Polihale State Park on Kaua‘i will reopen to the public this Tuesday May 15, following repairs to the heavily flood-damaged entry road, according to a news release from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
The initial repairs, consisting of filling and grading the most damaged section of the unpaved 5-mile roadway and making drainage improvements, will allow for hardy vehicles to access the beach and camping areas within the popular West Kaua‘i park. A second phase of road repair will be ongoing for approximately two weeks after the reopening, and park visitors may experience some delays due to the construction.
Additionally, the Miloli‘i section of Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park will reopen for visitation and overnight camping to those with valid permits beginning May 15 as well. This corresponds to the normal opening day of the summer camping season on Nāpali, when weather and ocean swells are more friendly to maritime access. Miloli‘i can only be accessed by boat.
As of May 15, Miloliʻi and Nu‘alolo Kai, which suffered little to no damage in the flooding, will be the only two areas within Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park open to visitation. Each of these areas is accessible only by water, and day use tours are permitted at both locations – Nuʻalolo Kai by inflatable rafts, and Miloli‘i via guided kayak tours. The Nāpali kayak tours, operated by Kayak Kaua‘i, Na Pali Kayak and Outfitters Kaua‘i, will operate on an out-and-back route from Polihale State Park rather than the traditional Hā‘ena to Polihale route due to the damage sustained on the island’s north shore. Nu‘alolo Kai raft tours, operated by Captain Andy’s, Kaua‘i Sea Tours, and Na Pali Explorer, will operate as usual, originating out of west Kaua‘i boat harbors.
The Kalalau Valley campsites and the 11-mile Kalalau Trail, which was heavily damaged in last monthʻs unprecedented rain and flooding event, remain closed for public safety until repairs to the trail can be completed, as well as repairs to the highway providing access to Hāʻena and Nāpali. Hāʻena State Park, the gateway to the Kalalau Trail, also experienced severe damage during the flooding. These repairs will likely take months to complete.
“We realize the importance of our State Parks to residents and visitors alike, and the value they bring to our economy,” said DLNR Chairperson Suzanne Case. “We are pleased to be able to open some park areas, as conditions allow. We appreciate the public’s respect of our closed areas as we allow the community to heal, and work to repair the extensive damage caused by last month’s flooding. It will be a long process.”