Photo by Lisa Seed lisaseed.com
The reopening of the Ha'ena State Park, the Hawaii State Wilderness Park and Ha'ena Beach Park was announced in June 2019. Once again it is possible to visit a magically beautiful area on Kauai, the road that takes you to litterally then end of the road north while travelling on Kauai.
For about one full year access to this area was not possible due to a spring 2018 flood that washed out the roads and greatly damaged the area.
There are a number of ways to get to these epic beaches, snoreling spots and hiking trails If you are new to Kauai, you might want to travel via the North Shore Shuttle where you can purchase the tickets for a ride and park entry Alternately, you can drive. You will need a parking permit and also a permit to enter the park. You can also purchase these through the North Shore Shuttle website.
A visit to Ha'ena State Park, often referred to as Ke'e Beach is well worth the trip just to view the landscape. Ke'e beach is one of the most popular on the island, it is the host of the trailhead for Kapalua Trail and offers an amazing seascape for snorkelers. Ke'e Beach offers something for everyone: beach lovers, nature enthusiasts, hikers, swimmers and the romantic.
The Napali Coast Wilderness Park and the Kapalua Trail are well known by experienced hikers and those loving wildlife. Overnight camping permits are reserved through the State of Hawaii Division of Parks Be sure to inquire about the permits well ahead of your stay on Kauai.
Recently Announced is that overnight hikers/campers will be able to leave their vehicles at the Ha'ena State Park parking lot overnight with the appropriate parking pass.
The stop at Tunnels has been temporarily removed from the schedule of shuttle stops. Tunnels is known for magnficent snorkeling with both small and large fish. Please do use your reef safe sunscreen and do not stop on the reef. A bit further down the road iand on the other side of the road is Ha'ena Beach. This is a lifeguarded beach. Take the time to walk the this beach. A special view awaits you.
The cost per ticket on the North Shore Shuttle is $15 per person and includes the shuttle ride, park entry fee and one ticket for the Hop On Shuttle.
Travelers taking the shuttle from Hanalei can park at the Waipa Park and Ride located in Hanalei. The Kauai North Shore Shuttle is for everyone! For details please see the Hanalei Initiative North Shore Shuttle
If you opt to drive to the State Park keep in mind that there is a limit of 100 parking spots. Purchase a parking and park admission ticket prior to your stay. There are three time slots for parking and if available you will be able to purchase more than one. Note that tickets cannot be purchased at the park. Print your tickets, digital tickets will not work at the Park.
The Kalalau camping reservation system reopened in July. At this time there is a backlog in the processing of applications, so apply well ahead of time. GOOD NEWS: Overnight visitors will now be able to leave vehicles at at Ha'ena State Park with the appropriate parking pass. See Hawaii Division of Hawaii State Parks for details.
Tunnels Beach, which is Haena Beach Park, does not require a park entry ticket or parking ticket. The option of driving to Tunnels is open, be aware that parking will fill up during the day. Consider the option of a Hop On Ticket reserved through the North Shore Shuttle. Note that Hop On Shuttle will stop at a number of spots along the way but does not include entry to the Haena State Park. (SEPTEMBER UPDATE: the Tunnels stop has been temporarily removed as of September 1)
HINTS for EXPLORING KAUAI NORTH SHORE ROAD
1. Plan ahead and review the options for transportation. Expect that traffic may be a bit heavy and from time to time. There will be temporary road closures for continuing work on the bridges. These dates will be published.
2. Pay attention to the schedule return trips by shuttle. This is first come, first serve in the afternoon. The last shuttle is at 5PM.
2. If you decide to drive keep in mind you will need to secure a parking permit and admission to the park in advance. Tickets cannot be purchased at the park.
3. Pack water, food and beach equipment. Check to see if beach chairs can be taken on the shuttle. Become familiar with the schedule and stops on the shuttle.
4. Use only reef safe sunscreen at this and all beaches on Kauai.
5. Bring the spirit of aloha, respect for nature and gratitude for the beauty of the Napali Coast. New limits on numbers of visitors per day are necessary to preserve this area.
6. Check schedules for temporary road closures for repair of the one way bridges on the road north (Route 560).
7. The Limuhuli Garden and Preserve is located along this road. If you plan to visit be sure to purchase a ticket for the self guided tour and parking.
Original Post: June 2019 Announcement of Opening of Ha'ena Beach and State Parks and Wilderness Park - June 2019
The North Shore of Kauai is known for its dramatic beauty, none more
spectacular than the Napali Coast. The April 2018 devastating flooding washed out the roads leading to and the infrastructure of Ha'ena and Napali Coast Hawaii State Parks. For nearly one year travel North of Hanalei was restricted so that repairs could be made.
Last month the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources announced the reopening of these two State Parks.
The Hanalei Initiative announced the shuttle reservation system for transportation to the Parks and stops along the way on June 2019. This will likely be the most convenient way to travel to the amazing spots between Hanalei and the northernmost end of the road (Route 560). Starting June 17, 2019 reservations for the North Shore Shuttle and the purchase park entry tickets will open. Actual travel via the shuttle begins on June 21.