LIHU‘E — Starting next week, non-Hawai‘i resident visitors to Waimea Canyon State Park and Koke‘e State Park will be required to purchase both entrance and parking permits.
The program starts on Monday, April 19.
An entrance fee of $5 will be required per person, in addition to the already existing parking fee structure, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
The entrance fee was approved last September with amendments to the State Parks Administrative Rules. The program was originally scheduled to begin in October, however, the pandemic intervened.
“As parking and entry fees only affect non-residents and commercial users, due to the COVID-19 pandemic there was no implementation at that time, as Hawai‘i was effectively shut down to tourism,” DLNR spokesperson Dan Dennison said Monday.
As visitors began to trickle in, Dennison said, vendors that collect the parking and entry fees also began to start-up operations as they had prior to the pandemic.
A non-Hawai‘i resident vehicle fee runs $10, and a commercial vehicle with up to seven people will cost $25 for parking.
About 99% of net parking and entry profits are deposited into the State Parks Special Fund, Dennison said. These funds are utilized for park management and operations.
DLNR is also conducting repairs of the middle and lower portion of Waimea Canyon Lookout.
The $240,000 repair will take place between the middle and lower lookout which is facing severe undermining of the rock and mortar retaining walls as well as erosion around the decks and stairs due to wind and rain, the department said.
Currently, orange fencing blocks off these areas.