Free parking for Hawaii residents

HAENA — Thirty parking spots will be dedicated daily to Hawaii residents at Ha‘ena State Park and according to officials, reservations for Aloha State residents won’t be required.

And, the rules apply to all Hawaii residents, not just Kauai residents.

Though the road is reopening May 1, Ha‘ena State Park, Napali Coast State Wildlerness Park, Kalalau Trail and Limahuli Gardens will all remain closed into June.

So, there isn’t going to be anything open — no facilities, and no parking available at those areas until they open. Parking isn’t allowed along the road and fines for violating that parking mandate will be $200.

When Ha‘ena State Park does reopen, it will be with a new parking lot with 100 stalls — 70 for visitors to reserve online and 30 for Hawaii residents.

“It’ll be first come, first served,” said Joel Guy of The Hanalei Initiative, who has been one of the people working on the Ha‘ena Master Plan for the last 15 years. “There’s no fee for residents to get in the park or to park their car.”

After you park, you’ll present your Hawaii ID to the attendant and be recorded in the number of people in the park that day. If there aren’t any Hawaii resident parking spaces left, though, you’ll be out of luck until a Hawaii resident spot opens up.

For people who aren’t Hawaii residents, cost to enter Ha‘ena State Park is $1. Cost to park in the lot is $5 and ways to reserve one of those 70 daily-allocated visitor parking spots online are being worked out. Again, Hawaii residents don’t have to pay either of those charges.

While Ha‘ena State Park hasn’t been subject to entry fees in the past, the changes being rolled out now are to reduce the impact of use and to preserve the place.

Other parks have similiar fees. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Haleakala National Park, and Pu‘uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park all charge entry fees.

Across the United States, fees are charged at most preserves, parks and monuments. You have to pay $10 per person to visit Alaska’s Denali National Park and Reserve, $25 per vehicle to enter Joshua Tree National Park and $25 per vehicle to get into Yellowstone, just to name a few.

Just recently Horseshoe Bend added $10 entry fees because of overwhelming usage, DuPont State Recreational Forest is considering entry fees and California is talking about charging entry fees for going into its most congested areas. That theory has already been put to the test in London, Milan and Stockholm.

Mid-May, the North Shore Shuttle is sparking to life with the goal of eliminating some of the stress of finding a parking spot, not only in Ha‘ena but also to facilitate travel from Princeville to the north.

Cost for that shuttle will be $2 round-trip to ride throughout the North Shore, except to Ha‘ena. For those going to Ha‘ena State Park, the cost will be $11 — $1 to cover the park entry fee and $10 to pay for transport into the park.

The North Shore Shuttle system will honor Kauai Bus passes.

“The shuttle’s purpose is to create a system that is economic for all residents,” Guy said. “That Ke’e rider (those headed out to Ke’e Beach at Ha‘ena State Park) will help pay for that.”

The shuttle is being run as a nonprofit and is being supported by a grant received from Kauai County.


Jessica Else, environment reporter, can be reached at 245-0452 or at

  1. Makaala Kaaumoana April 23, 2019 4:39 am Reply

    Please check a map. Princeville to Ha’ena is heading west not north.

  2. Susan April 23, 2019 6:27 am Reply

    I think all visitors should have to take the shuttle and the parking spots only available for Hawaii residents. 30 parking spots is not adequate.

    1. Jen April 24, 2019 9:21 am Reply

      Susan….. good idea!!

      1. Jenifer Prince June 18, 2019 10:44 am Reply
        I completely agree it is insulting to residents that there are only 30 parking stalls. Also definitely not enough educational signs like stay out of the taro patch and etc.

  3. truth be knowns April 23, 2019 6:33 am Reply

    If I’m reading this article correctly, a Hawaiian family of 4 will have to pay $44.00 if they wish to take the shuttle to Ke’e beach? Otherwise they will join the Hawaiians riding back and forth jockeying for one of the 30 parking spaces made available to them. Not my idea of a fun day at the beach. How about a shuttle service taking passengers anywhere on the North Shore including all the way to Ke’e for $2.00 apiece.

  4. Jeffrey Kimoto April 23, 2019 7:05 am Reply

    Great concept. Now do the same for Kokee Canyon.

  5. Keneke April 23, 2019 7:21 am Reply

    Will parking being allowed at Lumahai Beach during the month of May?

  6. JB April 23, 2019 7:43 am Reply

    the parks mentioned above charge a fee for both resident and not resident. Hawaii should do the same. The additional income could be used to maintain the parks.

  7. Charlie Chimknee April 23, 2019 8:10 am Reply

    Aloha Kakou, Aloha Jessica Else,

    Jessica, mahalo for this very thorough explain of the coming up procedure at Haena.

    A few questions…if I leave my house in Kekaha in the morning and drive to the 30 local parking stalls at the 100 car parking lot in Haena, and by the time we get there, there are no more 30 parking spaces available for my car. Does it mean we may have to wait until after sunset to get a parking space? And if we do have to wait for any length of time, where do we wait since it is a $200 fine for parking along the side of the road.

