**IMPORTANT PARK NOTICES**
[OʻAHU] UPDATED 8/14/23: Kaʻena Point State Park – Mākua-Keawaʻula Section - DOT Makaha Bridge Replacement Project will affect access to Kaʻena Point State Park, Mākua-Keawaʻula Section in Sept. 15-17, 2023. Mākua-Keawaʻula Section will be CLOSED from Sept. 29-Oct. 1. See Kaʻena site for more details and updates.
[O’AHU] UPDATED 7/12/23: Sand Island State Recreation Area – WATER OFFLINE, in the park, facilities impacted. See Sand Island site for updates.
Polihale State Park
|Hours||5:30 am – 6:45 pm daily|
By Permit Only, Open Daily
Please note that the road leading to the park is an unimproved dirt road that may flood during rains and become impassable. Other areas have deep sand. Four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended. Rental car companies may prohibit use of their vehicles on this park access road.
Braving a long and rutted dirt road rewards the traveler with a stunning beach park. Picnicking and tent camping on wild coastline with large sand beach backed by dunes. Scenic setting, colorful sunsets and good views of the high sea cliffs of Nāpali Coast. Swimming in summer during calm conditions; shore fishing. Beware of strong, offshore currents. Hot, dry area.
2023 PUBLIC OUTREACH VIRTUAL COMMUNITY MEETING
Mahalo nui to all who were able to attend the virtual meeting on August 15 to share your manaʻo! If you were not able to attend, the recording and slides from the meeting as well as the updated draft plan that was shared are posted below. Please take the time to review the updated plan and provide your input at the SurveyMonkey link below.
Recorded virtual community meeting (Tuesday, August 15, 2023, from 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM)
Polihale State Park Draft Conceptual Masterplan
Mahalo nui to everyone who attended the community meeting at Kekaha Neighborhood Center on July 18 to share your manaʻo on Polihale State Park! In case you weren’t able to attend, the plan that was shared has been posted below along with a brief description and survey link where you can view and comment on the plan. Please take the time to check out the plan and take the survey. We are also planning to hold a virtual community meeting next month that will go over the plan and material that was shared at the July 18 meeting. If you would like to receive email updates on the project, please send an email to [email protected]. You can also check back to this website to receive updates on the project..
You can provide feedback by clicking on the following link:
Below is a JPG of the Polihale State Park Draft Conceptual Master Plan
The preliminary concepts for the draft master plan include:
- Addition of a welcome hale, parking area, and restrooms near the monkeypod tree,
- Creation of a preservation area encompassing the entire central dune system to protect endangered species and iwi kūpuna,
- Delineation of a cultural preservation area at the northern end of the beach including the lower valleys,
- Consider removal of the northernmost restroom and pavilion facilities due to water intrusion from the natural spring,
- Restoration of loʻi and/or wetlands on portions of the agricultural lands to help mitigate flooding,
- Repairs, replacement, or improvements to restrooms, pavilions, and campsites,
- Designation of appropriate beach access points and parking areas, and
- Potential expansion of the State Park boundary to include a portion of the access road that runs along the park and the northern end of the beach and mauka areas.
2022 PUBLIC OUTREACH
Mahalo nui for the amazing feedback on the kick-off community survey for Polihale State Park! We received over 1,300 responses and The State Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of State Parks (State Parks) will be holding open house talk story sessions to discuss the community feedback received and explore those ideas further with the community to identify potential improvements as well as access and management policies for Polihale State Park. Please see the survey results and reference maps below.
We encourage you to submit comments via email to [email protected].
*Navigate the Storymap to view locations of where comments were made. To view survey comments on the map, click the white arrow tab on the left of the Storymap screen.
Re-Opening Polihale State Park
7/20/22 – Overnight camping at Polihale will re-open for stays beginning August 14, 2022. Reservations will be available starting August 1. For ease and convenience, we encourage applicants to make their reservations via the online portal linked in this page.
12/4/20 – Polihale State Park has reopened for day-use only. Park is open from 5:30 am-7:45 pm daily.
9/14/20 – The DLNR Division of State Parks (DSP) is preparing for the reopening of Polihale State Park on Kaua‘i, although no firm date has yet been set. Due to overuse and abuse, the popular beach and camping area was shut down. One weekend, an estimated 1,000 people camped illegally. Reopening will likely happen within weeks, however, if park users do not comply with park rules, it will be closed again.
“Clearly we have management and enforcement deficiencies, made worse by the current pandemic and related fiscal constraints”, said DLNR Chair Suzanne Case. “We will not allow resources to be degraded, so we are asking park users to behave as expected or we will be forced to close Polihale again.”
DSP leadership has been meeting with lineal and cultural descendant families from the area to exchange ideas and formulate short, medium, and long-term plans for improved park management. Some have been granted cultural access to the park area to conduct clean-ups and mālama cultural sites, including burials, located within the sensitive dune system.
Although these families have been caring for the ‘aina for generations, many others are not aware of the cultural significance of the area. It is hoped that widespread adoption of caring for Polihale will lead to much improved compliance.
DSP administrator Curt Cottrell said, “A stewardship agreement is a potential outcome, and would be a welcome augmentation for park maintenance and management. In the near-term, DSP will install clearer messaging of park rules through new signage and printed flyers. 30 new speedbumps have already been installed to discourage speeding and damage to the parkʻs five-mile-long unimproved entry road. A decision on whether to allow overnight camping has not been made.”
Mid-term proposals include a possible permit entry system for all vehicles entering the park. A successful model has been in place for years at Oʻahuʻs Kaʻena Point State Park, where permittees are provided explicit maps of designated roads. They commit to abiding by all rules and are subject to having their access revoked if they break them.
Long-term measures include capital improvement projects aimed at protecting the dunes, enhancing access, parking, and camping areas, as well as adding better educational and interpretive devices to focus on the important cultural and natural resources of the park. Adding toilets near the Poʻoahonu (Queenʻs Pond) area of the park is also critical to protecting the sanctity of this area.
A long-standing issue is the dangerous combination of driving on the beach and camping without permits. Both are illegal activities under State Parks Administrative rules. Cottrell added, “In the future this could be regulated via a permit process or rule change but, for now, park users are reminded that driving on the beach or through the dunes is illegal. To address this issue, DSP is working towards designating certain beach areas at Polihale for restricted transiting, parking, and boat launching.”
Implementing any significant new management measures is a challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic. State budget woes and hiring freezes have prompted DLNR to encourage kokua from the Kauaʻi community. Cottrell concluded, “We’re trying determine how much people really care about Polihale’ s natural and cultural resources. Reopening with new guidelines is an opportunity to see”