The reasons are clear but the timing is questionable. The State Department of Land and Natural Resources announced on Monday that new parking fees at Waimea Canyon State Park and Koke’e State Park will start on Friday, June 28, 2019. It is unclear how the parking will be managed but no reservations will be required.
Visitors will be charged $5.00 per vehicle for parking. One $5 ticket gets you into all four lookouts: Waimea Canyon, Puu Hina Hina, Kalalau, and Puu o Kila. For those on a moped or motorcycle, the cost will be $1.00 per person. Pedestrians in the two state parks will be charged $1.00. There will be fees for commercial vehicles and tours as well. Residents, with a Hawaii driver’s license, will not be charged.
The reason for this change is a consequence of the park revenue lost during the last 14 months since the 2018 Kauai Flood happened. Both Haena State Park on Kauai and Nuuanau Pali Lookout on Oahu were closed. There were camping permits which had to be refunded and no additional park funds collected during this period. With the opening of Haena State Park there is an increase in operating and maintenance costs. State Parks estimates the shortfall for park unit operations to be $100,000 by August. The new parking fees will help offset this shortage.
So when budgeting for your trip, add on slightly more if you plan to visit one of the state parks on Kauai. The beauty and exquisite scenery you will see will definitely make it worthwhile.
For today’s article in The Garden Island newspaper, click here.
For my blog about the Waimea Canyon and Koke’e Lookout, click here.
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