Camp at Malaekahana State Recreation Area

Rate this Adventure 56-155 K Kam Highway

This campground is extremely scenic, is close to all of Oahu's epic adventures, it's super cheap, and has facilities so you don't have to pack super heavy. Definitely the best way to visit Hawaii if you're okay with roughing it a little bit!

Want to visit the beautiful North Shore but on a tight budget? Camping is the trick. On my last two trips to Oahu this has been our primary base camp for our adventures.

The campground sits only a 5 minute drive east of Turtle Bay resort, right next to the town of Laie. This means is only 10-20 minute drive to every major surf spot on the North Shore. You're also close super close to the big parking lot of food trucks and a Foodland (poke bowls, anyone?) so you don't have to worry about camp cooking or anything. And though it's an hour drive to the south, this relatively small commute brings you to dozens of epic trailheads including Olomana, Pali Notches, Maunawili Falls and so many more. 

Not only is the campground very close to the island's best adventures, but the beach at Malaekahana is truly one of the most beautiful beaches in the world with perfectly teal water over coral reef, smooth white sand, bright green trees and brush on the shore, and views of gorgeous green mountains to the south. 

This campground has everything you need for tent camping including hammock trees, a dish washing station, bathrooms, free (cold) showers, picnic tables, and a huge grassy area. 

The beach has a rad outer reef, directly in front of the campground with decent surf and no crowds whatsoever. 

There is a mini island, Goat Island, that can be waded to via a channel. It's very scenic and fun to explore.

The only negative is that this campground is only open from Friday to Wednesday (pretty sure so people can't just live there) so you'll have to get a hotel/airbnb for those 2 nights.

The gates are also only open from 7 am - 6:45 pm (7:45 in the summer) so you can't stay out late or else you'll get locked out. 

A camping permit is required which you can get by clicking here.  It costs $18 per night but to be honest I've never seen anyone enforce any regulations here, but still just get the permit.

Pack List

  • Tent with rain tarp (make SURE it's waterproof)
  • Hammock
  • Surfboards
  • Camp stove and butane burners
  • Cooking utensils, cups, bowls, etc
  • Headlamps and lanterns
  • Camera (best sunrises ever)
  • Tripod
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Activities Camping, Photography, Surfing, Swimming
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Bathrooms
Beach
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Groups
Handicap Accessible
Picnic Area
Scenic

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