    Will Haena residents be allowed to charge for parking to residents and visitors on their private property. Some of those residents could make good 2nd incomes with Tutu becoming a “yard” parking lot attendant.

    You didn’t specifically mention that if there are no more 30 local free parking spaces if we can park in the visitor spaces by going online with our phones and paying for the visitor spots, and can we then enter the park for free…? Or do we have to pay based on our parking in the visitor parking stalls.

    Is there cell phone reception out there at the park entrance area so we or anyone can reserve a visitor parking spot online while waiting to enter the park?

    OK, so now that we have either a local free parking spot, or a paid visitor parking spot, and there are 6 of us in the car and already there are 895 people, local and visitor, already in the park..our 6 people will push the park total over 900. Does that mean we have to draw straws to see who sits in the car all day and cannot enter the park? Or are all 6 of us ejected for a local car with only 5 or less people…?

    Who do we sacrifice…? Jr. boy or Tutu, or does Dad get the job again? But if Dad don’t come who gonna protect us from the wild chickens, pigs, dogs, and feral cats, or any unclean hippies on the trail…? For our safety will suspicious and dangerous homeless looking unclean permanent Kalalau types who walked from Hanalei or hitch hiked from the airport, be factored in for the 900 count.

    Will local and visitor permitted campers for Kalalau be factored in as part of the 900 park visitors per day…?

    Will the hippie lifer campers finally be driven from Kalalau? What about the ones who go in by the “pirate “ boat taxi services, the “dUber” boats of Hanalei…who gonna count them if they come and go by boat?

    And if driving all the way from Kekaha and we are shut out of parking at Haena, when we drive back through Kapa’a, will we get a pass at least to not have to wait in traffic there…? Or is this 100 Car Haena Parking Lot magic number (along with the paid Haena Park Attendants) going to finally bring the overtime cops out to the intersections, or at least lower wage senior traffic monitors, and “push through” 100 cars at a time, like NON-STOP 100 Car Trains from Kapa’a to Lihue…?

    Voila…! State solves both the Haena and Kapa’a Park and Drive problems with one fell swoop…!



    1. TeamWainiha April 23, 2019 11:57 am Reply

      This by far is the most thought out comment I’ve seen yet regarding all this!
      As a resident, we are still unclear about how this is all going to work.
      I look forward to seeing if some of your points are answered.

  8. Rev Dr. Malama April 23, 2019 8:44 am Reply

    I am going to have to print this info and read it carefully before attempting to comply with all the rules…. unlike the 99 percent of the visitors who are going to IGNORE any signs, refusing to use the shuttle and throwing any parking tickets in the road because the enforcement will not exist and the overcrowding will be worse than ever….

  9. Lee April 23, 2019 9:04 am Reply

    Thanks for the updates, Jessica. Keep up the good work.

  10. Makani B. Howard April 23, 2019 9:13 am Reply

    Thirty, count ’em, 30 whole spots! Wow! Thank God we get 30 spots for our whole island to park in!

    1. lookin up, lookin out April 23, 2019 2:56 pm Reply

      makana–read it again. you get 30 spots for the whole state of hawaii residents–not just kauai

      1. Makani B. Howard April 24, 2019 8:09 am Reply

        I was being sarcastic!

  11. Marci April 23, 2019 10:40 am Reply

    Thank you for all of the hard work and planning that went into reopening the road to Ha’ena! I am very happy to hear about the new North Shore Shuttle and the online parking reservations system. The fee structure sounds very reasonable and is worth every penny! Thank you and see you soon.

  12. Debbie Erwin April 23, 2019 10:50 am Reply

    I was just wondering who gets the money they are collecting and where does it go??? As a part time resident who pays property tax year round I wont be able eligible for the Hawaiian resident drivers license so I will be screwed twice…… Also who is going to enforce this???

    1. joker April 23, 2019 8:48 pm Reply


  13. Joe Public April 23, 2019 11:37 am Reply

    North Shore residents are “soo special”, maybe now we should do the same thing for parking in Kapaa – Waimea to elevate the traffic also.

    Guess the saying about the squeeky wheel is correct.

  14. Joe Gott April 23, 2019 1:09 pm Reply

    I hope that the County realizes that it is not solving the root cause of the problem with their parking plan. Restricting the number of vehicles that can park at the beach park area will only move the same problem to a different location. The root cause is too many visitors are permitted on Kauai, and too many new dwellings are being constructed each year. The huge number of visitors, in combination with residents (whose numbers are also growing too fast) takes its toll on the infrastructure (roads, water, sewer, landfill, electricity, etc.) and natural resources. Two things are needed: (1) Stop the construction of resident and transient visitor dwellings, and (2) restrict the number of visitors per month. At some point in time, the building has to stop because the resources are already too thin. As for visitors, increase the price to visit the island through fees on flights, rental cars and lodging. How does Disney control their ever increasing crowds without having to enforce fire safety laws for the maximum number of attendees? They increase the cost to enter their parks. Sad, but true. Not everyone can afford going to a Disney park, and not everyone can afford visiting Kauai. And yes, I’m a regular visitor. If I have to visit Kauai less so that the island can be sustained, so be it. It’s a privilege to visit Kauai and the native Hawaiians.

