New Fees Go Into Effect at State Parks on Friday
As of Friday, Oct. 9, out-of-state residents and commercial operators will be charged higher fees for entering select Hawaiʻi State Parks. The higher fees were approved by the Board of Land and Natural Resources in August. Following a public hearing, the fee schedule was signed into law by Gov. David Ige last week.
Park Visitors will now pay $10 per vehicle and $5 for walk-ins at eight parks on the four major islands. Previously fees were $5 per vehicle and $1 for walk-in visitors. Commercial entry for vans and tour buses are also being raised, with fees now ranging from $15 to $90 depending on location and passenger capacity. Hawaiʻi State Park entry fees have not been increased for the past 20 years.
Under the rule change, Hawaiʻi residents will no longer pay to enter Leʻahi “Diamond Head State Monument” on Oʻahu. Parking and entrance fees to all State Parks for Hawaiʻi residents are free.
Camping and lodging fees will see modest increases. Residents will now pay $20/night for tent campsites, while the non-resident rate is set at $30/night. New lodging rates will range from $40/night for an A-Frame shelter at Hāpuna Beach State Recreation area ($70 for non-residents) to $70/night for cabins in various parks ($100 for non-residents).
Camping fees along the Kalalau Trail within Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park, Hawaiʻiʻs largest State Park with arguably the greatest set of management challenges, will go up from $15 and $25 per night, to $25 and $35 per night for residents and non-residents, respectively.
Camping and lodging rates were last increased over a decade ago.
DLNR Division of State Parks Administrator Curt Cottrell commented, “Though the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in drastic reductions in the number of visitors coming to Hawaiʻi, we hope these additional fees will help to offset some of our severe revenue losses incurred by State Parks as Hawaiʻi gradually reopens. Some of our most heavily visited parks will remain closed due to coronavirus concerns. This further hampers revenue generation as we all struggle with the economic impacts of the pandemic.”
Earlier this month, on Oct. 1, 2020, ‘Āhihi-Kīna‘u Natural Area Reserve on Maui began charging non-Hawai‘i residents a user-fee of $5 per vehicle. Two machines in the reserve’s parking lot accept credit or debit cards and produce the receipts that must be displayed on their dashboard while using the area. Fees paid by visitors will go toward infrastructure costs or projects that protect the reserve’s unique natural resources. Hawai‘i residents will not be charged but must still display a daily pass that will be generated from the same machines.