Rules ready when highway reopens

Jessica Else/The Garden Island

New rules and regulations will dawn with the opening of Ha’ena State Park.

HAENA — It’s going to be different for Kauai residents trying to get to Kee Beach for sunset or take a weekend hike to Hanakapiai.

Haena State Park has been closed for more than a year while the state Department of Land and Natural Resources revamps the place — bringing to fruition the Haena State Park master plan as a way to recover from the April 2018 floods.

It’s not open yet, but new rules are being outlined in preparation for Monday’s scheduled opening of not only Haena, but Napali Coast Wilderness Park, Kalalau Trail and Kuhio Highway.

And while there are exceptions for Hawaii residents on fees and reservations to enter the park, even state officials admit there might not be enough space set aside for locals.

Currently, there are 30 spaces set aside for Hawaii residents in the Haena State Park parking lot, with about 70 set aside for reserved parking. Visitors are required to reserve parking and entry to Haena and pay the entry fee online.

That number includes those available for Kauai residents.

That’s meant to limit the number of daily visitors allowed in Haena State Park to 900, far less than the estimated 3,000 people that had been visiting daily. Still, with 900 people every day filtering into a parking lot with about 100 stalls, there’s going to be a line.

“It is the intent to have adequate parking available for the anticipated local patronage,” said Dan Dennison, spokesman for DLNR. “However, the number of parking spaces may not provide a space for everyone who intends to visit the park.”

He points out the floating number of parking spaces withheld for Hawaii residents is accessed on a first-come, first-served basis and can be used without online reservation.

Nonresidents in a car will need an entry ticket to get into the park — those are reserved online.

If you don’t have a valid Hawaii ID, you’re not getting into the park without that online reservation, and you’ll have to pay the nonresident entry and parking fees.

In the spirit of trying to make sure local people can access Haena, state officials say the plan is flexible and they’ll be keeping track of usage with potential rule change if things don’t work.

“As data is collected on use patterns of Hawaii residents and visitors, State Parks may adjust the ratio of parking spaces held back,” Dennison said.

The other option is taking the new North Shore Shuttle, set to start next week.

As a Kauai resident, your options are three: take a chance on landing one of the floating parking spaces for Hawaii residents; go through the state’s online reservation system and book a spot for yourself and your car as if you were a visitor, or take the North Shore Shuttle.

“We completely understand this is a new process for many,” Dennison said.



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

  1. Andrew June 13, 2019 6:01 am Reply

    What a nightmare

  2. Chris June 13, 2019 6:33 am Reply

    Any changes to parking at Ke’e beach?

  3. dada June 13, 2019 7:30 am Reply

    What is to prevent some in Haena from hogging these “floating” spaces every morning and hawking them to people desperate to park for the day after a long trip to get there?

  4. CommonSenseish June 13, 2019 11:47 am Reply

    Absolutely no plans to go up there in the future. Ridiculous to restrict access to LOCALS when the tourists should have more restrictions.

  5. Dude June 13, 2019 12:16 pm Reply

    Whatever big government tells u now is designed to get u to agree with their process. Guaranteed locals will eventually have to pay and will be excluded.

  6. John Holt June 13, 2019 12:20 pm Reply

    Restricting Hawaiians on their own land is unacceptable and proves overcrowding. Poor planning on everyone’s part. Residents should always have the option to park and tourists should take the shuttle like any other country in the world. The people running the island is ruining the island and my ancestors are turning over in their graves. I’m disgusted!!!!

  7. numilalocal June 13, 2019 1:28 pm Reply

    Seems like all the tourists should take a shuttle and all parking spaces should be reserved for residents (and all people in each vehicle needs to be a resident with local driver’s license or ID.

    1. manongindashadow0711 June 13, 2019 4:24 pm Reply

      numilalocal, agree with you on the shuttle. However have to disagree on passengers needing to have Hawaii ID/License. Because, ” what if you as a resident of Kauai with a Hawaii ID/ License had some guest from the mainland or elsewhere. How would you be able to take them into the park?”

    2. rk669 June 13, 2019 5:49 pm Reply

      The Visiting Tourist pays Kauaians Bills! Wise Up dummy’s!

      1. Kauaistyle June 13, 2019 9:01 pm Reply

    3. Kauaistyle June 13, 2019 9:09 pm Reply

      Residents should have priority as we are the ones who pay for the infrastructure and roads etc. ….tourists can take the shuttle.
      Also I don’t know how much revenue was lost but I do know that since tourists can’t go to Haena they have been spending more time and money in Hanalei town.

  8. Aloha June 13, 2019 3:47 pm Reply

    I agree, locals should have parking and visitors should have to use the shuttle. This should be quite interesting to say the least.

  9. rk669 June 13, 2019 5:46 pm Reply

    What’s the amount of Lost Revenues for Kauai since the closing of our North Shore to date?

