Reservations possible?
RV Hookups
Potable water
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On an island with relatively few options for easily accessible public camping, any campground is worth a mention. The campground at Samuel M. Spencer Beach Park may not create a dazzling impression, but it has all of the basics covered for a comfortable stay. Showers, potable water, and plenty of picnic areas will keep you comfortable during your stay, and a night security guard will help keep things safe overnight.

And, of course, it is tough to beat the phenomenal beach access and easy fishing and snorkeling access. Grab a site on the ocean side for incredible sunsets from the comfort of your own camp. The park is also close to the Pu'ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site, and a section of the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail leaves from the near the camping area for Mau'umae Beach.

Campsites are not numbered or well delineated, but instead consist of small parcels of the large open space at the south end of the park. Picnic tables and grills are in each site, and a central area is ideal for groups that don't require much privacy. Alternately, some campers decide to string up tarps that provide a visual barrier between campsites, which can lead to a pretty unappealing environment. The camping area at Spencer Beach Park does, at times, face some challenges in terms of cleanliness and order, but generally the beach and day use area remain hospitable. 

Camping permits are required to use this park, and they must be obtained in advance. There is a one week limit between June 1 and August 31; otherwise you are free to stay for up to two weeks. Note that the gates in and out of Spencer Beach Park close nightly from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. when the security guard is on duty.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)


Parking Pass

Not Required


Kohala area public campground. Beach access. Near trails and historic sites. Showers and water.


No privacy or separation between sites. Popular with scofflaws. Tent city effect can create a disheveled and littered environment.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Managed by

County of Hawaii


ADA accessible
Flushing toilets
Swimming holes
Potable water
Picnic tables
Covered picnic areas



Thanks for the review of this campground. We are heading to the Big Island and Maui in a few weeks, hoping to tent camp our way around both islands. Any other recommendations for either islands? We love to hike and spend time on the beach. Currently traveling around the US in a travel trailer so looking forward to getting back in our tent! Thank you!
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