TRAVEL – Your guide to camping in Maui, Hawaii


August 12, 2019
Guest Writer

Maui is a stunning island that allows you to experience so much of what makes Hawaii such a unique and incredible location and a tourist destination for millions around the world. Beautiful beaches, stunning forests, and a wide array of different public parks and campgrounds really opens up the options when it comes to finding various places to toss up the tent and enjoy the best that the island has to offer.

Do I need a permit?
This depends heavily on where you are camping. If you are looking to camp in one of the state parks then you do need to contact the park and look at making reservations ahead of time. Depending on the exact campsite, area, or equipment you intend to use (tent vs camper, for example) you may need to get a special permit ahead of time.

There are also multiple areas where free camping is allowed by generally speaking if you don’t see a sign you need to assume a permit is needed, which can be acquired through a state or county office.

There are multiple places where the campsite is right on the beach, so make sure you have the appropriate gear that can be setup. Not all tent poles play nice with sand, and more self-contained pole systems more common on dome tents might be a better option that a larger more conventional cabin tent built for forest settings.

Best Maui sites
One of the amazing things about camping in Maui is just how many incredible places there are. Black sand beaches? Check – there are campgrounds in that setting! Want to camp in a volcano? That’s an option! There are many truly incredible sites and while it’s a shame if you can only visit one, you have plenty of choices for a truly great experience. Look online for companies renting camping equipment to provide you all the gear you need for your trip.

Waianapanapa State Park
The famous Pailoa black sand beach is one of the most popular areas to visit in all of Hawaii and this state park is truly stunning by any standard you use to measure it. These are popular campsites so whether you’re going with a cabin or tent camping you’ll need to apply for a permit well ahead of time to make sure you get your spot but going to sleep listening to the rhythmic lapping waves on the beach before waking up to the same, and you will get that up close island experience that you can treasure for years to come.

Haleakala National Park
Do you love to hike? If the idea of hiking up 7000 feet of Hawaiian mountains to isolated campsites sounds more like an adventure than a chore, then Haleakala National Park is definitely your type of destination! There are some really good easy to access sites at sea level but if you want that true surrounded by nature experience, then the higher altitude sites are where you want to go.

Kipahulu – Seven sacred pools
Beautiful freshwater pools fed by streams and featuring waterfalls, Kipahulu is easy to access yet somehow remains a hidden gem. The Oh’eo Gulch is quite a sight and with so many pools, waterfalls, and beautiful thriving forests it’s not hard to see why those who discover the joys of camping here tend to rave about its beauty many years after. Just try to stay here without taking dozens of incredible pictures!

In conclusion
Camping is a wonderful way to experience Maui firsthand, but it is important to go through all the proper steps to make sure you are doing things the legal way, the right way, and to enjoy the most that Maui has to offer for those outdoorsmen ready for a truly amazing outdoor adventure.


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