Updated September 6, 2022
Located right in the Wai’anapanapa State Park, within walking distance of the black sand beach, the Waianapanapa State Park Cabins cabins are an incredible gem.
The cabins provide a unique, rustic glamping experience that just might be the highlight of your trip to Maui.
We lucked out by stumbling upon the Cabins in Waianapanapa State Park years ago and have since stayed in the cabins many times.
Why You Should Book a Cabin In Waianapanapa State Park
If you are planning a vacation to Maui, you have most likely heard about driving the road to Hana, one of the top 10 activities found on every Maui must-do list. It is an amazing drive!
But, actually staying in Hana- that’s a whole different level of amazing.
Before driving the Road to Hana you will want to read – Driving the Road to Hana – Stops You Don’t Want to Miss. This extensive guide has everything you need to know about driving the Road to Hana.
Very few people who visit Maui actually stay in Hana and there’s a reason for that. Although Hana is arguably the most beautiful spot on the island of Maui, it is a tiny town. The lodging options are limited and extremely expensive, comparable to what you’ll find in Hanalei on the island of Kauai.
The Waianapanapa cabins are the perfect lodging option in Hana if you are looking for something comfortable, in the perfect location, and amazingly affordable.
About Wai’anapanapa State Park-
Location Location. Location. Wai’anapanapa State Park is an amazing landscape of stark contrasting colors. Bright blue ocean against the jet-black lava rock and vibrant green vegetation. It’s absolutely stunning!
The cabins are right in the park; so close to the ocean that you can hear the waves from your porch!
Most visitors drive to Hana in the morning and then back to the west side of the island in the afternoon. Wai’anapanapa State Park’s black sand beach is a popular stop along the way. So popular that you now have to make a reservation to even stop there! From 10:00 am to about 5:00 pm the beach is packed with a steady stream of visitors.
If you stay in a cabin in the state park and take the short walk to the black sand beach first thing in the morning, you might it all to yourself!
The town of Hana is a five-minute drive away and there are some beautiful beaches just past Hana. The Kipahulu District of Haleakala National Park where you can find the seven sacred pools is a twelve-mile drive from Hana. If you stay in the state park cabins you again have the luxury of beating the day-tripping crowds to the National Park.
Another added bonus to staying in the Wai’anapanapa State Park Cabins is access to a trail along the coast to the south. You can only access the trail from the cabins. We loved to hike along the trail and look in the tidepools.
Everything You Need To Know About Waianapanapa State Park Cabins
Staying right in Waianapanapa State Park is an incredible experience. But, the uniqueness of the cabins requires some serious planning.
Here is everything you need to know to plan the perfect trip-
Wai’anapanapa State Park Cabin Price
Although the cabins are very basic, you can’t beat the price. $100 a night ($70 for Hawaii residents). Affordable lodging in Maui?!? Yes, it does actually exist.
Number of People One Cabin Can Accommodate-
Each cabin has three sets of twin bunk beds to accommodate six people comfortably (although with very minimal privacy).
How to Book a Cabin in Waianapanapa State Park
Cabin reservations can be made through Wai’anapanapa State Park’s website.
Before COVID, you could book the cabins up to a year in advance. Now, that has been changed to 90 days in advance.
Because the cabins are so popular, you will need to get on the website at midnight (Hawaii time) 90 days in advance for any chance of booking a cabin. It helps to be flexible with your dates if at all possible. Hopefully, the rules change, and the reservations go back to booking a year in advance.
You can’t go wrong with any of the cabins but cabins number five and six are in the best location. There is a view of the ocean from the deck through the trees. You can also see the ocean from cabins 9, 10, 11, and 12 but your view from cabins 10 and 12 is over the roof of cabins 9 and 11.
There is a two-night minimum rule but if you find a single night available between two bookings an exception will be made to the rule.
*Since COVID, the TSA lines at the Kahalui airport in Maui have been extremely long. Securing TSA pre-check before your trip to Maui could save you hours of wait time at the airport. Read – The Benefits of TSA Precheck for Families
Waianapanapa State Park Cabin Amenities
If you are looking for luxury accommodations you will be sorely disappointed. If you are fine with very basic amenities in the perfect location, you will be pleasantly surprised.
