Camping in Kauai

Wild landscapes await adventurers on the Garden Isle.

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Camping on Kauai guide

Swathes of tropical rainforest, soaring coastal cliffs, and lush green valleys blanket Kauai, Hawaii’s northernmost island. If you’re looking to discover Hawaii’s natural wonders, the Garden Isle is the place to do it, whether hiking through the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific," swimming beneath waterfalls, or snorkeling and surfing along golden sands. Campers can choose from an array of campgrounds with options ranging from beachside tent sites to rustic mountain cabins, and with daytime temperatures rarely falling below 74°F (24°C), camping is enjoyable year-round. If camping in winter, come prepared for rain, as Kauai gets more than its fair share of Hawaii’s wet weather.

Where to Go

Na Pali & the North Coast

The rainforest-cloaked North Shore is dotted with glam resorts, sweeping bays, and coastal campgrounds. Swimming, snorkeling, and windsurfing are on the menu at Anini Beach, Haena Beach, and Hanalei Black Pot Beach, all of which have campsites, while hikers can hop between sea caves and waterfalls along the Kalalau Trail. In the northwest, the Na Pali region is renowned for its soaring sea cliffs and spectacular views, with four public campsites to choose from.

West Kauai

Hikers will find their slice of Hawaiian paradise in West Kauai, where the sweeping mountain landscapes provide plenty of opportunities to escape the crowds. The dramatic scenery of Waimea Canyon is the big draw for adventurers, along with nearby Kokee State Park and its modern cabins and tent sites. Prefer beachfront camping? You’ll need a permit to pitch your tent along Polihale Beach State Park, home to one of Hawaii’s longest beaches.

East Kauai

Coconut palms and sugar-white sands fringe the aptly nicknamed “Coconut Coast” of east Kauai, and you won’t have to travel far to find a beach view or a waterfall—Wailua Falls and Opaeka’a Falls pull in the biggest crowds. Camping options are limited along this wild stretch of coast, but Anahola Beach Park on the northeast shore and Hanama'ulu Beach Park, further south, both have seafront campsites.

Lihue & the South

Sunseekers make a beeline for Kauai’s south shore, and the coast around Poipu is lined with idyllic beaches and lively resorts. The National Tropical Botanical Garden and the blowhole at Spouting Horn Beach Park are both must-sees, but you can also camp along wild beaches at Lucy Wright Beach Park or explore the salt pools and snorkeling holes at Salt Pond Beach Park. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, camping is allowed in Kauai, Hawaii. There are several campgrounds and parks on the island where you can set up camp and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Some popular camping locations in Kauai include Haena Beach Park, Anini Beach Park, and Polihale State Park. Keep in mind that permits are often required for camping in Kauai, so be sure to check with the specific campground or park for their regulations and requirements.

In Kauai, camping on the beach is legal only in designated beach parks and campgrounds. You will need to obtain a camping permit from the County of Kauai or the State of Hawaii, depending on the location. Some popular beach campgrounds in Kauai include Anini Beach Park, Haena Beach Park, and Salt Pond Beach Park. Camping outside of designated areas, including on the beach, is illegal and can result in fines. To learn more about beach camping in Kauai and to find campgrounds, visit Hipcamp.

To camp in Kauai, follow these steps:

  1. Choose a campground: Kauai offers various campgrounds, including state parks, county parks, and private campsites. Some popular options include:
  2. Obtain necessary permits: For state and county parks, you'll need to obtain a camping permit. You can apply online through the Hawaii State Parks website or the Kauai County Parks website. For private campsites, follow the reservation process provided by the campsite.
  3. Prepare your gear: Pack essential camping equipment, such as a tent, sleeping bag, cooking gear, food, water, and appropriate clothing for Kauai's tropical climate. Don't forget sunscreen, insect repellent, and a first-aid kit.
  4. Follow camping rules and regulations: Adhere to the rules and regulations of the campground you choose, including quiet hours, fire restrictions, and waste disposal. Leave no trace and respect the environment.
  5. Enjoy outdoor activities: Kauai offers various outdoor activities, such as hiking, surfing, swimming, snorkeling, and exploring the island's natural beauty. Plan your activities and make the most of your camping experience.

Remember that reservations and permits for public campgrounds cannot be made on Hipcamp, but you can learn about them and find information on private campgrounds.

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