The state of Hawaii is comprised of numerous islands, each with their own distinct landscapes and parks. From empty craters to active volcanoes, plummeting waterfalls and lava rock tide pools; the Aloha State is home to some of the most varied national and state parks in the United States. Explore each island for a breakdown of what natural beauties await you in Hawaii.
It’s no mystery why many Hawaii parks are world famous. Tourists and visitors annually flock to the islands. Once doing so, they can view teeming marine life, soaring waterfalls, plummeting canyons and vibrant rivers of lava. Hawaii hosts a total of 53 parks covering nearly 25,000 areas over five islands. These natural reserves allow for ample space to explore countless trails into the wild, and indulge in the history of Hawaii through informative museums and learning centers. Each island contains several state parks, so guests can experience the splendor first hand, no matter which island they are visiting.
The parks have various ranges of topography, from miles of dense rainforest, wilderness trails and untamed acres, to beautifully trimmed and landscaped grounds. The Hawaii state and national parks are broken down into two programs: the outdoor recreation program and the heritage program. The outdoor program encourages visitors to partake in the natural beauty of these reserves, by picnicking, camping, sight-seeing, lodging, hiking, exploring, and witnessing marine life in the ocean.
The heritage program protects spaces devoted to areas of cultural or historical significance in Hawaii. These scenic places are maintained for their unparalleled beauty and value to the state’s heritage of monuments, sites and ancient grounds. Visitors both locally and abroad are welcome to delve in Hawaii’s greatest natural wonders, while respecting the beauty of its resources.
Generic Hawaii State Park Rules
Due to the volume of annual park visitors, the Department of Land and Natural Resources has design a list of rules to protect the natural and cultural elements of the Hawaiian parks, while allowing guests to fully benefit from their experience, and preserve the park for the future visitors. All guests must adhere to the following rules:
- Drinking or possessing alcoholic beverages in a Hawaii State Park is prohibited.
- Fires are not allowed anywhere accept in the fireplaces and grills provided in the park.
- Nudity is prohibited, even in what is considered a “remote” areas or beaches.
- Pets are prohibited in all areas indicated with a sign, and are not allowed in campgrounds, swimming areas, beaches, restaurants, and pavilions within the state park. In areas that do indicate permission to bring pets, the animal must be either in a cage or on no longer than a 6-foot leash.
- Removing or tampering with plants or natural wildlife in the parks is prohibited. This includes removing “souvenirs” of natural resources, such as sand or artifacts discovered in the park.
- Dumping waste or littering of any kind is strictly prohibited.
- Driving any vehicle is prohibited except in parking areas or designated roads. Off-roading is interdicted; skating and skateboards are prohibited where signs are posted.
Kindly note that Hawaii State and National parks are home to some of Hawaii’s most endangered species and natural resources. Visitors are strongly advised not to engaging with, abuse, or in any way disturb the wildlife and terrain in the state parks, as the laws in Hawaii do not take these offenses lightly. Park visitors must be mindful of the “footprint” they leave behind, as well as their conduct and respect of the native animals and vegetation during their stay.
Any person suspected of violating these laws and park rules will be subject to disciplinary action or removal from the premises. For all on-island inquiries, call 643-DLNR (643-3567), no area code required.
For police, ambulance, search and rescue, or firemen services: dial 911 (This applies to all islands except Molokai. On Molokai dial “0”.).
Poisoning instances: 911 (on Oahu) or 941-4411. All other islands dial: (800) 362-3585.
Note that emergency calls made from public pay phones in Hawaii, are free of charge.
Civil Defense Warnings
If a Civil Defense siren should sound during your stay, (usually resembling a single tone horn, continuously ringing for as long as three minutes), dial in to a radio for emergency instructions or information given by Civil Defense. If the siren sounds without follow up information, evacuate and get to high ground as quickly as possible and take cover. This warning system has been implemented for public safety, whether from tsunamis, hurricanes, or military attacks, and necessarily must be heeded.