Camping in Oahu: Best Campgrounds on the Island (Guide)

Before exploring, you’ll need to obtain a camping permit from the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Once you have your license, several different types of camping are available on the island.

Beach camping is a popular option, as many beautiful beaches can choose. If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, you can try camping on one of the island’s hiking trails.

There are also several campgrounds with cabins available for rent, which offer a more comfortable option for those who don’t want to rough it in a tent.

  • Tent campers can find plenty of sites to pitch their tents, from secluded spots in the rainforest to beaches with a front-row seat to the surf.
  • RV campers will find plenty of hookups and amenities at Oahu’s many RV parks, and surf camps are a popular option for those looking to catch some waves.
  • For those who prefer to rough it, there are also several places where free camping is permitted.
  • And for those who prefer a little more privacy, there are plenty of private campgrounds where you can enjoy home comforts.

Camping in Oahu is a great way to experience the island’s beauty while getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city. And if you’re bringing your furry friend along, there are even some dog-friendly campgrounds on the island.

No matter what campsite you’re looking for, you will find it in Oahu.


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Can you camp anywhere in Oahu?

kahana valley state park
kahana valley state park

It’s essential to be aware that not all areas of Oahu are suitable for camping. In particular, it’s vital to avoid camping in regions prone to flooding or erosion.

Camping is generally only allowed in designated campgrounds run by the state or county. This means you’ll need to get a permit from the Department of Land and Natural Resources before setting up camp.

These campgrounds typically provide amenities like restrooms, picnic tables, and grills. While it may be tempting to set up camp on a remote beach or in the forest Reserve, this is not allowed and can result in hefty fines.

The penalty for camping without obtaining a permit may be as much as $500.00 and imprisonment up to 30 days. So, before going to the campsite, get a license!

Camping in city campgrounds is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and escape everyday life’s hustle and bustle.

How much are Hawaii camping permits?

Permits are valid for 3 or 5 days and cost $32 or $52, respectively. Family campsites can accommodate up to 10 people, and children of all ages are welcome.

Friday is the start of camping, and it lasts through the weekend, ending on either Monday at 8 am or Wednesday at 8 am.

How do I get a camping permit in Oahu?

Would you like to go camping in Oahu? If so, you will need to obtain a permit.

You can get permits online or in person at the Fasi Municipal Building.

When applying for a camping license, you must provide the following:

  • Your phone number.
  • The number of people at your party.
  • The dates you intend to camp.

Once your permit is approved, you can print it out or pick it up at the Permits Office.

Is it safe to camp on Oahu?

While the island is generally safe, there have been reports of crime in isolated areas, so it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings.

Oahu is also home to several active volcanoes, so campers should avoid hiking in the regions prone to eruptions. With these precautions in mind, camping on Oahu can be a safe and enjoyable experience.

Camping Campground in Oahu, Hawaii

There are several great camping locations on the island, each offering a unique experience.

Ahupua’ua o Kahana State Park

Ahupua’ua o Kahana State Park is a beautiful camping campground situated on the windward side of Oahu in Hawaii.

The campground is nestled between the Ko’olau Mountain range and the Wai’anae Mountain range and offers stunning views.

There are several hiking paths and a few swimming holes for cooling off on hot days available throughout the park for all levels of hikers.

The campground is large, with plenty of room for RVs and tents. Several cabins are also available if you don’t want to rough it in a tent.

Ahupua’ua o Kahana State Park is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and truly experience the beauty of Hawaii.

Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area

Keaiwa Heiau State Recreation Area is a beautiful campground situated on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. The campground is located among rolling hills and offers stunning ocean views. Various campsites are available, including sites for RVs and tents.

The campground has a playground, a picnic area, and a bathhouse.

Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, and picnicking in the recreation area.

Malaekahana State Recreation Area

Camping at Malaekahana State Recreation Area is an experience you will never forget.

Located on the northeastern tip of Oahu, the campground sits on a picturesque stretch of beach where you can enjoy stunning ocean views, the sound of waves crashing against the shore, and the scent of sea air.

The campground offers a variety of camping sites, each with unique features.

