Guide To Camping Koke’e on Kauai

Picture yourself at the top of a cliff, at the edge of a vast valley. There are plants of every shape and size surrounding you, from giant prehistoric looking leaves to small, delicate flowers. Parrots and butterflies glide past and down below goats, deer and wild boar can be seen munching on brush. The trek up here was lined with Banana polka (a yellow guava), Lilikoi (passionfruit), berries and plums. Down the way, little postcard-perfect cabins rest with smoke billowing from their chimneys. Where is this magical place? Koke’e, Kauai.

Kalalau Look Out Kukuiula

Located 4,000 ft above sea level on the inland western side of Kauai, Koke’e is a woodsy community unlike any other on the island. Consisting of a museum, lodge and campgrounds, Koke’e is a must-see when visiting Kauai. Koke’e showcases all of the island’s natural beauty in one place.

So how can you stay there? The first thing you need is a permit. Which can be acquired online here. Guests can camp in tents at designated areas or rent a cabin. Why not try both!?

What stops offer the essential Koke’e experience? 

waimea canyon kukuiula

The Waimea Lookout: Waimea Canyon has been deemed “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific”. Here you can find incredible views of waterfalls, mountains and winding rivers below. The Kalalau Lookout: Overlooking the famed Na Pali Beach and coastline where numerous movies (including Pirates of the Caribbean) have been filmed. This is the last look out at the very end of the road in Koke’e. There are plenty of trails to choose from but some of the most popular are: Alakai Swamp, Canyon Trail, Cliff Trail and Kukui Trail.

What should one bring to camp in Koke’e? 

napali coast kauai

If you chose to stay in tents, traditional camping gear is recommended. Such as tents, sleeping bags and insect repellent. Cabins include beds, kitchens and more typical conveniences. Due to the region’s high elevation, temperatures tend to be more chilly at night. We recommend long sleeves and pants while stargazing or roasting marshmallows over the open fire! Picnicking and bike riding are also popular activities during the day. When you escape into the quiet sanctuary of Redwoods, towering pines and surreal views, you will understand why Koke’e holds such a special place in so many people’s hearts.