Queens Bath in Princeville is known for its Jekyll and Hyde personality. While calm in summer it can be the complete opposite in winter during high surf. Our best advice is to enjoy Queens Bath when the ocean surface is flat to two feet. That means not during winter months or when the tide is high. If the Ocean is showing any turbulence at the surface level when you visit Queens Bath, it’s best to sit back, enjoy the view and not enter the water.
During perfect conditions you’ll have fun in this giant tide pool teeming with tropical fish. The water can be crystal clear as you play in its lava crater at the edge of the ocean. This is also a great place just to relax and soak in the majestic view of the rocky shoreline and ocean.
When the conditions are not perfect, the ocean may cover Queens Bath from view. Even if the bath is visible, the swells are unpredictable and can pull you out to sea from the bath. We have a high injury and death rate in this area. Please take head and know in most cases it’s best not to swim.
Unlike nearby Hanalei Bay with its easy beach access, Queens Bath requires a 25 minute hike to reach. The trailhead is located in the Princeville residential area.
From the small parking area, which is often full in summer, you’ll hike down a dirt path and stairway that seems far removed from the neighborhood above. The trail is often slippery so it’s good to have hiking or tennis shoes with you. Along the way you’ll pass a stream and small waterfall in a tropical landscape. Once you reach the ocean, turn left and follow the rocks along the sea to Queens Bath. Note to stay high up on the rocks near the foliage line as walking along the lava rocks near the ocean can be fatal.
Even though it’s generally not a good idea to swim in Queens Bath, the scenic view you get to take in of the coast and ocean while getting there is worth the trip.
Queens Bath History:
This is the second Queens Bath in Hawaii. The first one on the Big Island was used in ancient times by the Ali`i (royalty) and formed in a collapsed lava tube. We attribute its name on Kauai in honor of Queen Emma who visited here in the 1800’s. The community of Princeville is named in recognition of her son, Prince Albert Kamehameha, who came to this area in 1860.
Queens Bath Safety Tips:
Directions to Queens Bath:
After you enter Princeville on Ka Haku Road, turn right on Punahele Road. Follow Punahele Road to the top of Kapiolani Road- where you will find parking.
Princeville – North Shore