Is the Hulopoe Beach campground a thing of the past for visitors? In 2020, the Hulopoe Beach campground closed because of the world travel shutdown. As of fall 2022, it continues to be closed to visitors. Check the Lanai community website for updates to see if it is still closed. Below is what was originally written.
For more camping in Hawaii, check for state park camping in Maui and national park camping in Maui. There are also state park camping cabins in Maui! In the pre-shutdown days, I did a Maui camping trip.
And, you can camp on Lanai! (Bring your own everything.)
So Hulopoe Beach Park is THE spot for camping on Lanai. It’s the location of the only campground on Lanai.
The campsite is not ON the beach, but a little bit back from the beach. Still, it will be less than a minute walk to the beach from your campsite!
Do you see the ocean in the background?!
If you see a group setting up a tent right by the picnic tables on the beach, it’s likely that they are Lanai residents.
More on the Hulopoe Beach Park campground in a bit.
Where can you camp in Lanai?
There are 3 Lanai camping spots where you can legitimately camp, according to locals who live on Lanai:
- Hulopoe Beach
- Shipwreck Beach
- Polihua Beach
Of these, Hulopoe Beach is the only official campground, and it’s the only camping on Lanai where you’ll find any sort of facilities. This also means it the only camping spot in which there’s a fee.
Camping at the other 2 beaches is basically wild beach camping. It’s you and the beach and nothing else! Consider it backcountry camping in Hawaii along the shores of the ocean! Expect windy conditions.
So the wild beach camping is free. There’s no one else around in official capacity, and you may encounter a tourist or 2. Lanai in general does not get a lot of tourists, at least compared to other Hawaiian islands!
More on getting to Hulopoe Beach in a bit, which is pretty easy.
Getting to the other 2 beaches either requires renting a jeep ($$$ – think $150-200 per day), or a combo of taking the Lanai shuttle part way and then walking the rest of the way.
You can get a shuttle on Lanai to basically anywhere there’s a paved road. Shipwreck Beach is around 2 miles from the end of a paved road. Polihua Beach is around 11 miles from the end of a paved road.
For both of these beaches, you might actually walk more depending on where you want to set up camp.
Walking across lava rocks to get to another part of Shipwreck Beach!
Also for both of these beaches, you’ll be walking on a dirt road, the same road cars drive.
Road to Polihua Beach. You will pass Garden of the Gods.
So it is possible that you can try to get a ride along the way (hitchhiking), either from the occasional tourist or local fishermen driving by.
But it’s probably best not to rely on this and go with the intention of walking the whole way.
They will only drive by occasionally, if at all.
And of course, there’s the thing about whether they will stop to give you a ride.
Okay, so that’s a bit about the wild beach camping on Lanai in case you want to give that a try in Hawaii! (And I would be interested to hear your experience if you do end up doing it!)
More below about the only campground on Lanai!
Here's some info on Hawaii trip prep!
- Maui to Lanai ferry (watch for whales during whale season!)
- Things to do in West Maui (amazing views!)
- The big list of 50+ things to do on Maui (mostly free and outdoors!)
- What to pack for Hawaii (Hawaii essentials!)
👇 Explore the Lanai map on google maps!
Hulopoe Beach Park
Hulopoe Beach is THE beach to visit on Lanai.
It’s the beach on Lanai that’s good for hanging out at, and it’s the beach on Lanai that’s good for snorkeling too.
There have also been reports of seeing dolphins swimming around here, although I did not see any.
Lanai can be good to visit as a day trip from Maui by ferry, and many people do so.
One of the most popular things to do on Lanai as a day trip is to go to Hulopoe Beach.
Hulopoe Beach can also be the perfect spot to set up a base if you’re doing an overnight on Lanai too, since it has the campground!
How to get the Hulopoe Beach camping permit
As of November 2021, the Lanai campground is not open for camping. This is according to the people who operate Hulopoe Beach Park. It has not started back up since covid:
ALL camping at Hulopoe Beach Park will not be allowed until further notice.
Although there is no Lanai camping at this time, for future reference, the full information to read, along with the e-mail contact, can be found on the Lanai community website under the “Hulopoe Beach Park camping” document.
