Visualize yourself enjoying the Islands native plants while camping, hiking, and picnicking at this beautiful majestic state park known as Kalopa State Recreation Area. The park is nestled in a native ‘ohi’a forest, which sits 2000 feet above sea level located off the Hamakua Coastline. For those of you not familiar with the area it is about a 40-mile drive from Hilo heading northwest off the Mamalahoa Highway.
Stated earlier this park has lots to offer from camping, hiking, and picnicking. While lodging at this destination there are two options to consider. One being to rent a duplex cabin, the duplex cabins are available for rent starting at $60 per night for Hawaii Island Residents and $90 for non-residents. The cabins will accommodate up to 8 people. They come furnished with bunk beds, toilet facilities, and hot water showers. linens, bedding, and towels are not provided. There is a shared dining hall centrally located which serves all cabin users. The dining hall includes a gas range, water heater, refrigerator, freezer, dishes, cooking and eating utensils, tables and chairs.
Other Camping Options
The second lodging option to consider it to reserve a roofed shelter for tent camping. These roofed shelters can accommodate up to 4 people and range in price. Hawaii Island Residents can tent camp for $12 per night and Non-Residents can tent camp for $18 per night. Children under 2 years of age are free.
To make online reservations visit the State of Hawaii Department of land and natural resources here.
Online reservations for the cabins at Kalopa must be made at least seven (7) days in advance of check-in date. No changes will be accepted to an existing permit less than seven (7) days prior to the check-in date. PERMIT MUST BE PRINTED, SIGNED AND IN YOUR POSSESSION WHILE CAMPING OR LODGING.
As far as hiking is concerned there are multiple trail options available to consider. From an easy 0.7-mile hike that loops the park, to longer more challenging hikes located in the adjoining forest reserve. In the adjoining forest reserve, there is a 2-mile horse loop trail that is accessible shortly after the park’s entrance and before the parking area. The horse loop trail is open to hikers, please be considerate of riders and share the trail. While walking or hiking the park you are most likely to stumble upon rare and endangered vegetation such as the endangered Loulu palms as well as several rare native Hibiscus flowers.
A few things to keep in mind before you head out on your adventures. Since this park is located 2000 feet above sea level it will be colder than the coastal destination you might visit. Bring warm and waterproof clothes since the park does receive plenty of rainfall. Hiking boots can also come in handy since the park’s frequent rainfall can create muddy trails. Happy camping, hiking, and picnicking!