Sand Island State Recreation Area

Sand Island State Recreation Area is a beautiful camping spot on Oahu island in Hawaii. The campground is situated on a sandy beach, and plenty of palm trees and other vegetation provide shade.

There are also several hiking trails and a freshwater lagoon where you can swim and relax. The campground is open all year and is suited for RV and tent camping.

There are various services and amenities available at the campground, including laundry facilities, showers, and a general store.

In addition, the staff at Sand Island State Recreation Area are always happy to help with any needs that you may have.

Best Beach Camping in Oahu

Camping on the beach is one of the best ways to experience all Oahu offers. From stunning sunsets to early morning walks along the shoreline, there are countless reasons to fall in love with camping on the beach.

One of the best things about beach camping is that it fully immerses you in the island’s natural beauty.

Whether sitting around a campfire or exploring a tidepool, you’ll be surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature. And, of course, camping on the beach also gives you easy access to all of Oahu’s world-famous beaches.

Bellows Field Beach Park 

Bellows Field Beach Park is great for enjoying the outdoors and experiencing all Hawaii offers. The park is on a picturesque stretch of windward beach and offers fifty campsites. It’s also part of an operational military training zone.

The park is off-limits to everyone from 8 pm until 6 am, and no one is allowed in.

Campsite users must stay in their designated camping area at all times.

In addition to its natural beauty, the park offers a variety of amenities, including showers, restrooms, and picnic tables. The area has several hiking trails, each with a beautiful view of the sea and surrounding mountains.

Hau’ula Beach Park

Hau’ula Beach Park is a small, rural park close to convenience shopping but far from the nightlife of Honolulu. The playground, picnic tables, and pavilion are all available in the park.

  • Hau’ula Beach Park is a small, rural park close to convenience shopping but far from the nightlife of Honolulu. 
  • It’s a common choice for both tourists and locals.
  • Camping is allowed in designated areas only.

Hau’ula Beach Park is a great place to enjoy the beauty of nature and escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Kaiaka Bay Beach Park

Kaiaka Bay Beach Park is on the North Shore of Oahu and overlooks the Waialua River’s mouth. The park features good surfing and fishing when in season and is a popular spot for camping.

While the location offers stunning views, the water can be murky and unsafe for swimming during most seasons. For this reason, the gate closure hours are from 7 pm to 7 am. campers and visitors should be aware of these hours and plan their activities accordingly.

Those looking for a place to enjoy the sun and surf should consider visiting during the daytime hours when the water is typically more transparent.

Kalaeloa Beach Park

Kalaeloa Beach Park is a beautiful beach that offers good surfing and excellent fishing. Camping at Kalaeloa Beach Park can feel quiet and remote, as it should be. A printed permit is required for camping in this park.

When you Surf at Kalaeloa Beach Park, you will find the waves are clean, and the water is crystal clear. The fish in the area are plentiful, and the fishing is excellent.

The scenery is beautiful, and the atmosphere is peaceful and serene. You can find a place to camp that feels private and exclusive, or you can join other campers in one of the many areas set up for camping. 

Kalanianaole Beach Park

Nanakuli Beach Park was officially renamed Kalaniana’ole Beach Park in honor of the late Hawaiian prince.

The park is home to a beautiful beach perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and fishing. It is also a popular spot for canoe clubs to practice and compete.

Driving is not permitted in the park, but plenty of parking is available. The facilities are clean and well-maintained, and the staff is friendly and helpful. I highly recommend Kalaniana’ole Beach Park for a fun and relaxing beach day.

Kea’au Beach Park

Kalanianaole Beach Park is a beautiful oceanfront park that offers stunning ocean views. However, it is essential to note that this park is only suitable for experienced beachgoers.

Novice swimmers should avoid this area as the waves can be pretty intense. It is not permitted to drive on the campground or the highway.

Park your car in the designated parking lot or on the side of the road. By following these simple guidelines, you can help ensure that everyone can enjoy a safe and enjoyable experience at Kalanianaole Beach Park.

Kokololio Beach Park

Kokololio Beach Park is a beautiful park located on the island of Oahu. The park is always in high demand, as it features a stunning beach with crystal-clear water.

However, swimmers need to be aware of the strong surf and currents that can make swimming difficult.

