Polihale Beach Reopening

Polihale Beach Reopening Imminent

Famous Polihale Beach on Kauai will once again welcome visitors. The Polihale Beach closure by DLNR (Department of Land and Natural Resources) happened in July due to park policies not being followed by locals. This included 1,000 people camping there on a weekend that had only 80 permits and trucks racing on dunes that had ancient Hawaiian burial sites. While it hasn’t reopened yet, all signs are there.

Since the closure, there have been meetings with cultural groups to discuss the park’s future. In the interim, they have been allowed access to help clean the area and continue their work as caretakers for the cultural sites around the dunes.

Polihale is more than just a spectacular and remote beach with miles of sand touching the famous Na Pali. It is also rooted deeply in Native Hawaiian culture. Both its beauty and historical significance must work together in harmony with respect for the land. If that doesn’t happen, DLNR promises to keep the park closed.

But now Kauai is getting another chance to prove it can honor all aspects of Polihale. We have heard that new signage is being placed with rules to be followed, thirty-speed bumps have been installed on the access road, and for now, overnight camping may have to wait.

Some proposals on the table are a permit entry system that is similar to what we have seen on Kauai with access to Haena and Kee beaches on the North Shore. Long term solutions include improvement projects to protect the dunes.

According to Curt Cottrell, state parks administrator, “We are trying to determine how much people really care about Polihale’s natural and cultural resources. Reopening with new guidelines is an opportunity to see.”

If Polihale reopens in the next few weeks, we will update this post with the announcement.


31 thoughts on “Polihale Beach Reopening Imminent”

  1. I’ve been out there hundreds of times. No way you put speed bumps on that road. It’s a drive on beach also. The sacred areas are not in the sand but up in the napali. Perhaps the most grim chapter in the destruction of Hawaii by state officials.

    1. Please check out the Hawaii state laws. No such thing as a “drive on beach.” All beaches in the state are public and governed by state law, which does not allow driving on any beach. Polihale is remote enough that people got away with breaking the law out there. Sounds like DLNR wants to put an end to the era of lawlessness. Good for them, now let’s see if they will have the discipline to take that long drive and provide the enforcement necessary to make the change.

      1. Interesting. I’ve driven on the beach at other locations that are not remote. I and my family have been doing so for many years. If it’s not specifically allowed, it is not specifically prohibited either.

  2. I really hope that the State does not go the way of Haena and have an online permit system. Just sign up at the entrance road at a kiosk. Sometimes when I am on island I wait for the weather to dictate which day we head out to the Westside and if all the “permits” are taken, we lose any flexibility with those plans. Thank you for the update! Now we just need the 14 day law to end so we can get back to business!

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