Hawaii National Parks

The Hawaii national parks might not be numerous, but what they lack in quantity they more than make up for in quality. Complementing the national parks in Hawaii are numerous state parks that help to provide visitors with some fine destinations to consider. All of the main Hawaiian Islands, save for Lanai, have either state parks or national parks to choose from, and a few even have both. Depending on how much time you have to work with, visiting more than one of the national or state parks of Hawaii is always a good idea, especially if you enjoy the great outdoors.

Maui Parks

The island of Maui is a fine place to find yourself if you are interested in the Hawaii national parks, as it boasts a real gem. The king of the Maui parks is Haleakala National Park, which sees more than 1 million yearly visitors. The highlight of Haleakala National Park is the 10,023-foot-tall Haleakala Mountain, which is the largest dormant volcano on the face of the earth. Should you be up for a scenic drive, heading up to the summit of Haleakala awards fantastic views. While you're visiting Haleakala National Park, you will also want to take in the Seven Sacred Pools, which is part of the park. Locally known as Ohe'O Gulch, the Seven Sacred Pools area is home to a number of picturesque waterfalls and small pools.

Maui visitors who are interested in the state and national parks in Hawaii will also do well to visit the Iao Valley State Park, Banyan Tree Park, and Ahihi Kinau Natural Preserve. These parks do well to offer a variety of landscapes and settings to enjoy, which helps to make them some of the top attractions on the island.

Big Island Parks

When you want a healthy mix of Hawaii state parks and national parks to choose from, then a trip to the Big Island should be in order. In addition to boasting the renowned Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the Big Island can also claim the Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park, which is one of the top historical sites in the state. Other numerous parks dot the coastline of the Big Island, many centered around inviting beaches that are ideal for a day of fun in the sun.

In addition to the Hawaii national parks that the Big Island features, visitors will want to keep state parks like the Akaka Falls State Park and the Hapuna Beach State Park in mind. The former is where you will find the island's most popular waterfall, while the former offers what is considered by many to be the island's best beach. The national and state parks of Hawaii that can be found on the Big Island are too numerous to list, and you certainly won't be at a loss for choices.

Kauai Parks

The island of Kauai is a stunningly beautiful island to behold, and visitors who want to take in some of the best that it has to offer will want to make it a point to drop by some of the Kauai Parks. While Kauai can't claim any of the national parks in Hawaii, it does feature some pretty tantalizing state parks, none of which is more popular than Waimea Canyon State Park. As the name implies, this state park is home to the Waimea Canyon, which is easily one of the top Kauai attractions.

When you're not hiking and taking in the canyon views at Waimea Canyon State Park, you might head across the island to the Wailua River State Park. This park is home to Hawaii's only navigable river, and in addition to riverboat cruises, it is also ideal for kayaking. Hiking through the rainforest is also possible.

Oahu Parks

Oahu is home to a fairly good amount of Hawaii state parks, though you won't find any national parks here. Among the best Oahu parks is Hanauma Bay State Underwater Park, which is arguably the best place to go snorkeling and scuba diving off the Oahu coast. While Hanauma Bay State Underwater Park is ideal for underwater exploration, those who want to climb high into the sky to enjoy scintillating views of Honolulu won't want to miss Puu Ualakaa State Park. Here, you can drive or walk to the top of a 1,050-foot-tall hill and take in the city views. The best time to enjoy the views here is arguably when the sun is setting. Numerous smaller beach parks can be found along Oahu's coastline, and you're bound to end up at one or more of them when looking to enjoy some beach time. The Waimea Bay Beach Park and the Kailua Beach County Park are among the best.


Molokai is the least developed of the Aloha State islands, and while there aren't a lot of Hawaii state parks or national parks here, it isn't devoid of them altogether. The state and national parks in Hawaii that can be found on the island of Molokai include the Kalaupapa National Historical Park and the Palaau State Park. The former grew up around the Kalaupapa Leper Settlement, which is a National Historic Landmark. This leper settlement was created in the late 1800s, and you can learn all about it and view its preserved physical settings when you visit. As for the Palaau State Park, it covers some 235 acres and is an excellent place to go hiking and camping. Should you hike to the sea cliffs, you will be treated with some stunning ocean views, not to mention views of the Kalaupapa National Historical Park in the near distance. Perhaps you'll visit the Kalaupapa National Historical Park first, then set up camp at the Palaau State Park for a night or more.

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