The gate to the park is closed from 7 pm to 7 am, so visitors need to plan their visit accordingly. Despite the challenges, Kokololio Beach Park is worth visiting, especially for those who appreciate stunning natural beauty.

Kualoa A Regional Park

Kualoa Regional Park, is home to many ancient Hawaiian fishponds. The fishponds were built by the early Hawaiians to trap fish. The fish would enter the ponds through a small opening and then could not escape.

The fishponds were a valuable source of food for the early Hawaiians. Today, the fishponds are still used by fishermen. The fishing here can be pretty good.

The best time to fish is at night when the fish are more active. The gate to the park closes at 8 pm, so make sure to arrive before then.

Maili Beach Park

Maʻili Beach Park is a beautiful sandy beach next to a historic Hawaiian community. The beach is very popular with locals, especially during the summer months.

Driving is not permitted in the park or campground, so visitors must walk or take a shuttle bus to the beach.

Plenty of shady trees and picnic tables make it a perfect spot for a family outing.

The water is clean and clear, and lifeguards are on duty during the swimming season. Maʻili Beach Park is great for enjoying Hawaii’s sun, sand, and surf.

Swanzy Beach Park

Swanzy Beach Park is an excellent place to camp if you’re looking for a quiet spot by the water. The park is only open to campers from Friday to Monday, which helps decrease noise.

In addition, the park is close to convenience shopping, so you can easily pick up any supplies you need. Swanzy Beach Park is also an excellent place for fishing and swimming.

The water is clean and clear, and there’s plenty of space to fish from the shore. 

Waimanalo Beach Park

Waimanalo Beach Park
Waimanalo Beach Park

Waimanalo Beach Park is a beautiful place that locals and visitors enjoy.

  • The beach is well known for its pristine white sand and crystal-clear water.
  • It is also a popular spot for surfing, bodyboarding, and Stand-Up Paddleboarding.
  • The park is also home to a playground, picnic tables, and BBQ grills.

Waimanalo Beach Park is a great place to relax and enjoy the stunning natural surroundings. It is also an excellent spot for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. The park is well-maintained and has something for everyone to enjoy.

Camp Pālehula

Camp Pālehua is a special place. It is part of 1,600 acres of conservation and agricultural land owned by Gill ‘Ewa Lands, LLC (GEL). The GEL is dedicated to safeguarding the environment and cultural sites and reforesting the native forest.

The camp is perched on the southern slopes of the Wai’anae mountains, nestled in a forest with commanding views of the south and western coastline of O’ahu.

The original intent of the area was to be a haven for people who enjoy being outside, allowing them to interact with nature and appreciate Hawaii’s beauty.

The camp has undergone a significant transformation recently, with extensive work to restore the native forest.

The result is a beautiful setting perfect for camping, hiking, and exploring. I highly recommend Camp Pālehua to anyone looking for an unforgettable outdoor experience.

Best backpacking campground in Oahu Honolulu

Kamananui Trail Camping

The Kamananui Trail is a perfect hiking spot for those who want to enjoy a peaceful walk through nature without having to venture too far from civilization. The trail is located in the Kamananui Valley, just a short drive from Honolulu. 

City and county park officials have ensured that the trailhead has all the amenities that hikers might need, including bathrooms, potable water, and garbage cans. 

And if you’re planning on spending the night in the great outdoors, there are plenty of camping spots along the trail (just be sure to stay 10 feet from the center line).

However, note that all forest Reserves will be closed during Tropical Storm and Hurricane Warnings. So if bad weather is in the forecast, you’ll have to wait to hike another day.

Kaunala Trail Camping

If you’re looking for a nature getaway close to Honolulu, the Kaunala Trail Camping is the perfect spot. This trail is open only on weekends and holidays so that you can enjoy some peace away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The course begins in a stand of paperbark trees and contours in and out of several gulches so that you can get a good workout. Plus, the views of the north shore and Waianae Mountain Range are breathtaking.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can camp overnight anywhere within the trail corridor (just be sure to stay 10 feet from the center line).

Kuaokala Trail Camping

  • Kuaokala Trail is a popular hiking trail located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.
  • The course offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside and a chance to spot native Hawaiian wildlife.
  • The route follows the border of a ridge and meanders through it.

