Queen’s Bath is apparently a very controversial spot. All the official guidebooks and websites dissuade visitors from going there as the waves can be incredibly dangerous. However, I had no idea about this when we went and it seemed safe enough with reasonable precautions. As long as the surf is very calm, you’ll be able to swim in a clear pool naturally created by a sinkhole and separated from the ocean by rocks.
Our condo in Princeville was just a 5 minute drive from the entrance to Queen’s Bath, so we ended up going twice during our stay. The first time we trekked out to the bath was the afternoon we arrived in Kauai. It was a bit overcast but still worth the trip. The second visit was early one morning and it was clear and gorgeous.
From the parking area noted on the map, there is an entrance to a trail marked by several warning signs.
The trail is a short but slippery trek through a forested area where you’ll pass by a couple waterfalls before reaching the shore. The hike is less than a mile to reach the bath. Definitely wear good footwear for slippery and muddy trails, as well as sharp lava rock. (Flip flops not recommended.)
As you reach the ocean you’ll see more warning signs including one tallying the number of drownings due to waves. Again, stay out if the water isn’t calm!
The entire coastline is black lava rock you’ll have to walk and scramble over with small tide pools here and there. There are fantastic views of the coast on a clear day. We could even see some sea turtles in one of the coves.
A bit further down, you will find Queen’s Bath — a larger clear pool usually with people swimming if it is calm. You’ll have to scramble down some rocks to get to pool level. Here you can take a dip and bathe like royalty in the chilly bath, even snorkel to see some fish.
Queen’s Bath is definitely worth a visit for the short hike out to the lava rock coastline, even if you don’t get a chance to go for a swim.