    1. Da Shadow April 24, 2019 1:21 am Reply

      Joe Gott -“too many new dwellings”??? -where are you seeing this? I’m sure those dealing with the effects of the housing shortage would be very interesting in these “new dwellings”
      not sure where you get your information, but it is clearly false.
      also, transient accommodations are limited, there are no new ones being constructed.

  15. tae April 23, 2019 2:02 pm Reply

    How about 70 parking stalls for local residents and 30 for visitors. These are the people who should be riding the shuttle. 30 stalls is inadequate. On top of that, do you have any idea how many non-residents or temporary residents now hold Hawaii drivers licenses? How do you plan to deal with this?

    Who will be enforcing all these new rules and policies? Who is providing the busses? Where did the money come from for these busses? What will the money from the busses, parking fees etc. go toward? Where will they store these busses? Who will run maintenance on them?

    What do you plan to do for parking in Princeville? The only place available is the shopping center, but how long before shop owners start to complain about lack of parking for their patrons?

  16. jack April 23, 2019 2:21 pm Reply

    30 spots for the locals…north shore nimbys had to go and f*** it up for everyone eh…

  17. HS April 23, 2019 4:58 pm Reply

    This article at least explains a little more but still I am not sure how this is going to work out.

    Parking will be $5 a day for visitors and $1 per person to enter. So if I can purchase a parking permit days or weeks in advance, what is going to stop visitors from just paying the extra $ and reserve a spot for every day they are visiting even if they are not going to visit Ke’e every day? If I am already spending thousands of dollars to visit Kauai for a week or two, then paying $35-$70 extra dollars is nothing. So are you going to limit the amount of parking passes you sell in a day or over sell and potentially not be able to handle all the cars that are trying to park. Is it going to be “first come first served” for paid parking spots as well?

    If I purchase a parking pass and get to Ke’e only to be told there is no spot to park or you have reached the 900 person limit for the day, then what happens? Do I get a refund? Do I circle the lot with the other cars hunting down people who are leaving? Are these going to be timed parking passes, so I need to arrive and leave within a certain amount of time? If you have 70 visitor cars show up within the first 2 hours Ke’e is open and 50 cars stay all day, that does not leave very many spots for people who are showing up late morning or afternoon and trying to park. There are so many variable in this parking scenario that I think all you are going to end up with are very angry people, locals and visitors alike.

    It would be nice if you can figure out a way for people who only want to watch the sunset (so being on the beach for 30-40 minutes) be able to park and enjoy doing just that. Normally that is the only time I go to Ke’e now when visiting Kauai, but that seems like it won’t happen any longer since I am sure the 900 limit will be reached before sunset and if not, who knows if I will be able to park.

    Also, charging $11 per person to ride to Ha’ena is way too much. I thought the idea of the shuttle was to limit the number of cars trying to drive and park there. If I can park my car with 4 people in it for $5 and pay $1 each to enter the park (total $9) why would I pay $44 dollars to ride a shuttle??? You might want to consider reversing the charges and having people pay MORE to park at Ha’ena and LESS to ride the shuttle. That would make more sense.

  18. Dt April 23, 2019 5:47 pm Reply

    My gut is telling me this min wage parking attendant is going to be taking a stoner nap somewhere on the beach after skimming enough cash from the tourists. Nobody will be found to sign my local pass for the 30 spots. I could be wrong though, wouldn’t be the first. I could be right and it wouldn’t be the first.

  19. Really April 24, 2019 1:21 pm Reply

    Reserve parking spots? DUMBEST THING EVER.

  20. Patrick April 27, 2019 9:00 am Reply

    How can they plan to charge $10 per person for the shuttle but only $5 for a car of 5 people? That’s crazy! The only smart way to go there will be to drive. Not a well thought out plan.

  21. Vicky June 7, 2019 7:57 pm Reply

    Build a 10 level parking lot. It could be paid off in a few years!!

  22. Vicky munger June 7, 2019 8:00 pm Reply

    Just build a huge 10 level parking lot. Charge to park. It ll be paid for in just a few years.

  23. Lee June 24, 2019 10:51 pm Reply

    I just saw on the news that Waimea Canyon and Koke’e will be starting fees on Friday, June 28, with residents getting in free. $5 per visitor car (up to $40 for busses) plus $1 per person in the car or bus. I haven’t been in the Canyon since my hike to Nu’alolo on the day of the recent fire. Is there now a ticket booth? When I park my vehicle, how will enforcement know I’m a resident (other than that I have an old truck and no bar codes). I’m leading a Sierra Club hike up there soon. Starting Friday, visitors who hike with Sierra Club Kauai (for free) will have to pay a fee? I wish they’d provided better information earlier.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.