip in the Aloha State.
Although Hawaii is around 2,000 miles from the continental U.S., it's definitely worth the flight. While this tropical island chain is known for its large resorts and sandy beaches, it’s also an incredible place for hiking and camping, not only because of its year-round warm weather, but also because of its sheer diversity of landscapes. Here you’ll find towering volcanoes, tropical forests, massive canyonlands, and historic sites where you can learn about the history and cultural traditions of the islands. And if you don’t want to stay in a resort, you certainly won’t have to: there are many places to set up your tent, from beachfront campgrounds to private retreats.
Oahu is the state's most-visited island. While many visitors head straight to Honolulu's sandy Waikiki Beach, the island offers plenty to experience outside the big city, with gorgeous beaches all over, plus tons of hiking trails. If you want to camp, you’ll find options at Ahupua'a 'O Kahana State Park and Bellows Field Beach Park, both on the island’s eastern shores.
The Big Island's size isn't its only claim to fame. It's also known for its tasty Kona coffee and for its abundance of volcanoes, including Kīlauea and Mauna Loa, both in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, one of four national parks on the island. There are also lots of places to camp on the island, including at the Kalōpā State Recreation Area and the Kīholo State Park Reserve (weekend camping only).
Maui is well known for its large resorts and gorgeous scenery, especially in the emeraldine ʻĪao Valley State Monument and from Haleakalā National Park, the best place on the island for a sunrise hike. Reservable campsites can be found at both Wai'ānapanapa State Park and the Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area. The nearby island of Moloka'i is a quiet alternative, without the big development found on other islands. Camping is available in the island's Pālāʻau State Park.
Dubbed the "Garden Isle" for its numerous gardens and overall lush landscapes, Kauai feels quieter and more laid-back than Maui or Oahu. Its best-known hiking areas include the pristine Nāpali Coast (only accessible by foot or boat) and the vibrantly hued Waimea Canyon State Park, often referred to as the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific." You can camp in the Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park, provided you obtain a permit in advance, or in Kōke'e State Park and Polihale State Park.
Hawaii only has two real seasons: a hotter, dryer summer season (April–October) and a cooler, rainier winter (November–March). The resorts and tourist destinations across the islands are at their busiest during the summer and winter vacation months, and hotel and flight prices tend to soar during these periods. Late spring and early autumn are ideal for avoiding rainfall and crowds. Flights from the mainland are generally at their cheapest between January and March.
Yes, Hawaii is an excellent destination for camping, thanks to its stunning natural beauty, diverse landscapes, and year-round warm climate. The Hawaiian Islands offer a variety of camping experiences, from beachfront campgrounds to lush rainforests and volcanic landscapes. Some popular camping spots in Hawaii include: - Big Island: With its diverse terrain, the Big Island offers camping opportunities in both beach and forest settings. Some popular campgrounds include Spencer Beach Park, Kalopa State Recreation Area, and Namakanipaio Campground in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. - Maui: Known for its beautiful beaches and lush rainforests, Maui offers great camping options like Waiʻānapanapa State Park, Hosmer Grove Campground in Haleakalā National Park, and Kīpahulu Campground. - Kauai: The "Garden Isle" is home to some of the most scenic campgrounds in Hawaii, such as Haʻena Beach Park, Kōkeʻe State Park, and Polihale State Park. - Oahu: The most populous island offers a mix of urban and natural camping experiences. Popular campgrounds include Malaekahana Beach Campground, Bellows Field Beach Park, and Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden. Remember to always respect the environment and follow local regulations when camping in Hawaii.
No, you cannot camp anywhere in Hawaii. Camping in Hawaii is only allowed in designated campgrounds, state parks, and county parks. You will need to obtain permits for camping in most locations. There are many beautiful camping spots across the Hawaiian Islands, including on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island. You can make reservations for Hawaii campgrounds on Hipcamp.
Camping costs in Hawaii vary depending on the type of campsite and location. For state and county parks, prices typically range from $12 to $30 per night for non-residents. Private campgrounds and glamping sites can cost anywhere from $50 to over $200 per night, depending on the amenities provided. You can explore various camping options in Hawaii on Hipcamp.
The Big Island of Hawaii is an excellent choice for van camping. It offers a diverse range of landscapes, including beaches, rainforests, and volcanic areas, providing a unique camping experience. The island has several campgrounds and RV parks that can accommodate camper vans. You can find more information about van camping on the Big Island on Hipcamp.