ALOHA!

 

Camping in Haleakala National Park at the Kipahulu campground means setting up camp with ocean views on Maui!

 

Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park. Best camping in Maui on Hana Highway, Road to Hana. Maui Hawaii travel blog

Kipahulu campground: Haleakala National Park camping in Maui Hawaii. Hana Highway. Road to Hana. Best camping in Maui. Hawaii travel blog

 

And how about stepping outside your tent first thing in the morning and wake up to seeing a sunrise over the ocean?!

 

Best spot to watch sunrise near Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park. Maui Hawaii travel blog

 

So the first thing to know about Haleakala National Park is that there are 2 sides to the park – the coastal district and the summit district. These 2 separate areas aren’t connected by road through the park, and they are in completely separate areas, at least in terms of driving. 

The coastal district aka the Kipahulu district is on the Road to Hana side (aka East Maui), whereas the summit area is more on the upcountry side.

And yes, the Kipahulu campground is located in the Kipahulu district, so that makes the Kipahulu campground one camping spot on the Road to Hana!

This is a campground that you can drive to.

 

Drive-up camping in Haleakala National Park at Kipahulu campground. Maui Hawaii travel blog

Drive-up camping in Haleakala National Park at Kipahulu campground. Maui Hawaii travel blog

 

Camping on the Road to Hana is GREAT because it gives you more time to explore the sights along the Hana Highway. For example, see this Road to Hana camping itinerary.

Within Haleakala National Park, there’s the Pipiwai Trail, where you can see THE bamboo forest of Maui and some magnificent waterfalls at the end of the trail. In another part of the park, there is also the “seven sacred pools” here, along with a coastal trail. 

 

Things to do near Kipahulu campground: Pipiwai Trail bamboo forest in Haleakala National Park. Maui Hawaii travel blog

Things to do near Kipahulu campground: Waimoku Falls waterfalls in Haleakala National Park. Maui Hawaii travel blog

Things to do near Kipahulu campground: Seven sacred falls, oheo gulch in Haleakala National Park. Maui Hawaii travel blog

Things to do near Kipahulu campground: Coastal trail in Haleakala National Park. Maui Hawaii travel blog

Things to do near Kipahulu campground: Coastal trail in Haleakala National Park. Maui Hawaii travel blog

 

Towards Hana town from Kipahulu, within a 20 minute drive of the campground is also Wailua Falls and the Venus Pool.

Swimming is possible in both. (Flash flooding is a thing on Maui though, so take care! See this video.) In the opposite direction, I also walked part of the backroad to Hana.

See the camping itinerary for more!

 

 

See below for more about camping in Haleakala National Park at the Kipahulu campground!

 

 

🌴

 

 

 

So…

Here are some quick things to know about the Kipahulu campground

First, be sure to check for current camping updates to see if the Kipahulu campground is still closed on the National Park Service website.

 

1. Because this campground is on Haleakala National Park grounds, it requires a national park entry fee.

If you will also be going to the summit side, keep in mind that an individual pass will last for 3 days.

If you want more time, consider getting the Hawaii national park pass so you have no date restriction during your time on Maui.

 

2. Aside from the national park entry fee, camping at the Kipahulu campground is FREE!

 

3. There are no camping permits or reservations necessary, or possible.

 

4. Your camping spot is first-come first-serve.

So if you are in the area earlier in the day, it could be better to arrive to claim your spot by leaving your tent up or something.

 

5. There are pit toilets (no-flush) at the campground but no running water.

When I was there, there were a couple of bottles of hand sanitizer around since you can’t wash your hands as usual.

 

Toilets at Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park. Hana Highway, Road to Hana. Maui Hawaii travel blog
Drinking water fountain at Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park. Hana Highway, Road to Hana. Maui Hawaii travel blog

 

 

6. No running water means no showers.

 

7. You can use the bathroom right outside the Kipahulu visitor center that is about a 10 minute walk away.

This is a proper bathroom facility aka normal toilets and sinks if you want to wash up a little bit. There’s also a drinking fountain around here.

 

 

 

8. There are grills around the campground. Cook and eat with ocean views!

Campfire grill at Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park. Maui Hawaii travel blog

 

 

9. East Maui is the wet side of Maui!

Overnight rain is not unusual. You might wake up to a rainbow!

 

Rainbow at Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park. Hana Highway, Road to Hana. Maui Hawaii travel blog
Spot the double rainbow!

 

 

10. You can find some slightly more hidden campsites at the Kipahulu campground.

More on this below.

 

Hidden secret campsite at Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park. Hana Highway, Road to Hana. Maui Hawaii travel blog

 

 

11. People do car camping here.

aka camping without a tent aka sleeping in the car

Car camping in Maui at Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park. Hana Highway, Road to Hana. Maui Hawaii travel blog

 

 

12. For more official information about this campground (and to check for updated information), here’s the National Park Service website, including what’s open and what’s closed right now.

