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Camping On The Big Island

Bonfires on the beach — an open starry sky – ocean waves gently hitting the shore – Camping on the Big Island is an exciting, memorable experience that will define your trip. For those who love the outdoors, spending a night in Hawaii’s wilderness is a brilliant idea. In this article, Big Island Flow will share three of our favorite camping spots on the Big Island.

Before you being your tropical backpacking excursion, remember most campsites require a permit or payment of some type.  Hawaii has 10 county parks that all require permits. You can camp in Volcanoes National Park for a $10.00 fee along with the park entrance fee. Depending on where you go, you may be able to find some free campsites in the Big Island’s State Parks.

Laupãhoehoe Beach Park

Located in the Hamakua District on the East side of the Big Island this site was once home to the east side of the islands other deep water channel, where the army corps of engineers constructed a sea wall and boat ramp. The dense jungle beach park is great for family gatherings, festivals and relaxing meditation. Camping is allowed on site. You can sign up online here.

Spencer Beach Park

One of the most popular campgrounds on the north side of the island, this campground site is located within walking distance to the historic site of Puukohola Heiau. The remains of this site are significant because of the locations position for the conquest of Hawaii. A respected kahuna (priest) named Kapoukahi suggested building a luakini heiau (sacrificial temple) to gain the favor of the war god Kūkaʻilimoku.

Kiholo Bay State Reserve

This state campground is in development, yet open to public. Camping is allowed on weekends only (Friday through Sunday nights), and sites may be reserved up to 30 days in advance of check-in.  Overnight parking permits for campers must be displayed during park closed hours or vehicles may be cited and/or towed at owner’s expense.  Maximum three parking permits per permittee.

Kapa`a Beach Park

At this location in the Kohala district, the beaches are small and private, with few areas to swim. There are pavilions open during the daylight hours along with shaded campsites available. Restrooms and running water are limited on this site so it is advised to think ahead.

Kohanaiki Beach Park

Located near Kohanaiki Golf Club Community, this sandy beach and rocky shoreline has tidepools for children and some trees for shade. A popular spot with surfers to ride waves although there is a shallow reef.

Isaac Hale Beach Park

Isaac Hale Beach Park, also known as Pohoiki located in the Puna district is an oceanfront park, boat launch and surf location along Pohoiki Bay on the Big Island of Hawaii. A popular spot for surfing in Puna thanks to the southern swells that make this place one of the best places to surf on island. Along the coast there is geothermal hot ponds that some people like to explore.

Punalu’u County Beach Park

Spend a night on one of the world’s most beautiful, unique black sand beaches. Punalu’u County Beach Park is a fantastic location to pitch your tent. Here you can enjoy the ocean, but still find plenty of shade. In the morning, Hawaiian sea turtles often sunbathe on the beach. If you are lucky enough to spot these friendly creatures, be sure to be kind and respect their space. The ocean at Piinalu’u is crystal clear making it a wonderful place to swim in Hawaii’s warm waters. The ocean is often teaming with gorgeous Hawaiian fish (especially in the morning) spend the day snorkeling.

Volcanoes National Park

If you are the adventurous type spend a few nights in the back country of Volcanoes National Park. You will need to pay a non-refundable $10.00 fee, but it covers up to 12 people for 7 nights. In return, the park provides eight backcountry campsites: Ka‘aha, Halapē, Keauhou, ‘Āpua Point, Nāpau, Pepeiao Cabin, Red Hill Cabin and Mauna Loa Cabin. Volcanoes National Park is a fantastic place to explore with an endless amount to see. It is an ideal campsite for people who want to spend more time in nature.

Ho’Okena Beach Park

Ho`okena Beach Park is an ancient fishing village, as well as an olden day commercial cattle steamship pier with some remains reaching out to sea. The beach is an exotic blend of fine gray coral and white sand. Great for beginner swimmers.  You can snorkel and swim with turtles, tropical fish and occasional dolphins if you go out far enough.

The Big Island’s gorgeous climate, endless beaches, and relaxed vibe creates a wonderful camping environment. Hawaii’s beach culture makes it easy and affordable to find all of the amenities you need to stay clean, hydrated, and happy while camping. If you are lucky, you may be able to find some secret and free camp sites that will truly blow your mind. Begin planning your adventure with Big Island Flow. We are happy to help.

For a Full Listing of County Campgrounds Click Here

Where is your favorite spot to camp on the Big Island?

Thank you, for reading Big Island Flow!

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Exploring Magical Mauna Kea

According to ancient Hawaiian mythology, the peaks of each Hawaiian island are sacred. Many people believe this to be true. This is one reason (among others) that Hawaiian culture harnesses a great respect for planet earth and environmental sustainability – it’s a product of spirituality.  The summit, Mauna Kea, is one of Hawaii’s sacred peaks. So, if you visit Mauna Kea, treat the peak with the same environmental respect and care as the locals.


Spiritual and Scientific Significance

Standing 13,802 ft (4,207 m) above sea level, Mauna Kea is an ancient relic of Hawaii’s earliest landscape. This dormant volcano is estimated to be about a million years old, as a result it has been thousands of years since the volcano was active. Furthermore, Mauna Kea’s age makes its terrain more rugged than it’s neighboring volcanoes. You can sense the peak’s timeless stance; the volcano communicates wisdom and ancient truth. Mauna Kea is spiritually important and it is also used to look to the heavens. The peak’s dry environment and high elevation makes it an excellent site for cosmological discovery. The summit has thirteen telescopes and numerous observatories that eleven countries are invested in.