  10. Kauaigirl June 13, 2019 9:35 pm Reply

    Residents should be given priority as we are the TAX payers who fund the infrastructure. It is insulting to have so few resident parking spaces while giving priority to tourists. It is insulting to Hawaiians. Tourists can take the shuttle. And as far as lost revenue …i don’t know how much as we all suffered but i do know that since Haena has been closed the tourist are spending way more time and Money in Hanalei Town.

  11. kai June 13, 2019 9:36 pm Reply

    What about the keiki (kids)? How will this system work for them? Will teenagers, 18+ year olds be required to have a valid ID?

  12. kai June 13, 2019 9:39 pm Reply

    What about kids, teenagers, youth without ID’s? how will that be managed?

  13. Bruce Barnes June 13, 2019 10:18 pm Reply

    As a tourist who will be visiting in a few short days I actually agree that since there will be shuttle service, then the beach should be restricted to residents only. I’d be willing to take a shuttle. It’s not an inconvenience in my opinion.

    1. Renee Harper June 15, 2019 1:03 pm Reply

      Great job on over selling Kauai!! Now the locals will hardly be able to go to Kee Beach!

  14. Carla Watson June 14, 2019 2:36 am Reply

    Perhaps there could be designated tourist days where parking is opened.

  15. Kainoa June 14, 2019 8:26 am Reply

    This is complete BS..
    The local government is taking advantage of a natural disaster to fulfill their agenda.
    All tourists should come visiting on a trolley system and residents park in any legal spot anywhere..

    It’s bad enough we’ve had to wait a year already, now your telling us we have to pay to park if there’s even a space? That’s outrageous

    Kauai alone makes over a billion dollars a year off tourists.. no one can cry about losing money because the North shore being closed. Hanalei and Poipu haven’t lost sleep over this.. in fact I can’t even find parking in Hanalei!
    Yeah the tourists pay YOUR bills, not those who aren’t in an industry that caters to tourists. Many of us don’t get a dollar from them.

    Kauai needs real professionals and sustainable alternatives, not more catering to the tourists and to the rich.
    Once there’s import/export problems tourists aren’t going to help anyone and those that depend solely on unsustainable operations and imported goods will struggle.
    When those times come a large percentage of the ‘residents’ and there services will be useless and with nothing of real value for trade.

    There’s too much money getting pocketed that doesn’t fix these busted roads and terrible public bathrooms.

  16. Kauaidoug June 14, 2019 8:33 am Reply

    Can I as a resident, drive visitors to Kee to see with no restrictions if I do not park?

  17. Ben June 14, 2019 12:00 pm Reply

    “Residents should be given priority as we are the TAX payers who fund the infrastructure.”

    Sorry, but the lions share of the $77,000,000 used to repair the road came from mainland taxpayers.

  18. SURPRISE June 14, 2019 6:59 pm Reply


  19. Truth June 15, 2019 2:06 am Reply

    Clearly someone didn’t think this plan through in terms of distance between shuttle service to Princeville and Haena? Plus return trip before the 5:30 closure time.
    900 visitors at 30 people per shuttle at 35minutes one way, would be just
    480 visitors in 8hrs with 2shuttles full?
    and on time.I think there is only 2shuttles. Gonna be pretty empty all day…
    I like how these organizers are thinking😅
    sniffing glue anyone…..

  20. ssg June 17, 2019 2:13 am Reply

    Have always enjoyed visiting/snorkling at Ke’e when visiting. The rules seem to be in the right direction but questions are raised. How much in advance can one reserve spots,
    are there limits to the number of days a person can book, will a person book multiple days then sell them at an inflated price to tourists? will the person reserving have to be the person using the spot? what happens if weather conditions/travel complications cause a person not to use a reservation? would it become available for someone else later that day?
    I wish you success in finding a fair balance of usage for everyone in this special area

  21. Hannah June 17, 2019 7:54 am Reply

    I also agree on the shuttle but disagree on the all passengers needing Hawaii ID. I was born and raised on Kauai, but I now attend college in Oregon, therefore I only have a valid Oregon id, so if I had my family take me out there, I wouldn’t be granted access even though I grew up going to ke’e, lumis, ect.

  22. Chris Gross June 17, 2019 7:55 am Reply

    Um, not restricting locals. Where does it say locals can’t go? 2 free options. Same as it’s always been. You drive out there, no spaces, too bad. Your other local buddies already have them. What’s wrong with the Shuttle? Reduces congestion and you ride free. Save gas and frustration of driving out there. Everybody has to work together.

  23. Chad Jacobs June 20, 2019 1:42 am Reply

    As someone who loves to visit North Shore beaches every year from the mainland I have the following questions. Can I pay for a private taxi each way from a local? Could’t I walk or run each way even if I had to leave before dawn and got back to Princeville after dusk? How about walking on the beach below high water line (public)? How about bikes?

    1. Eddie Holt June 25, 2019 7:04 am Reply

      Great question Chad, what did you find out on the taxi?

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