Queen's Bath

Queen's Bath
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Address Kapiolani Rd, Princeville, HI 96722
Naturally formed pool in lava rock. Not a sandy beach at all. Worth the 15 minute hike down.

• Type: Tide Pools • Parking: Poor / Few

Queen's Bath is an amazing place and if you have the ability to get down to it then I highly recommend it. You'll find it in the Princeville area on the north shore of Kaua'i. Note that this Queen's Bath is not the same as Queen's Bath / Keanalele Waterhole on the Big Island.

First, let's start with what this is and is not. It's essentially a large swimming pool that nature carved out of the volcanic rock. It so not a sandy beach and while there is a pool here it's not a place for you to swim. People die doing that here and just because you see people doing it doesn't mean it's safe.

Follow our map to the parking area, which is very tiny, only has a few spots, and will likely be full or near full. This is the only place to park so wait for a spot or come back later but don't try parking on the streets around here because they will boot your car and fine you. We can't stress that enough. If all of the designated spots are taken then wait or come back later. Ignore that advice and count on the residents here having you towed before you get back to your car. These people are serious about parking violations! Park legally and follow the sign down.

The 15 minute hike down should be easy for most but the path gets very slippery and muddy (don't go when it is about to rain, is raining, or just rained) and has a few areas where you can fall 20+ feet easily. Go when it's dry and it should be nice and easy though I wouldn't bring young kids or older folks. If it any point it feels unsafe for your skill level then turn around and head back out, it's not worth getting hurt. You'll spot a waterfall on your right on the way down as well.

Once you get down to the lava rock shelf you'll need to keep walking and follow it around to your left. The first areas of water you see, in sort of a "U" shaped channel isn't it but is amazing to see. If the ocean is active this area will fill with huge amounts of water in seconds and drain out just as fast. See how some areas near the edge are wet? That means waves hit those areas and can knock you in, stay far back from the edge.

Keep walking around and you'll spot Queen's Bath. It's a great photo opportunity and just a fun place to sit back and relax for a bit. Hopefully you brought some water and snacks.

So, should you swim here? No! When the ocean is calm, the water in the pool can be very calm. But when the ocean is anything beyond calm this place becomes very dangerous very fast. As waves come in the pool will fill up, sometimes violently, and then empty out. If the waves don't slam you into the rocks they might get you as they empty out a narrow channel which creates a sort of suction effect.

Regardless of ocean condition and even if you ignore our advice to stay out, I would never allow kids in here because anything can happen and it's all too easy to get hurt or killed here (yes, people die here). It's all too common for people to see calm water and jump in only to have a rogue wave smack them into the rocks or, when the water from that wave empties out, get pulled out to sea. If you got hurt down here it's a long way back up to get help. Just stay out! Period!