While planning your next vacation, you should consider visiting Wai’anapanapa State Park, which is considered to be one of the most breathtaking and recognizable parks in the state. Wai’anapanapa State Park is a beautiful vacation destination, which is perfect for traveling alone, with your family, or for couples. It features fun activities, and majestic wildlife, which covers more than 122 acres. The name Wai’anapanapa in the Hawaiian language means glistening water, which is primarily because the park features fresh water streams and sparkling pools.

Where is Wai’anapanapa State Park?

Wai’anapanapa State Park is located on the beautiful island of Maui, which features some of the most breathtaking black-sand beaches on the island. It is located at the end of Wai’anapanapa Road off, which is off the road to Hana Highway. The park features spectacular views, a small black sand beach, and crystal clear waters, along with some of the most unique sights you’ll ever see.

How to Get to Wai’anapanapa State Park?

If it’s your first time visiting Hawaii, once you land at Kahului Airport, the park is located 3 miles east of Kahului, which is approximately 54 miles away. You simply head southwest on Lanui Cir, then make a slight right on Airport Rd, turn left on State HWY 36, then continue along HI-360, followed by a left onto Honokalani Rd/ Wai’anapanapa Rd, where you’ll continue until you reach the park.

Why is Wai’anapanapa State Park Popular?

Wai’anapanapa State Park is one of the best parks on Maui Island, which is considered a remote hidden beauty. The park features countless waterfalls, along with freshwater caves, which are located near the edge of the parking lot. Years ago, the caves were once connected through a lava tube, which eventually collapsed, leaving sets of pools behind. The park remains enormously popular. Many people are familiar with the legend of the Hawaiian princess named Popoalaea who fled her cruel husband, when her husband found her hiding in the cave, he killed her. Depending on the time of year, you may see tiny red shrimp appear in the pool, turning the water red, which many believe represents the blood of the slain princess. This tale remains an important part of ancient Hawaiian history. The island also features Anchialine pools, natural stone arch sea stacks, blow holes, along with natural sea arches and cliffs, which resemble something out of a fairytale.

Parking in Wai’anapanapa State Park

One of the advantages of visiting Wai Anapanapa State Park is you don’t have to worry about spending all day looking for parking. The park features plenty of public parking, which is completely free. The parking lot is rarely crowded and has a quick turnover with little waiting. You can also park at your hotel and take a shuttle bus directly to the park.

What to do in Wai’anapanapa State Park?

Exploring the beauty of the park is enough to keep you occupied for hours. The park also is also a great place to go bird watching, where you have the opportunity to view a seabird colony. You can also explore the native Hala Forest, which features an abundance of coconut trees, as you pass through a grove of Hala Trees, which is a tree native to Hawaii. Visitors can also sit back and relax on a black-sand beach, which was created hundreds of years ago when the volcano on the island erupted. The park also contains plenty of hiking trails, such as King’s Highway, which is a 3-mile trail that overlooks the ocean. Or you could visit Kipapa O Kihapiilani Trail; it features 2 coves and is home to the Kapukaulua Burial Site.

Hotels & Place to Stay

If you’re considering visiting Wai’anapanapa State Park and looking for a hotel, you’re in luck, the park is conveniently located within a close proximity of various hotels, which include Travaasa Hana, Maui, Hana Kai Maui, and The Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort. Wai’anapanapa State Park is also located within 30 miles from Residence Inn by Marriott Maui Wailea, which is a 5-star hotel that features an outdoor pool and fitness center. The park is also the perfect vacation destination for camping enthusiasts. It offers camping facilities, along with a small lawn, where campers can easily set up their tent. You can also reserve a cabin online, which must be made at least 3 days in advance. There are also bathroom facilities located in the vicinity of the campsite.