Waianapanapa State Park

By Hawaii.com Team

Photo:  Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson.

Waiʻanapanapa means “glistening waters.” A natural stone arch, blowhole, and hiking along two sections of the old King’s Highway are features of this beautiful state park. King’s Highway was once a footpath that encircled the island and connected all the villages.

A Tragic Legend of the Fresh Water Pool at Waianapanapa

Photo:  Eric Chan. waianapanapa

Photo: Eric Chan.

A fresh water pool located in a cave within the park is the subject of a tragic Hawaiian legend. The story goes that Popoʻalaea, a beautiful princess, fled from her cruel husband and hid in the cave. When her husband was searching for her, he stopped at the cave for water. While his men were resting, they saw Popoʻalaea’s reflection in the water. She was sitting on a small rock in the underwater cave, being fanned by her handmaiden and unaware that danger was so close. Her husband dove into the pool, entered the cave, and killed them. To this day, the pool’s water is said to turn red on the anniversary of her death.

Camping at Waianapanapa State Park


Photo: Mat McGee.

Three miles from the center of Hana, Waiʻanapanapa offers camping facilities in spartan cabins that will accommodate up to six people, or in a tents-only campground. The cabins are very popular and it is sometimes difficult to secure reservations for them. Permits are required for camping in the tents-only area and no exceptions are made, so come prepared. Permits are issued at the Hawaii State Office Building at 54 High Street in Wailuku, phone 984-8109.

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