Tucked away on Kauai’s North Shore coastline, this natural, large ocean water "pool" is only accessible from a short hike in the neighborhood of Princeville. The pool is made of lava rock and at the right time of year, is a wonderful retreat where you can enjoy swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing while viewing the gorgeous coastline.
The trail to Queen’s Bath is slightly muddy and leads from the cliffside down 120 feet to the shoreline. It may look intimidating at first glance, and when we were there, a few travelers turned around and decided against the trek. Don’t be steered away because it’s actually a short and fairly easy hike and the rewards are well worth it. On the way down, take note of the waterfall to the right, a perfect resting point to cool off on the return climb back up.
Down below, continue left over the lava rocks to the pool. The views of the coast to the north and south are a stunning mix of black rock, gradient blue seas and white powdery clouds. Nearby, we saw a Hawaiian Monk Seal gliding through the ocean. Surf (along with fish) flow into Queen’s Bath from an inlet and allow for cool, refreshing waters. After a hike in the summer heat, this makes the dip all the more exhilarating! Unfortunately, during our visit in August, the calm ocean only trickled in, leaving the pool slightly murky. Even so, it was clear enough to see several saltwater fish swimming at our sides. For the more adventurous, large rock formations overhanging the area tempted a few daring travelers to jump in. It looked like a lot of fun, but use caution, because the rocky surface was sprinkled with sea spray, leaving it wet and slippery.
If you like exploring, the Queen’s Bath is definitely a "must!" It's not a crowded place, but it’s a popular spot with tourists and locals so you probably won’t have this little gem to yourself. To get there from Princeville take Ka Haku Road to Kapiolani and follow till you see the small parking lot and trail head.
**Because of the location and the inlet into the ocean, stay away from Queen’s Bath during rough waters or high tide. Wear a good pair of tennis shoes or reef walkers because they’ll help for an easier hike down the dirt path and bring plenty of sunblock. The trail is closed October – May.
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