Kauai is the oldest of the Hawaiian islands and the fourth largest in Hawaii. It’s garnered the nickname “Garden Isle” and stands out fairly distant from the main parts of Hawaii, roughly 105 miles from Oahu. Despite that, the island boasts lots of excellent options for camping on Kauai. Camping here is pretty reasonable, costing just $12 for state parks and $3 for county parks, all for overnight stays of up to six people.
Kokee State Park
If you want to grab a view of the Waimea Canyon, also known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” during your time camping on Kauai you’ll want to check out Kokee State Park. From here you’ll be able to enjoy seven major hiking trails, including one that takes you out along the rim of the canyon.Here you’ll get water fountains, restrooms, food, and even a gift shop. A great all-in-one spot to enjoy camping on Kauai!
Haena Beach Park
Haena Beach Park is a great spot to toss out your tent for the night. There’s the open expanse of the ocean before you, and the imposing Mount Makana behind. There are 4000 year old caves, tons of hiking trails, and beaches that are great for swimming. As an added bonus they keep a lifeguard on duty so you can enjoy the water without worry. In July and August the waters are particularly calm, making this a great spot to bring your snorkeling equipment as well as your tent.
Napali Coast State Park
Napali Coast State Park features the Kalalau Trail which spans 11 miles, running along rugged coastline, verdurous valleys, and the Kalalau beach. This is a challenging spot with high cliffs that soar to heights of 4,000 feet. Camping here requires forethought as the hike takes a full day and there’s no drinking water available along the way. Luckily, there are toilets and rain shelters, but the rest will need to be provided for by you. It’s also worth noting that the number of camping permits for this park are very limited, so book early.
Polihale State Park
Polihale State Park is a more isolated spot, featuring miles of white sand beaches, hundred foot dunes, and picturesque cliffs. You’ll need a four-wheel drive vehicle to enjoy these sights, though, as it’s down a very rough, five mile road. Swimming isn’t recommended here due to extreme rip currents, although you can find a safe spot over at Queens Pond to enjoy a little splash in the water. While there are showers and restrooms, there’s not drinking water, so be sure to pack your own in.
Salt Pond Beach Park
If you want a great option for the whole family to enjoy a bit of camping, this is your spot. On the southwest part of the island, this is a nice, six acre park to enjoy a relaxing getaway. There’s a protective inner reef that’s great for enjoying swimming with the whole family. There’s also lots of restrooms and picnic tables to make sure you’re fully taken care of. Take note that the campground is closed from Tuesdays at 10 am and reopens on Wednesday at noon.