If you are curious, this is the 2020 document. (Check the community website to see if there’s an updated version.)
In normal times, it was a good idea to make camping reservations ahead of time. In 2020, reservations were made by e-mail. If it still stays this way when camping does start back up again, then just know that there may be a bit of a delay in getting your confirmation.
The second time I went camping at Hulopoe Beach, it was a last minute booking (the evening before) and I didn’t get email confirmation. But I was still able to stay at the campground since there was availability. Still, I’d recommend making reservations ahead of time, just in case!
In 2020, the cost of Lanai camping at Hulopoe Beach was $80 a night, with a 3-night maximum.
This is a bit costly for a campground even by Hawaii camping standards, but Lanai is expensive!
There are very limited accommodation options on Lanai, so even this costly campground is a budget option when you’re looking for a place to stay on Lanai on a budget!
When I went camping at Hulopoe Beach, payment was made on-site at the campground by credit card. So no prior payment.
Getting to Hulopoe Beach
Lanai has an airport, so you can fly into Lanai. If you fly in, then you can get the shuttle from the airport to Hulopoe Beach.
If you’re coming from Maui, a popular way to get to Lanai is by ferry.
See more about taking the ferry from Maui to Lanai.
And when you’re arriving by ferry, you will arrive at the Manele Bay ferry harbor. You can walk directly from the harbor to Hulopoe Beach! It’s about a 10-15 minute walk.
There’s a small general store at the harbor, so you might want to stop by there before you leave just so you know what’s available. They do sell 21+ drinks among a few other things. You can drink at the beach park as long as you’re at the picnic tables or further back.
Checking in at the Hulopoe Beach campground
So your e-mail confirmation will include an assigned campsite number.
Once you arrive in the campground area, you can go straight to your assigned campsite.
It likely won’t be long until a beach park employee spots you and goes over to talk to you to check you in. They ride around the beach park on an ATV.
When you make your reservation, you’ll be given a phone number that you can text when you arrive too.
Hulopoe Beach Park facilities
Hulopoe Beach Park is a well-maintained beach park, and you’ll likely see staff around working on said maintenance!
It basically has standard beach park facilities, and that includes a clean bathroom and outdoor beach showers. There is a drinking fountain as well.
The Hulopoe Beach Park also has tons of picnic tables, along with a few grills, both around the campsites and in the sandy beach area.
ENJOY HULOPOE BEACH!!
What are things to do when you’re staying at the Hulopoe Beach Park campground?!
Well… the beach!
The best snorkeling is over on the left side of the bay when you’re facing the ocean.
Also starting off on the left side of the Hulopoe Bay beach, there are the Hulopoe Bay tide pools…
And there is also a trail that will take you to the Sweetheart Rock…
And the end of this trail makes a good sunrise spot too!
This area also overlooks Shark’s Bay.
You can also get down to the Shark’s Bay beach by taking a steep trail down, or by going the long way walking all along the tide pools and rock formations.
A little more here along with more hikes on Lanai.
And that’s a bit about camping at Hulopoe Beach!
Preparing for an island camping trip is a little different than preparing for a camping trip that you can drive to! Be sure to see ideas for what to pack for camping in Hawaii!
- Things to do on Lanai without a car
- Best hikes on Lanai
- Getting around Lanai
- Campgrounds on Maui with ocean views
- One week camping itinerary for Maui
- Ideas for how to spend 2 weeks on Maui
- Ideas for a jam-packed short time on Maui
HAPPY CAMPING IN LANAI!
- Best things to do in Maui
- Things to do in Haleakala National Park
- Best things to do in Oahu
- Best Oahu beaches
- Best things to do in Kona
- Best things to do on the Big Island
- Things to do in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
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Top things to pack for your Hawaii vacation!
The ultimate beach towel for travel?!Turkish towels are considered to be more absorbent and lightweight than your average beach towel. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these!
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More for your Lanai packing list
- How a cheapo waterproof phone case works
- Why wear water shoes for the beach
- Why a personal swim buoy is an essential for snorkeling and swimming in the ocean
- Essentials to pack for Hawaii
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