This hidden gem is also known as Kiholo Bay, and can be seen from a scenic point off of Highway 19-mile marker 81. If you’re wanting to spend the day at Kiholo State Park there is an access road between mile marker 82 and 83. The road is a smooth gravel road that leads almost to the shore. The parking lot is a bit rough if you are driving a 2-wheel drive vehicle you might want to park off the road and walk in, although there are many 2-wheeled drive vehicles within the parking lot. Proceed with caution. Offo the left of the parking lot are campgrounds, which are available weekends only with a permit. There are several points of interest along the bay. If you head to the left of the parking lot about 300 yards you will find Queen’s Bath, a crystal-clear spring-fed lava tube. Continue down the bay you will see many sea turtles. There are freshwater springs that let out into the bay. The freshwater springs have created many fishponds that lay inland, but don’t wander too close to the ponds because the majority of these ponds are located on private property.
- Swimming & Snorkeling
When the bay is calm these turquoise waters are great for swimming and snorkeling. When freshwater from the nearby springs mixes with the salt water you might see what appears to be a clear pane glass dividing the two. If you were to reach down into the fresh spring water you will also notice a major temperature difference.
- Hiking/walking & Sea Turtle viewing
You can hike up and down Kiholo Bay the sand will change from salt and pepper sand to larger volcanic and coral rock. Quite spectacular to see the stark difference between the shore and the water. Take in all of its beauty. While you are exploring the bay, you will also have many opportunities to spot and view the Honu or the Hawaiian Sea Turtle.
Campsites are located along an unimproved gravel access road. This is a remote area with no facilities and NO WATER. Portable toilets are provided.
Camping is allowed on weekends only (Friday through Sunday nights), and sites may be reserved up to 30 days in advance of check-in. Overnight parking permits for campers must be displayed during park closed hours or vehicles may be cited and/or towed at owner’s expense. Maximum three parking permits per permittee.
GATES ARE LOCKED NIGHTLY. When entrance gates are locked for the night, vehicles will not be able to enter or leave the park. Gate closed from 7:00 pm to 7:00 am April 1 to Labor Day; from 6:00 pm to 7:00 am after Labor Day to March 31.
Hawaii Residents: $12 per campsite per night for up to 6 persons. $2 per night for each additional person. 10 persons maximum per campsite.
Non-residents: $18 per campsite per night for up to 6 persons. $3 per night for each additional person. 10 persons maximum per campsite.
*children 2 and under free
Permits are not transferable. A printed permit must be signed and in your possession while camping.
Directions to Kiholo State Park
Take Queen Kaahumanu Highway (Hwy 19) north from Kailua-Kona or South from Kohala. The public access road is on the makai (ocean) side of the highway between Mile Marker #82 and 83. There is no sign on the highway indicating the turn-off, only a dirt pull-off with an access gate set back from the highway.