Hāʻena State Park
4/26/19: Haena State Park, as well as, the Kalalau trail remain closed indefinitely. Please see below for more details.
|Hours||Daily During Daylight Hours|
Hā’ena State Park is located at the northwestern extent of Kuhio Highway on Kauai’s north-shore. The park offers viewing of restored lo’i kalo (taro fields) and ancient sea caves [a.k.a. wet caves] formed during a higher stand of the sea, probably 4,000 years ago, as well as, the spectacular Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park. The park also offers beach-related activities including shore fishing and swimming at Ke’e Beach. Hā’ena is also home to the trailhead of the world famous Kalalau Trail [11 miles], as well as, Hanakapia Falls trail [2 miles].
Reopening of Hā’ena and Nāpali Coast State Parks Set for June 2019 – New Reservation System
Barring bad weather or unforeseen delays in repairs or new management implementation, Hā’ena State Park and the Kalalau Trail in the Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park will reopen to visitors in early-to-mid June 2019. The official reopening date will be announced in May.
The parks have been closed since last April’s devastating flooding which wiped out park infrastructure and caused multiple landslides along the Kalalau Trail. Repairs and new improvements are continuing and are anticipated to be completed in early June.
In accordance with a park master plan and an Environmental Impact Statement adopted in 2018 (see links below), improvements installed to replace damaged ones will support a new management paradigm which includes reduced parking and visitor limits. This is an effort to decrease the impacts to park resources, mitigate the crushing effects of over-tourism on the adjacent rural community, and enhance visitor experience’s.
The new advance reservation system will be available prior to the park reopening and will coincide with a new county-supported shuttle system. It will allow visitors, with reservations, to access the park without contributing to the traffic and parking woes that have plagued the region for years. Limited parking reservations will also be available, with a new fee system in place. Hawai‘i residents are not subject to the new fees.
Alan Carpenter, Assistant Administrator for the DLNR Division of State Parks explained, “For permitted overnight campers along the Kalalau Trail, the reservation system will function as it always has, and those with permits to camp will NOT be subject to the visitor limits. However, under the new management scheme, overnight visitors to the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park will not be able to leave their vehicles at Hā’ena State Park. They will need to take the shuttle or arrange for other transportation to the trailhead. The Kalalau camping reservation system will be re-activated once the opening date is finalized.”
State Parks maintenance crews have been working over the past few months to stabilize and clear any locations on the Kalalau Trail damaged or impacted by landslides. Since February a volunteer group, the Friends of the Kalalau Trail have conducted twice monthly work days to clear and repair the trail from its beginning at Ke’e Beach to Hanakapiai Stream, which is the first two miles of the trail and the only section that is open without having to get an overnight permit.
Once the parks reopen visitors can expect construction delays on Kūhiō Highway as bridges will still be under repair. The highway is the only way into the area. There will also be new no- parking zones established and enforced outside of the park. Visitors should purchase both their park reservations and a seat on the new shuttle to assure the most efficient and stress-free visit.
State Parks Administrator Curt Cottrell said, “We appreciate and encourage patience as we establish this new system of park access, transportation, and management to mitigate the impacts of traffic on Kauai’s north shore and to make the park experience more enjoyable for residents and visitors alike.”
Hāʻena State Park Master Plan/EIS Documents
The Division of State Parks and their planning consultant, in collaboration with the Ha’ena State Park Community Advisory Committee, have worked diligently to modify the proposed park Master Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) following community input on the draft EIS. Community feedback was received at a public meeting and a subsequent open house, and the plan has been scaled back to lessen the development footprint in the park, while addressing critical infrastructure as well as vehicle and pedestrian access and overcrowding, a major concern for residents.
The Hāʻena State Plan Final Environmental Impact Statement was accepted by Governor Ige on June 25 2018, and the Hāʻena State Park Master Plan was approved by DLNR Charperson Suzanne Case on August 13, 2018 on behalf of the Board of Land and Natural Resources. These documents can be downloaded by clicking the links below.
Additional Reference Documents: