Queen's Bath

4.5 stars from 11 reviews
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

Full Description
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!

Thomas T
Joined: Feb 2016
Reviews: 4
Likes Received: 1
Really great place but can be really rough so be careful.
Matt A
Joined: Feb 2013
Reviews: 803
Likes Received: 111
One of the coolest places on the island. Pure, raw nature. Don't be a fool, stay out of the water here. It's not for you and just because those local kids are doing it doesn't mean you'll live through the experience.
Monti C
Joined: Jan 2018
Reviews: 22
Likes Received: 0
Amazing place to see in person! Glad we read the information here about not swimming because others were swimming and we might have been tempted to jump in as well if we didn't know better. Sure enough, after 10 minutes or so a large wave filled the pond and pushed one of the men in the pool into the rocks pretty hard. He was fine but clearly scratch up. Not worth the risk, but still amazing to see this place.
Fred J
Joined: Sep 2017
Reviews: 21
Likes Received: 1
One of the most amazing places we visited on the entire island. I can see why this is a dangerous place and not for everyone to venture out to. But seeing it in person is amazing.
Brett D
Joined: Mar 2017
Reviews: 56
Likes Received: 1
This was a nice place to swim. It was rainy the day we went so the rocks were slippery and I have the scar to prove it.
Ellen R
Joined: Jul 2016
Reviews: 90
Likes Received: 119
Signs are posted at the trailhead of the danger involved. New "No Parking" signs have been posted on the streets leading to Queen's Bath.
Heather M
Joined: Mar 2016
Reviews: 57
Likes Received: 8
We rented a home in Princeville in June 2015 that was steps away from the trailhead to Queen's Bath. The trail is very short but slippery and steep in some areas. QB can be very crowded depending on the time of day, and unfortunately, it was during our visit. We were not really able to stay and relax and get many pictures. This area definitely has the possibility of being calm and tranquil at low tide and during quieter tourist times. Never turn your back on the ocean here! Many people have been knocked off the rocks by rogue waves and have perished. Stay safe!
michael m
Joined: Feb 2016
Reviews: 4
Likes Received: 2
Beautiful spot, but parking sucks during popular visit times. Last year there was more parking, but now it's limited to the small lot, or trying to find something on the street. Out of shape visitors may not enjoy the trail down to the area. The area can be quite dangerous, but that never seems to make a difference to Kauai's visitors except the ones hospitalized on the island! It's a very appealing place, but I'm not in any hurry to rush back again.
Tom T
Joined: Sep 2013
Reviews: 579
Likes Received: 33
A perfect little excursion outside Princeville. Queen's Bath has it all - a short hike to a waterfall, amazing scenery of Kauai's raw beauty, and natural tide pools to swim in (or watch others) if the conditions are good.

I love it here. But swimmers beware - Hawaii will getcha if you don't take her seriously. Sit and watch the wave activity for at least 10 minutes before entering the pools. Be safe.

One final thing - if it's rainy, the trail really slippery. Go slow, and wear footwear that allows traction in mud. I never wear slippers when the trails are really muddy. Often, I'll just go barefoot, but that's just me.
Bella R
Joined: Apr 2015
Reviews: 9
Likes Received: 1
Loved every bit of the short hike and wonderful views at the end. Truly amazing to see.
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