Visiting Mauna Kea

A 4-wheel drive vehicle is recommended if you want to explore this summit. Also, forewarning, many rental companies do not allow their vehicles on the volcano, so  if an accident happens, you are responsible. Also, you are not allowed to camp on the summit but visitors can hike to the top of Pu’u Kalepeamoa. At night, many visitors flock to the summit for dreamy stargazing. Although, because of oxygen levels, visitors will be able to see the stars best from the Mauna Kea Visitor Center.

Mauna Kea Heavens Timelapse from Sean Goebel on Vimeo.

In conclusion, Mauna Kea is an excellent attraction for travelers that want to keep their Hawaiian experience rooted in nature. To understand Hawaiian culture, it’s imperative to understand Hawaiian land.  Mauna Kea is an excellent place to start begin your lesson.

Thank you for reading Big Island Flow.

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Visit the Southernmost Point of the U.S.

Take it Chill or Live on the Edge Venture to the southernmost point of the Big Island and of the United States – Head to Ka Lae. Ka Lae is a National Historic Landmark, registered under the name South Point Complex. South Point is a brilliant spot to checkout incredible views of the great pacific. […]

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The Most Dangerous Hike in Hawaii

The Kalalau Trail

The Kalalau Trail has earned a reputation as the most dangerous hike in Hawaii and one of the most menacing hikes on the planet; it is also one of the most stunning.  In the past several years there have been numerous accounts of hikers becoming stuck and even killed on the trail. Before anyone embarks on the Kalalau Trail they should be well aware of potentially dangerous obstacles and follow the rules defined by the State of Hawaii.

An Overview

The Kalalau trail provides the only land access to the outer most part of the Na Pali Coast, offering other worldly views that are truly awe-inspiring, but only to the hikers that can brave this rigorous trek. Kauai is one of the slipperiest, wettest places in the United States. When this rainy climate meets towering sea cliffs, rocky paths, falling rocks it makes for an eventful adventure. This is a hike for experienced hikers that know when to turn back. At times, the trail must close unexpectedly because it’s simply too dangerous for visitors. The hike’s numerous valleys flash flooding is common, is especially in Box Canyon. The Kalalau trail is approximately 22 miles, most hikers need at least two days to complete the hike in-and-out. Camping is only allowed in Hanakoa Valley and Kalalau Beach, permits are mandatory.

The Kalalau Trail is certainly not a hike for the weak of heart or timid but if you are an experienced hiker you should be able to complete it. Prepare in advance. Remember that there is no fresh drinking water on the trail; you must pack-out all of your belongings; and do not hike without a permit. It is also wise to bring proper hiking equipment, including trekking poles. If you prepare in advanced you should have an experience that is unfathomable for words.  Listen to your gut.  Look well to each step. Happy hiking.

Thank you for reading Big Island Flow.

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The Wettest Mountain on Planet Earth

Kauai is a small, rainy island resting at the top of Hawaii’s island chain. It is the oldest of the Hawaiian Islands and it is known for dramatic landscapes, gorgeous plant life, and oxygen-rich air. Kauai’s age has allowed the landmass time to form stunning mountains, making it a great place for climbing, mountaineering, and hiking. This article will specifically highlight Mount Waialeale.

An Ecological Paradise

Mount Waialeale is the second highest mountain on Kauai.  In the Hawaiian language, Waialeale translates to “overflowing water” or “rippling water”. This peak is a great place for a number of adventurous activities but visitors should approach the landmass with caution; it is one of the rainiest summits on earth. Mount Waialeale is home to a number of rare plants, making it a dream destination for botanists and ecologists.

Wettest Mountain on Earth

The summit has a number of trails but they are often difficult to find and even more challenging to hike in wet weather (which is constant). Luckily, travelers can still visit one of the wettest places on Earth with the help of a guided tour or an adventure in a 4-wheel drive off-road vehicle. Typically, this mountain requires a mixture of hiking and driving along with an adventurous, flexible spirit. Before embarking on your trek be sure that you are prepared and willing to adapt to your surroundings. There are number of different guided hikes available to beginners and expert hikers. Still, it is highly encouraged that visitors (regardless of their skill level) tackle this mountain with someone familiar with the terrain.

Ambitious Topography

Mount Waialeale attracts visitors to its tropical, rainy climate and ambitious topography. While reaching the top of Mount Waialeale is a bold challenge and sometimes simply, impossible, the hike is intriguing.  Mount Waialeale is absolutely worth a visit.

Thank you for reading Big Island Flow.


Green Sands Beach Tour

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Green Sands Beach Tour


South Point
Green Sand
Beach Adventure

Call today 808-464-0840

Papakōlea Beach, more commonly known as “green sand beach” is located near South Point, in the Kaʻū district of the island of Hawaiʻi and is one of four green sand beaches known in the world.

Located at the southern tip just west of South Point. The sand is actually a green olive color caused by eruptions from what was once a volcano.

The hike to the beach is about 2 miles from where you can park or if you have an off-road vehicle, preferably at 4×4 you can drive down to the beach. Green Sands beach is just one of many reasons the big island is known as one of the most beautiful places to visit.