 

 

Arriving at the campground

So the Kipahulu district is at the “end” of the Road to Hana, past Hana town, when you are driving it in the normal direction that most people do. (aka when you’re not driving the backroad to Hana.)

If you’re looking at a map, the normal way is to follow the Hana Highway along the east coast, passing through Paia town. 

Here are some estimated driving times following the traditional route on the Hana Highway:

  • Paia to Kipahulu campground: 2.5 hours
  • Kahalui airport OGG to Kipahulu campground: 2.5 hours
  • Wailea (South Maui) to Kipahulu campground: 3 hours
  • Kaanapali (West Maui) to Kipahulu campground: 3.5 hours

Drive time can vary based on traffic. And of course if you want to make stops along the way! I pretty much drove straight through from Paia to Kipahulu starting at 8am and there was minimal traffic.

 

Once you start getting closer to Haleakala National Park…

 

Getting to Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park on Hana Highway, Road to Hana. Maui Hawaii travel blog

Getting to Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park on Hana Highway, Road to Hana. Maui Hawaii travel blog

Getting to Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park on Hana Highway, Road to Hana. Maui Hawaii travel blog

 

You will see a sign for Haleakala National Park!

 

Kipahulu campground Haleakala National Park entry on Hana Highway, Road to Hana. Maui Hawaii travel blog

Kipahulu campground Haleakala National Park entry on Hana Highway, Road to Hana. Maui Hawaii travel blog

 

And then once you’ve paid the Haleakala National Park entry fee or shown a park pass

 

Kipahulu campground Haleakala National Park entry fee payment. Maui Hawaii travel blog

 

You’ll see another sign!

 

Getting to Kipahulu campground Haleakala National Park parking lot. Maui Hawaii travel blog

 

So you can either head for the parking lot, which will be closer to the Pipiwai Trail and Kipahulu Visitor Center, or you can head straight for the campground.

The road to the campground will come with ocean views!

 

Getting to Kipahulu campground Haleakala National Park parking lot. Maui Hawaii travel blog

 

And then once you’re at the campground, you will see that there is a dirt road that goes around in a loop. There are campsites lined along this loop, and you can set up camp in a spot you like! You don’t need to check in with anyone or anything like that.

 

Campsites at Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park in Maui. Hawaii travel blog

Campsites at Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park in Maui. Hawaii travel blog

Campsites at Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park in Maui. Hawaii travel blog

Campsites at Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park in Maui. Hawaii travel blog

Campsites at Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park in Maui. Hawaii travel blog

Campsites at Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park in Maui. Hawaii travel blog

Campsites at Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park in Maui. Hawaii travel blog

Campsites at Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park in Maui. Hawaii travel blog

Campsites at Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park in Maui. Hawaii travel blog

Campsites at Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park in Maui. Hawaii travel blog

Campsites at Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park in Maui. Hawaii travel blog

Campsites at Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park camping in Maui. Hawaii travel blog

Campsites at Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park camping in Maui. Hawaii travel blog

Sunrise at Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park camping in Maui. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

How to find the SECRET campsites at Kipahulu campground!

Well, I’m calling them secret because I’m guessing a lot of people who arrive at the campground don’t even know that campsites exist this way. Not initially anyway. These are more hidden campsites compared to the others you’ll see immediately no matter what though!

So once you are at the campground, you will see a trail that leads to the ocean. You can basically just follow this trail to look for open campsites! 

 

Trail to hidden secret campsites at Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park camping in Maui. Hawaii travel blog

Trail to hidden secret campsites at Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park camping in Maui. Hawaii travel blog

Trail to hidden secret campsites at Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park camping in Maui. Hawaii travel blog

Trail to hidden secret campsites at Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park camping in Maui. Hawaii travel blog

Trail to hidden secret campsites at Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park camping in Maui. Hawaii travel blog

 

And even if you decide to camp in the main campground area, you can also make this a place to have lunch or dinner with ocean views! There are picnic tables.

 

Where to eat at Kipahulu campground picnic tables in Haleakala National Park. Maui Hawaii travel blog

Where to eat at Kipahulu campground picnic tables in Haleakala National Park. Maui Hawaii travel blog

 

And even if you decide not to camp or eat around one of these hidden campsites, it’s still worth going on this trail for the coastal views!

 

Coastal trail near Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park. Hawaii travel blog

Coastal trail near Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park. Hawaii travel blog

Coastal trail near Kipahulu campground in Haleakala National Park. Hawaii travel blog

 

And that’s a bit about camping on the Hana Highway!

 

Be sure to see more for planning your EPIC camping trip along the Hana Highway!

 

And 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!

And, you can also make an overnight trip from Maui to another island with some beach camping on Lanai! There is a ferry from Maui that you can take!

 

Plus, if you are interested in Kipahulu Campground, then you may also be interested in these top activities on Maui:

 

HAPPY CAMPING IN HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK IN THE KIPAHULU AREA!

 

Kipahulu campground: Haleakala National Park camping in Maui Hawaii. Hana Highway. Road to Hana. Best camping in Maui. Hawaii travel blog

 

 

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ALOHA!