Waimea Canyon State Park RV & Campground Guide

Hawaii

Get your camera ready – Waimea Canyon State Park contains scenery straight out of "Jurassic Park." Wild and rugged canyons stretch as far as the eye can see, with jagged red rocks peeking out from lush green jungle foliage. One glance, and you'll understand why this park, which is located on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, is often compared to the Grand Canyon. Whether you enjoy the views from the scenic overlooks along the way or get out into the breathtaking canyons on the park's hiking trails, Waimea Canyon's beauty is sure to stay with you long after your trip comes to an end. The town of Waimea is close by, and the convenient city of Lihue is about 36 miles away.

National Park Sample Image
Weather
Spring 50-65 F
Summer 55-75 F
Fall 55-70 F
Winter 50-65 F
National Park Sample Image
Trip Planner
Use our FREE RV trip planner to begin customizing the perfect RV trip. Continue
National Park Sample Image

RV Resorts & Campsites in Waimea Canyon State Park

After a day in the wilderness of Waimea Canyon State Park, an RV is a welcome place to rest. Given the remote nature of the island, an RV rental is a great way for visitors and locals to enjoy the ultimate comfortable camping trip. Keep in mind that none of the state parks on Kauai allow traditional RV camping, but campervans and smaller vehicles are fine.

Salt Pond Park Campground

Located about 18 miles from Waimea Canyon State Park, Salt Pond Park Campground is one of the most beautiful camping areas near the park. While there are no hookups, the campground offers cold showers, picnic tables, and bathrooms. Nearby, the gorgeous beach offers protected waters that are ideal for swimming, particularly for families. Campsites cost $3 per adult per night for everyone who's not a Hawaii resident. You'll need to fill out an application for a camping permit.

Haena Beach Park

Experience the north side of Hawaii when you camp at Haena Beach Park. This area is small but stunning, with views of the mountains and easy access to the beach. Enjoy the sand and the ocean for most of the year. When the waves are high, you'll see surfers carving through the water. Like Salt Pond, this spot costs $3 per adult per night and requires a permit.

RV Rentals Near Waimea Canyon State Park

Nearby RV Rentals

Restaurants

What to Do at
Waimea Canyon State Park

Inside Waimea Canyon State Park

If you're interested in a relaxing experience at Waimea Canyon State Park, explore Waimea Canyon Drive. It winds through the park, offering fantastic views; be sure to stop at the overlook areas to take in the vistas of the Kauai interior. Feeling active? Bring supportive hiking boots and take the Waimea Canyon Trail. It travels deep into the canyon, taking you to rocky points, past thundering waterfalls, and through verdant valleys. For a gentler challenge, take one of the shorter trails that start near the overlook areas along the park road.

Outside Waimea Canyon State Park

Waimea Canyon State Park is located on Kauai, which is home to some of Hawaii's most spectacular scenery. Whether you're in the mood for a day on the beach or a walk in the jungle, you'll find it nearby. While you're at it, make sure to check out the charming small towns scattered along your route.

Restaurants

Porky's Kauai

Porky's Kauai is a tiny spot that serves a variety of delicious takeaway treats. Try a Portuguese sausage, a loaded hamburger, a gourmet grilled cheese, or a rice bowl topped with pulled pork. Don't let the line fool you; it moves quickly, and the food is worth the wait.

Type: American

Location: 9899 Waimea Rd, Waimea, HI 96796

Chicken In A Barrel BBQ

Chicken In A Barrel BBQ uses a special drum-style cooker to smoke its meats, which deliver a distinctive flavor that's hard to find anywhere else in the islands. This spot is all about the meat but make sure to pair it with a side of delicious rice.

Type: Barbecue

Location: 9400 Kaumualii Hwy, Waimea, HI 96796

Island Taco

Specializing in Mexican food with a Hawaiian twist, Island Taco offers an explosion of flavors. Try the Kalua pork, or go with wasabi-seared tuna tacos; no matter what you choose, you'll get the restaurant's house-made tortillas.

Type: Tacos

Location: 9643 Kaumualii Hwy, Waimea, HI 96796

Da Pizza Place

Da Pizza Place is one of the best spots near Waimea Canyon State Park to grab a pizza. Try one of the classic combinations, or enjoy a true Hawaiian pizza. Of course, you can also build your own using a full selection of toppings.

Type: Pizza

Location: 9400 Kaumualii Hwy, Waimea, HI 96796

The Saddle Room

Dig into a hearty burger or a big salad at The Saddle Room, a small restaurant with a charming Western vibe. The garlic fries get rave reviews, and you can also choose from a wide variety of small plates.

