Waianapanapa State Park is situated on the tranquil island of Maui and covers about 122 acres. Its name means “sparkling fresh water” in Hawaiian due to its many fresh springs and mineral pools. The park is popular for its volcanic coastline and unique geological formations including lava tubes and sea stacks.
The park is located along the Hana Highway making it very easy for campervans to stop by at. It offers a campground along its black sand beach as well as a large seabird colony. Besides its beautiful natural landscape, the park is also a setting for many local folklore stories.
When you come to this serene state park will find many activities to try out while here. Birdwatching is one to consider thanks to the park being home to a large seabird colony. Birdwatchers will be able to view many stunning species like the Hawaiian honeycreeper, nene, and even the rare Hawaiian stilt.
You could also hike the Ke Ala Loa O Maui Trail. Spanning three miles, the trail has a 200 ft. elevation providing you with stunning views of the coast. The trail is made up of lava rocks which wind around hala trees and ancient temples. It will also take you to Hana Bay where you could swim or just go beachcombing. Keep in mind that if you plan to hike, you’ll need to watch out for some common hazards, such as strong currents by the coast and falling rocks.
Park visitors can also visit Pa'iloa Beach. Known for its black sand (believed to have been created after a volcanic explosion), the beach is bordered by waterfalls and palm trees. It also features a variety of unique shells which wash up to shore.
Camping at Waianapanapa State Park
Waianapanapa State Park allows a few different types of motorhomes, although it has special requirements as to which ones. Because of this, it’s important to check ahead of time with their guide to ensure your travel trailer is able to camp here. You do need to make a reservation for a site, and there is a fee to stay.
The park is ADA-accessible and has amenities such as restrooms, picnic tables, trash cans, water fountains, and showers. While in certain areas pets are allowed, they aren’t permitted on the campground. Because of this, it’s not the most pet-friendly spot.
Exploring the Area
This state park is located near many interesting attractions to take a trip to with your campervan. A quick drive away is the Hāna Lava Tube. Considered to be one of the largest lava tubes in the world, this area was created with massive underground rivers of lava thousands of years ago. There is a cave trail inside which can be toured with a guide where you’ll come across eels, bats, and many impressive geological structures. A flashlight is provided so you’ll be able to better see your surroundings. Once you’re done touring the lava tube, you could also try navigating through its Red Ti Botanical Garden Maze which is located on the property above.
You could also take about a 10-minute drive to see the Kahanu Garden. This national tropical garden is known for housing some of the largest hala trees in the world as well as Pi'ilanihale Heiau, one of the biggest man-made structures from Polynesia. While here, you’ll not only be able to learn more about native plants but of its history as well. Besides this, the garden also features some of the largest breadfruit cultivars on Earth. Guests can tour the area themselves or sign up to take a guided tour of the land.
When you search for an RV rental in Maui County, you could also take about a 40-minute drive over to The Pools at ‘Ohe’o. Also called the Seven Sacred Pools, this natural wonder features seven swimming holes, most of which have waterfalls and thick bamboo forests surrounding them. The pools are popular for cliff-jumping thanks to the incredible depth of them. However, due to the dangers of slipping and accidentally falling on rocks, it’s not often encouraged that you do jump from the top of them. If you prefer not to swim in the pools, you could instead take a hike around the land. The dirt paths winding through the area will take you to the top of the waterfalls as well as by vistas and jungles.
While there are a few gas stations around, they are a little far from the park. Because of this, it’s important to fill up your tank before heading out or have some extra gas on hand for your RV. While out traveling, you might also come across a few organic farms as well as fruit stands which sell fresh tropical fruit.
Waianapanapa State Park, HI is the perfect spot to start your next road trip.
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