Alright, so I mentioned that hawaiian shave ice was one of our favorite things from our visit to Kauai. Another was the hiking. The best views on the island are all seen while hiking, so you won’t have a full appreciation for Kauai unless you hike. At the outset of our trip, bad weather and a few not so great food experiences had us struggling to understand why so many people fall in love with Kauai when they visit. Then we did our first hike (a fairly short one) to the Queen’s Bath on the coast near Princeville, and our luck started to turn around.
The Queen’s Bath is gorgeous, and it was a great choice for a first hike since it’s a relatively short hike. We were only out for a couple hours, and that’s including time to take in the views, take lots of pictures, and explore a little. Thus, we didn’t need to plan too much to make sure we’d have food and water for the trip, that we’d make it back before dark, etc. The only thing we needed to plan for was to watch the weather to make sure we weren’t caught out on the rocks in a storm. It was fairly rainy the week that we visited Kauai, and in general climbing on a rocky shore in a storm isn’t such a good idea.
If you plan to visit the Queen’s Bath, you’ll want to park on the Kapiolani Loop in Princeville. There’s a very small parking lot in the middle of a neighborhood right next to the entrance to the trail.
The trail leads directly to the shore where the lava rocks begin. Google Maps would have you think that this is where the Queen’s Bath is, but the lava pools that are associated with the Queen’s Bath are a little further down the shore.
Close to the shore, you’ll see a sign carved in wood with the number of deaths from unexpected waves and strong currents pulling people out to sea, so be careful.
And after walking over the lava rocks along the shore for a few minutes, you’ll see the lava pools of the Queen’s Bath. Some people like to swim in the lava pools, but if you’re considering doing this, pay attention to guide books’ recommendations of the calmest time of year and pay attention to the weather. We watched one lava pool for a while, and while it had swimmers in it and the water was relatively calm for most of the time, there were a few especially large waves that stirred up the pool a bit and made me glad I wasn’t swimming in it. However, it was very pretty to watch. :)
It was also fun to watch the rapidly changing water levels in a cove, where as the tide came in the pool would fill and even cover a lava rock shelf within the cove, then as the tide went out the water would quickly flow out, cascading off of the lava rock shelf and nearly emptying the cove.
Beyond that, it’s fun to climb along rocky beaches, and the scenic views are worth the fairly easy hike to get there. If you plan to visit Kauai, this hike is definitely worth checking out! :)