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Queen's Bath on Kauai, Hawaii

Updated on October 29, 2011

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

Another waterfall

A common warning in Hawaii

Posted signs warn you of danger

The rocks before you get to Queen's Bath

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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    • Rose West profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose West 

      11 years ago from Michigan

      jrsearam, thank you for reading! Hawaii is such a gorgeous place to visit - you should make it out here someday! I'm sure Puerto Rico has its own beauty as well. Maybe someday I'll be able to see it for myself. Walking the entire coastline sounds like quite an excursion!

    • jrsearam profile image


      11 years ago from San Juan, PR

      I never get tired of reading about the place you call home. For years I've dreamt of seeing Hawaii. Being an islander myself, although on a different ocean, I can appreciate the beauty that you describe. Thanks for the hub. Since you apparently enjoy island life so much you might also enjoy my hub about walking the entire length of Puerto Rico's coast. Check it out! Many blessings, JR

    • Rose West profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose West 

      11 years ago from Michigan

      kea, thank you for coming by! Yes, you must stop at Kauai someday; it truly is a beautiful place.

    • kea profile image


      11 years ago

      Great info and awesome pictures. I've only been to the Big Island of Hawaii, but I'll be sure to check out Kauai next time!

    • Rose West profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose West 

      11 years ago from Michigan

      Hi peggypat, well if you love Hawaii, you'd love Kauai! It's one of the quieter, greener islands and very beautiful. We call it the Garden Island.

      Nicks, yes Hawaii is quite a distance from England! But if you ever get a chance to come, it's worth the trip, even if you do have to travel in a congested airplane. The islands are like none other.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Hawaii looks absolutely terrific - just rather a long way to go for us poor Brits!

    • peggypat profile image

      Peggy Patrick Medberry 

      11 years ago from Los Angeles

      I love Hawaii!! Haven't been to Kauai yet!! But this sounds like a wonderful place!!! Thanks for the Hubpage!

    • Rose West profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose West 

      11 years ago from Michigan

      I'm glad you enjoyed, elayne001. Queen's Bath is one of those places you keep wanting to go back to. Aloha :)

    • elayne001 profile image


      11 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      Beautiful pictures of one of my favorite places. I haven't been there in quite a few years, but hope to get back soon. Aloha!

    • Rose West profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose West 

      11 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you for reading, prasetio30. I'm so glad you stopped by! Yes, you must visit Queen's Bath if you are ever in Hawaii.

    • prasetio30 profile image


      11 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Nice information. Now I know more about this place. It looks beautiful. The wonder of nature. I am glad you share with us. I also liked the picture above. I'll go there if I have much money. Thanks

    • Rose West profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose West 

      11 years ago from Michigan

      Jane, Queen's Bath holds a beauty that declares the glory of God! The contrasts in creation are amazing to behold. Every time I've been to Queen's Bath, I've been breathless as well. It is truly a special spot.

      Quill, I've never been diving. It must be an incredible experience! I don't really like being under the water much, but I know I must be missing out on a whole different world down there. There are so many undersea creatures.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Sounds wonderful, Great Hub as always...Years ago I was certified as a diver.opening a brand new world to me in many ways. In most cases creatures of the sea and have little fear of man and simply interact from a distance and some close up and personal.


    • Jane Grey profile image

      Ann Leavitt 

      11 years ago from Oregon

      Ah, a soothing and restful reminder of God's glorious creation! The first time I saw Queen's Bath, I was breathless. The rocks were such a dark contrast compared to the snowy white crashing waves that tickled and tormented them. I love your pictures and your vivid description of the monster sea. Beautiful work, Rose!


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