Kokee State Park is a large state park in northwestern Kauai, above the Waimea Canyon area, that features a number of Kauai’s best natural attractions including the Kalalau Lookout and various popular hiking trails.
The park is a paradise for people who love the outdoors with opportunities for hiking, sightseeing, camping, picnicking, wild boar hunting, bird watching and exotic native plant exploration. Located at some of the highest elevations on the island, the park boasts magnificent views along with trees and plants not seen at lower elevations.
The gateway to the park includes a museum and a lodge located in a beautiful green meadow. Here is a photo of the view from the Kalalau Lookout at Kokee State Park.
One of the most popular destinations in Kokee State Park is the Kalalau Lookout. The lookout provides an almost unbelievable view of the Kalalau Valley and the island’s majestic Na Pali Coast. But perhaps an even better vantage point of the Na Pali Coast is found about a mile down the road at the Puu o Kila Lookout.
The Pihea Trail begins at this lookout and continues along the rim with additional views of the Na Pali Coast before feeding into other trails, including the Alakai Swamp Trail. The Awaawapuhi Trail is also popular at Kokee State Park, taking you to the precipice of the Na Pali Coast with views of the Nualolo and Awaawapuhi Valleys. Be sure to stop by the Kokee Museum for more information about the park’s attractions.
The Lodge at Kokee, next door to the museum, includes a restaurant, a cocktail lounge and gift shop. The restaurant serves standard breakfast and lunch between the hours of 9AM and about 2:30PM.
Camping is allowed with a permit and there are cabins to rent in the area. This is an off-grid area by design. Cabins do not have WIFI or televisions and there is generally no cell phone service in the area. Bring everything you will need with you for your trip to Kokee as the nearest stores are all the way down in Waimea.
Though many visitors to Kokee State Park do a “drive-through,” visiting the Kalalau Lookout along with Waimea Canyon, the park deserves much more attention. One could easily spend days hiking all of the day-trip trails in the area.
Kokee State Park Fees
Effective April 19, 2021, out-of-state visitors to Kauai’s Waimea Canyon State Park and Kokee State Park will be required to purchase both entrance and parking permits. The fees are $10 per vehicle and $5 per person. The fees are good for all day at both parks. Payments are made at kiosks set up at several locations, including the Waimea Canyon and Kalalau Lookout parking areas.
Kokee State Park Lookouts
Hiking Trails at Kokee State Park
The Pihea Trail starts at the Puu o Kila Lookout.
You will feel like you’re in the mountains at the gateway to Kokee State Park. With an elevation of 3,200 to 4,200 feet, Kokee State Park is cooler than other parts of Kauai.
Temperatures will sometimes dip into the 50s, especially during the winter. Have a light, waterproof jacket handy when visiting Kokee. If you’re camping or renting a cabin, overnight temperatures often dip into the 40s, so prepare accordingly.
Refuel at the Kokee Lodge Restaurant!
The Kokee Museum has a wealth of information about the park’s attractions and trails.
The Civilian Conservation Corps Camp TH-8 at Kokee, built in 1935, is available for rent for retreats, educational conferences, and reunions. There are several cabins, bunkhouse, and a mess hall at the camp.