Remember the general Hawaii rules that the windward (east-facing) side of any island will be rainier than the leeward (west-facing) and the south side may be windier.
Also remember that although crime is relatively low in Hawaii, it does exist, so stay together, or near other people and keep an eye on your stuff, just to be safe. Don’t leave anything valuable in your car, as there are some vehicle break-ins in quiet areas, just like any other tourist area.
Haleakala National Park
Haleakala is a very large park that stretches from the ocean to the mountain and offers many camping opportunities. There are restrictions (usually you can only camp 2 to 3 nights) and you do need a permit in places.
The National park official website is here and their in-depth camping info is here — be sure to read the posted warnings and advisories as any wilderness can be dangerous.
Hosmer Grove Campground Accessible by road, located at 6800 feet elevation, near the park entrance. No permit needed. Picnic tables, barbecue grills, and outdoor pit toilets available. Usually cool and can be windy or rainy. Good stargazing.
Kipahulu Campground Accessible by road, 40 minutes South of Hana, near the ocean. No permit needed. There is no drinking water available, but there are picnic tables, BBQ grills, and an outdoor pit toilet. Kipahulu is the forest area near Oheo Gulch (formerly known as the seven sacred pools) a popular area known for its waterfalls.
Paliku Wilderness Campground Permit required, campground located after a long 10 mile hike down either the Sliding Sands Trail or the Halemau`u Trail from the summit area. Pit toilets available, but no potable water. Great views from the hike.
Holua Wilderness Campground Permit required, campground located after a long 4 mile hike down the Halemau`u trail. Pit toilets available, but no potable water. Great views from the hike.
Cabins There are cabins available at Holua, Kapalaoa, and Paliku. To reach the cabins, you must hike a minimum of 4 miles to Holua, 6 miles to Kapalaoa, and 10 miles to Paliku.
“Each cabin is allocated to one party as a unit, with a capacity of 12 people per night. Fees for the cabins are based on the number of people in the party: 1-6 people – $40.00, 7-12 people – $80.00. At least one member of the party must be 18 years of age or older. To enter the reservation lottery, write to Haleakala National Park, Attention Cabins at least 90 days prior to your trip. Include your first and alternate choices of dates and cabin preferred. The more flexible your request, the better your chance of winning a reservation.” — from http://www.nps.gov/hale/home.htm
Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area At 6200 feet elevation in Kula Forest Reserve, 9.7 miles upland from Kula on Waipoli Road off Kekaulike Avenue (Highway 377); 4-wheel drive vehicle recommended.
Great views, one cabin, in a forest reserve at elevation (gets cold). Extensive info available here
Wai’anapanapa State Park Located In Hana at end of Wai’anapanapa Road off Hana Highway (Highway 360), 52.8 miles east of Kahului Airport–3 hours drive.
Features include native hala forest, legendary cave, heiau (place of worship), natural stone arch, sea stacks, blow holes and small black sand beach.
There are several Maui County parks, but none currently allow camping due to overcrowding, abuse and squatting problems.
If you want to be near the ocean, research Wai’anapanapa State Park or Kipahulu Campground – everything else is at elevation.
Have a great trip. Lisa