Queen's Bath on Kauai, Hawaii
Whether you are a tourist on vacation, or just a local who likes to sightsee, you can't miss an opportunity to take a trip to Queen's Bath in Hawaii. Located in Princeville on the North Shore of Kauai, Queen's Bath owns a breathtaking view of the great big Pacific ocean framed by lava rocks and Bali Hai in the distance. Be sure to check out all the pictures at the bottom of the page!
Queen’s Bath is a beautiful and sometimes overlooked location on the North Shore of Kauai. Named after the Hawaiian Queen Emma, Queen’s Bath is a pool of water situated in the black lava rocks that tumble into a turbulent ocean. There is no beach here, and the whitewater sea crashes on the rocky shore. The water is forever at war, never ceasing, never resting, as if the monsters of the deep were having nightmares, lashing out in fear.
The Bath itself is fairly deep and is a favorite spot for snorkelers. The fish enter the pool through an inlet. Even if you don’t care to swim, Queen’s Bath is worth visiting for the view itself. There is nothing to compare to sitting on the warm rocks, resting your eyes and your thoughts on the horizon-bending sea.
How To Get There
Taking Kuhio Highway (THE highway in Kauai) from Lihue, turn right at the entrance of Princeville (Ka Haku Street). Turn right onto Punahele. Turn right again onto Kapiolani. Park at the trail head (there is a sign and usually cars), not in people’s lawns.
Take any valuables you might have with you down the trail; don’t leave them in the car. The trail is mostly downhill, and can be slippery due to tiny pinecones and mud from previous rain. As you near the ocean, there will be a river on your right.
Once at the base of the trail, follow the rocks along the sea to your left. Be careful stepping across the rocks and don’t get too close to the sea cliff. You will eventually find an enclosed pool nestled in the rocks. The ocean is usually splashing water into the pool.
Who was Queen Emma?
Queen Emma’s full name (take a deep breath) was: Emma Kalanikaumakaamano Kaleleonalani Naʻea Rooke.And if that isn’t a big enough mouthful, her baptized name was Emma Alexandrina Franis Agnes Lowder Byde Rook Young Kaleleokalani. Emma was born in 1836. In 1856, she was married to King Kamehameha IV, who reigned from 1855 to 1863. Emma founded Queen’s Hospital and was a patron of Iolani School. Princeville is named after Queen Emma’s son Prince Albert.
What To Wear
A swimsuit! That’s all you really need in Hawaii anyway. As to footwear, you may want to wear sturdy walking shoes down the trail, but be warned that they may get muddy! Locals often just go barefoot or wear slippers (what they call flip-flops). Don’t forget sunscreen.
When To Swim
Queen’s Bath is very dangerous to swim in when the conditions are not right. The winter is the most dangerous time of the year, because the North sea is very rough. But the pool can be dangerous anytime of the year if there is a swell coming from the North. Avoid swimming at Queen’s Bath at high tide, because the open sea pours into the bath. But if the tide is very low, the pool can become stagnant and unpleasant to swim in. The most important thing is to be aware of your surroundings, the tides, and the weather. Always keep one eye on the ocean! The sea is known for her unpredictability, and rogue waves are common. Never swim in the open sea at Queen’s Bath; keep your flippers in the pool only.
What Animals To Look For
Turtles. Sometimes you can spot turtles surfing around the rocks. A green sea turtle is a must-see in Hawaii. They swim the currents with grace and expertise.
Whales. During the winter months, look out for humpback whales. The winter is Hawaii’s whale season. Keep open eyes on the ocean, looking for white spouts and splashes in the distance. Once in while, a show-off whale will surprise you with a full-on breach!
Crabs. The crabs here are black and blend in well with the lava rocks, so watch out! But don’t worry too much, the crabs are very shy of strangers.
At the top of the trail
Roots growing along the ground
A well trodden path
The River trickling down to the sea
One of the waterfalls
You can swim in this freshwater pool next to the trail
A view of the sea
A common warning in Hawaii
Posted signs warn you of danger
The rocks before you get to Queen's Bath
A view of Queen's Bath looking down
Bali Hai in the distance
The sea during a north swell
Don't swim when the Bath overflows like this!
The rocks to the east of Queen's Bath
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