Type: American

Location: 9852 Kaumualii Hwy, Waimea, HI 96796

Shopping

Hana Hou Gift Shop

The adorable Hana Hou Gift Shop offers a variety of souvenirs and Hawaii-themed goods, making it a great place to find anything from T-shirts to snacks.

Location: 9643 Kaumualii Hwy, Waimea, HI 96796

Aloha Theatre Inn

At one time, the Aloha Theatre Inn was a booming movie theater. Today, it houses a collection of galleries, shops, and restaurants.

Location: 3801 Iona Rd, Hanapepe, HI 96716

Eleele Shopping Center

Whether you need groceries or health and beauty supplies, the stores at Eleele Shopping Center have you covered. This is a great spot to pick up food for your camping trip.

Location: 4469 Waialo Rd, Eleele, HI 96705

The Shops at Kukui'ula

Find products from local artisans at The Shops at Kukui'ula. Come on Wednesdays to buy fresh vegetables and snacks during the farmers market, and check the schedule for the facility's frequent live music events.

Location: 2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka St, Koloa, HI 96756

Poipu Shopping Village

With its stunning greenery and outdoor walkways, Poipu Shopping Village is a pleasant spot to spend an afternoon. Browse through galleries, shop for art and souvenirs, and sip a cocktail while you watch a hula show.

Location: 2360 Kiahuna Plantation Dr, Koloa, HI 96756

Sightseeing

Koke'e State Park

Continue along the road from Waimea Canyon State Park, and you'll end up at Koke'e State Park. Equally wild and beautiful, this park is a hiker's dream. Enjoy the views of the Kalalau Valley from the parking areas, or take a magical hike to Waipoo Falls and stop at the gorgeous swimming hole for a dip at the end of the trail. You'll also find easy hikes, including the Kawaikoi Stream Trail; for a challenge, it's hard to beat the cliff views from the strenuous Awa'awapuhi Trail.

Location: Hanapepe, Hawaii 96716

Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park

On an island laden with remarkable wilderness areas, the Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park is a standout. Steep, jungle-covered cliffs drop directly into the sea, and lush green valleys boast hidden waterfalls and streams. Take in the full beauty of the cliffs on a boat trip, or hike the legendary Kalalau Trail; it's exceptionally challenging and sure to be one of the top outdoor experiences of your lifetime.

Location: Kapa'a, Hawaii 96746

Poipu Beach Park

End a day of canyon hiking with a few hours at the Poipu Beach Park. Made up of a series of half-circular stretches of sand and natural rock barriers, this beach offers calm waters that are perfect for little ones. Swim and snorkel in the protected area, or grab a boogie board and ride the waves.

Location: Hoone Rd, Koloa, Hawaii 96756

Wailua River State Park

You'll feel like you've entered another world as you boat up the river at Wailua River State Park; the water runs through an impossibly lush valley, ending at the breathtaking Fern Grotto. Learn about Hawaiian history and culture at the Wailua Complex of Heiau, hike through the forest, and enjoy the stunning views from the park's picnic areas.

Location: Kapa'a, Hawaii 96746

Surf Hanalei Bay

Feel like a true Hawaiian when you're riding the waves at Hanalei Bay. Known for its exceptional beauty – it's considered one of the loveliest beaches on the island – this bay offers gentle surf breaks and a safe, sandy bottom that's ideal for beginners. When larger waves arrive in the winter, hang out on the beach and watch the expert surfers hang ten. Don't want to surf? The beach is also perfect for swimming and sunbathing.

Location: Hanalei, Hawaii 96714

National Park Sample Image

How to Get to
Waimea Canyon State Park

Waimea Canyon State Park is two hours or less from almost every point on the island of Kauai. To get there, you'll need to take Highway 50 to Waimea; from there, head north on HI-550 until you arrive at the park.

Entering Waimea Canyon State Park

Waimea Canyon State Park is open all year. There are no set hours; the park is open as long as it's daylight. Your entrance ticket is also good at Kokeʻe State Park, which is close by.

Per vehicle (Hawaii resident) : $0

Per vehicle (non-Hawaii resident) : $5

Whether you're coming for the scenic drive or you're planning to hike through the wilderness, Waimea Canyon State Park is well worth the trip from the mainland or another of the Hawaiian Islands. If you're visiting, let us know. Tag RVshare in your trip photos, or send your most helpful tips to us by email at [email protected]