Makena State Park RV & Campground Guide


Located just five miles south of Wailea on the island of Maui, Hawaii is Makena State Park. The park is comprised of two beaches, Makena Beach and Puʻu Olai Beach, also known as Big Beach and Little Beach. These two beaches are separated by a 360-foot-tall dormant volcanic cinder cone that is known as Puʻu Olai. This cinder cone dates back to the late 18th century when there was a major volcanic eruption that shot lava up into the sky. When the hot lava settled back to the ground and cooled, Puʻu Olai was formed.

Nearby Cities

  • Wailea, HI

  • Kihei, HI

  • Maalaea, HI

  • Kaupo, HI

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Spring 62–87 F
Summer 66–90 F
Fall 65–90 F
Winter 61–83 F
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Makena State Park

Makena State Park does not allow overnight camping.

Wai’anapanapa State Park

Play on the black sand beach at Wai’anapanapa State Park and hike through the native hala forest where you can see a cave, heiau, a natural stone arch, sea stacks, and blowholes. You must be in a campervan to camp at this state park. Rates start at about $25 per night.

  • Water hookup: No

  • Electrical hookup: No

  • Sewer hookup: No

  • Wi-Fi: No

  • Pet-friendly: No

  • Other features: Hiking trails, sandy beach

Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area

Rates start at $12 per night at Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area. This spot is located in the fog belt of the Kula Forest Reserve.

  • Water hookup: No

  • Electrical hookup: No

  • Sewer hookup: No

  • Wi-Fi: No

  • Pet-friendly: No

  • Other features: Hunting, hiking

RV Rentals Near Makena State Park

Nearby RV Rentals


What to Do at
Makena State Park

Visitors to Makena State Park love having the chance to experience the stunning, clear ocean water that is available for swimming in or just digging their toes into the fine sand of Big Beach. The waters of both beaches feature inclined shorelines, which makes them ideal for body surfing, bodyboarding, and skimboarding. There is a bounty of snorkeling spots that dot the edges of the beaches. Some animals you might spot include dolphins, turtles, and tropical fish. Hikers will love working their way up to the top of Pu’u Olai Cinder Cone Trail. When planning your trip, note that there is no drinking water available at the park, so be sure to bring plenty of your own.

Visitors to Makena State Park love hiking to the tide pools, and very experienced swimmers marvel at the incomparable surfing waves on its beaches. Animal lovers enjoy spotting dolphins out in the crystal blue water and the goats that hang out on the lava rocks. As gorgeous as both beaches in the state park are, visitors should be aware that the smaller beach permits nudity.

Inside Makena State Park

You can find many things to do at Makena State Park. You may want to spend the day playing on this park’s two beaches. While there are no lifeguards on duty, many people choose to go swimming in the water, which seldom gets above shoulder-deep near the shore. The clear water in this location makes it a favorite among snorkelers. Fishing is also available. 

Fishing Fishing

Visitors to this state park can go fishing in either the park’s 54-acre lake or the Little Pee Dee River with a valid state-issued fishing license. There is a 75-foot fishing pier on the lake for anglers to use, and there is a river access point for fishing and boating along Blow Horn Place Road.

Nature Watching Nature Watching

The state park has an abundance of options for nature enthusiasts. If you want to identify birds, you will find mynahs, black-necked stilts, warbling white-eyes, zebra doves, and so much more.

Flora and Fauna

Makena State Park is an excellent area for the identification of interesting flora and fauna. Some species you may encounter are kiawe, Texas crownbeard, seashore dropseed, and Indian camphorweed.

Hiking Hiking

Makena State Park has a couple of gorgeously scenic hiking trails available. For those looking for an easy trek, the Wailea Oceanfront Boardwalk Trail is recommended. This trail is 3.5 miles out and back. It is a very popular trail for jogging, walking, and birding, so you will likely encounter others on your journey. This trail is open year-round, and dogs are welcome, provided they are leashed. For a more moderately difficult hiking experience, the Puʻu Olai Cinder Cone Trail is a 2.2-mile hike that is a steep climb but provides an incredible view.


Non-motorized boating is permitted on the park’s lake and on Little Pee Dee River, and there is a boat launch on the south end of the lake, just outside of the campground. There is also a boat access area on Blow Horn Place. Gas-powered boating is not permitted at the park.

Swimming Swimming

The ocean waters of the beaches at Makena State Park offer some of the best swimming available anywhere. The currents and waves can be extremely strong, however, so it is only recommended for strong swimmers.

Climbing Climbing

Indoor rock climbing is available nearby at Maui Golf & Sports Park in Wailuku, about 16 miles north of Makena State Park.

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How to Get to
Makena State Park

From Wailea, you will take Wailea Alanui Drive south, which becomes Makena Alanui after about a mile. You will stay on Makena Alanui for three miles until you reach the park, which will be on your right.

Entering Makena State Park

The park is open from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, and an entrance fee of $5 per person for non-residents is required, but children under 3 years old are free. Parking for non-residents is $10 per vehicle.

Makena State Park is an exciting place to visit. Its location on the southwest side of Maui is near hiking, fishing, beachcombing, and many other activities. If you have visited this state park, share your experiences on social media. Be sure to tag RVshare in your comments. Feel free to discuss your favorite parts and share any tips you have for future visitors. Alternatively, you can share your stories and photos by emailing them to [email protected].

Frequently Asked Questions About Makena State Park

What is the best time of year to visit Makena State Park?

With temperatures that tend to not fall below the 80s during the day and the low 60s, even in the winter, anytime is a great time to visit Makena State Park. The waters that surround the island stay within five degrees of its highs all throughout the year, so it is always warm enough to comfortably swim and snorkel.

What kind of wildlife can be found in Makena State Park?

If you want to do some whale-watching, the best time to do it is from November to March. During these months, humpback whales can be spotted offshore in the channel that lies between Makena Beach and Kahoolawe Island. A pair of binoculars is all you need to watch the giant creatures leap and splash in the ocean water. Snorkeling provides the opportunity to spot endangered green sea turtles as well as corals, manta rays, butterfly fish, and eels.

Are there designated RV camping spots in Makena State Park?

There are no designated spots for RV camping in Makena State Park, but you can stay in a campervan at Wai’anapanapa State Park, about 65 miles away. About 40 miles from Makena State Park is the Polipoli State Recreation Area in Kula, which allows for tent camping. Neither of these areas has hookups available for RVs.

Do you have to reserve a camping spot at Makena State Park and what is the cost?

There is no overnight camping available at Makena State Park.

Are pets allowed at Makena State Park?

Pets are not officially allowed at the park. If having them with you is necessary, they have to be crated, caged, or on a short leash. They are absolutely not permitted to be on the beach or to enter structures.