The cabins were updated in 2016 with new paint, flooring, beds, and bathrooms.
There is one bedroom with two sets of bunk beds, and a common room connected to the kitchen with another set of bunk beds.
In the kitchen, you’ll find a hot plate, microwave, a small refrigerator with a freezer, and a sink. The dining room area has a folding table and a few folding chairs. Out the back door off the kitchen is a large porch with a picnic table.
The bathroom is basic but has everything you need- toilet, shower, and sink.
An outdoor faucet on the side of the cabin makes it easy to clean the sand off your feet.
Disclosure- Some of the links in this post are Amazon affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
What You Need to Bring For Your Stay In Waianapanapa State Park Cabins
There is one drawback to staying at the Wai’anapanapa State Park cabins. The cabins are very basic. Standard amenities like sheets, towels, and soap are not included. Because of this, you need to strategically plan and pack to make sure you have everything necessary for your stay. Hana is a tiny, remote town. If you forget to bring an essential item, chances are you won’t find it in Hana.
This is the packing list I put together for our most recent trip-
- Soap – Make sure to bring both hand soap and soap or body wash for the shower. The only soap provided is dish soap.
- Sheets – The twin beds have a mattress cover but no sheets. It doesn’t get cold so you don’t need to worry about a blanket.
- Pillows – Small camping pillows are comfortable and pack down tiny
- Towels – You will need a towel for the beach and one for after your shower. It is also nice to have a hand towel for the bathroom.
- Cold Brew – There is no coffee maker in the cabin! We didn’t even think of this and brought coffee and filters but were unable to make coffee. Yes, you can drive about ten minutes to get coffee in town. But if you are like me and want coffee first thing in the morning, cold brew is the perfect option.
- Kitchen Necessities-Speaking of coffee, you will need a coffee mug, along with a water bottle. If you want to cook at all you need to plan ahead and bring any pans and cooking utensils you will need along with silverware and plates/bowls. The cabin will provide a cleaning sponge but I would suggest bringing your own for washing dishes. There is no way of knowing if the cabin sponge was just used to clean the bathroom. Dish soap, a kitchen towel, and a roll of paper towels are provided in the cabin.
- Charcoal – There is an outdoor grill but you will need charcoal. You can buy it in Kahului before driving to Hana. You also might want some tin-foil because the grates on the grill were rusty.
- Clorox wipes – The level of cleanliness varies from cabin to cabin depending on how the guests before you cleaned. Yes, you are responsible to clean up the cabin for the next guests when you check out. That includes sweeping, mopping, taking out the garbage, and wiping down the kitchen and bathroom. Clorox wipes are good to have on hand if your cabin’s cleanliness isn’t up to your standards.
- Cooler and ice packs – We brought a full-sized wheeled cooler as one of our checked bags filled with all the above items and some pre-frozen ice packs. (I know it sounds crazy but we’ve used a wheeled cooler as our checked bag on several different trips). When we landed in Kahului we drove straight to the grocery store after renting our car. There is a small store in Hana but you’ll find a much better selection and cheaper prices if you shop in Kahului. The drive to Hana takes a few hours so a cooler is necessary if any of your food requires refrigeration. We usually bring food for breakfast and lunch and go out to dinner. But, you could cook dinner in the cabin with a little more planning. It was nice to have the cooler to pack lunch every day so we didn’t have to go into town to find food when we were out exploring or hanging on the beach. The ice packs are perfect because you can put them in the freezer each night and they are ready to go the next day, you don’t have to worry about buying ice.
- Bug Spray – The first time we stayed in Wai’anapanapa State Park Cabins in October we had no problem with bugs. The cabins are sprayed for bugs on the first of each month and on our first visit, we arrived days after the cabins were sprayed. It also didn’t rain any of the three days we were there. The second time we visited was also in October. We got there one day before they sprayed the cabins and it rained off and on. The bugs were awful. Make sure to bring bug spray or you will be miserable.
How Long To Stay In The Wai’anapanapa State Park Cabins?
There is a minimum two-night stay at the cabins but I would suggest staying for three nights if you can. Hana is such a special place, you will want at least two whole days to explore.
We’re already looking forward to our next stay at Wai’anapanapa State Park Cabins.
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