The trail proceeds along the Makua Rim. The trail goes down and up again until it reaches an intersection with a dirt road. The right corner leads to Mokuleia Forest Reserve.

There are two different ways to get to the Mokuleia Forest Reserve. The first way is to go left at the corner. The other way is to go down a dirt road, across a ditch, and up the other side.

Camping is permitted anywhere within the trail path, but it is strongly suggested to camp at the shelters. Kuaokala Trail is an enjoyable hike for people of all ages and skill levels and is sure to provide lasting memories of your time in Hawaii.

Maakua Ridge Trail Camping

The Maakua Ridge Trail is a popular hiking destination in Hawaii. Located just outside Honolulu, the trail offers stunning views of the city and the surrounding mountains.

The track is also a great place to camp overnight. There are several campsites along the route, each with its own picnic table and fire pit. The sites are first-come, first-served, so getting there early is essential if you want to snag a spot.

There are no showers or bathrooms at the campsites, so bring your own water and supplies. But if you’re looking for an adventure, the Maakua Ridge Trail is a great place to explore.

Manana Trail Camping

The Manana Trail is a popular destination for camping in the Ewa Forest Reserve. Hikers can obtain a permit to camp anywhere along the trail, but several designated campsites with shelters are preferred.

The trail traverses a public hunting area, so hikers should take precautions by wearing bright-colored clothing and staying on the path.

Camping in Hawaii’s Forest Reserves is usually in remote, mountainous locations providing a wilderness experience.

Campsites are accessed by hiking and have few or no amenities. However, hikers prepared for a primitive camping experience can find solitude and beauty in these natural forests.

Private camping Oahu

Oahu has many great private campgrounds for those looking for more privacy on their camping trip.

One option is Waimanalo Beach Park, which offers stunning views of the ocean as well as plenty of space to set up camp. Several private campgrounds are also located in the Koolau Mountains’ lush rainforest.

These campgrounds offer an authentic wilderness experience, with hiking trails and streamside campsites.

However, they also tend to be more expensive and may require reservations well in advance. For those who want to enjoy the best of both worlds, several private campgrounds are also located on Oahu’s North Shore.

These campgrounds offer easy access to the beach and plenty of privacy. No matter what camping experience you’re looking for, Oahu has a private campground that will suit your needs.

RV camping Oahu

RV camping is a great way to see Oahu. There are many beautiful places to camp on the island, and RVing provides a comfortable and convenient way to travel.

There are several things to consider when planning an RV trip to Oahu:

  1. It is essential to research the best camping spots. There are many RV parks, and each has its amenities and fees.
  2. Ensuring the RV is adequately equipped for camping is necessary. This includes having the correct insurance type and providing all the appliances are in working order.
  3. It is crucial to be prepared for the weather.

Oahu can be very hot, so it is essential to have plenty of sunscreen and insect repellent on hand. Following these tips, RV camping on Oahu can be a fun and rewarding experience.

Check out the Camper Report guide for more information on RV camping on Oahu. The website provides detailed information about RV camping spots on the island.

Oahu camping cabins

For a unique camping experience, consider staying in one of the cabins on Oahu. Nestled in the island’s lush foliage, these cabins offer a secluded getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Amenities vary from place to cabin, but most provide basic amenities like beds and electricity. There are also a few cabins that come with outdoor kitchens and showers.

Regardless of which place you choose, you’re sure to enjoy the peaceful surroundings and stunning views.

So if you’re looking for an unforgettable camping experience, check out the cabins on Oahu.

Surf camp Hawaii Oahu

There’s nothing like the feeling of catching a perfect wave. For many, the sport of surfing is a lifelong passion. If you want to take your surfing to the next level, Hawaii is the perfect place to do it.

With some of the most iconic waves in the world, Hawaii is a surfer’s paradise. And Oahu is the ideal spot to catch them. Oahu has something to offer whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer. 

Surf camp Hawaii Oahu is the perfect way to improve your skills while enjoying the island’s beauty. From world-class instructors to stunning locations, surf camp Hawaii Oahu has it all.

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