Are you planning on going to Queen’s Bath in Kauai? If so, you’re in luck – we have all the information you will need to plan your trip!
We’ll tell you all about the beautiful tide pool, how to get there, and what to expect when you arrive.
Queen’s Bath is definitely one of the best places on Kauai, but there are some dangers associated with visiting this location. People have died here, so make sure you plan before your visit.
Keep reading below to learn more about how you can safely visit this natural wonder!
Note: Queen’s bath is temporarily closed due to high surf conditions. We will update this post again when it reopens.
We tried to go to queens bath again in late January 2023, and signs were posted indicating that the trail was closed due to high surf conditions. We were disappointed but understood why the area had to be closed for safety reasons.
This closure is due to high surf conditions resulting from winter storms in the Pacific Ocean that affect the islands of Hawaii, including Kauai. The surf is too rough and powerful to safely allow visitors to enter the area.
We talked to some locals who warned us not to go there even if we were not planning on getting in the water. The high surf can create strong currents and rip tides that can pull even the strongest swimmers out to sea.
Disclaimer: Exploring this area can be a dangerous activity. Please assess your own mental and physical health before venturing to Queen’s Bath. Content on this site is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical, health, or safety advice.
How to get to the Queen’s Bath
The best way to get to Queen’s Bath trailhead is to drive there. If you are already staying in the Princeville area (North Shore), the drive shouldn’t be that long. If you are coming from the Waimea (1 hr 28 min) or Wailua (40 minutes) areas, make sure you plan ahead.
Below is a Map of Queen’s Bath and the Parking.
Queen’s Bath Parking
This is very important to avoid getting a ticket or your vehicle towed. Please make sure you park in the designated public parking spots!
There is limited parking available near the start of the trailhead. See the picture above of what the parking looks like.
If Queen’s Bath is a must-visit for you, we recommend getting there early to find parking.
You can also visit towards the end of the day to increase your chances of finding a parking spot. Of course, check the surf report to ensure safety before going there.
Another option is to wait patiently for others to leave if you do not find parking when you get there.
The Hike to Queen’s Bath
Distance: 0.8 miles (roundtrip)
Elevation Gain: 98 ft
Route Type: Out & Back
The hike to Queen’s Bath is relatively easy and can be completed within 20-30 minutes.
It is important to note that the trail can be slippery, especially when wet. We recommend wearing proper hiking shoes to avoid any injuries.
I wore my Keen hiking sandals on this trail and they did amazing. We have seen people do this trail in flip-flops, but we don’t recommend doing so due to how wet and slippery the trail can get.
See Also: The Best Snorkeling Shoes Guide
At the start of the trail, you will find a map and safety information. Make sure to take any safety information seriously, as there have been fatalities at Queen’s Bath.
There is a wire gate with a closed sign right by the parking lot.
Many people (including us) thought this was the only entrance to start the trail, but keep walking to the right (when facing the ocean) and you will see the start of the trail.
After hiking for 5-7 minutes, you will reach a small waterfall. Continue on the hike for a few more minutes and you will get to the bottom of the trail.
You’ll enjoy the gorgeous scenery that surrounds you here. However, keep in mind that you’re not quite to Queen’s Bath yet.
There are signs warning people of drownings that have happened here. Again, take this as a reminder and respect the signs.
Once you are done exploring, take a left (when facing the ocean) towards the lava rock. Hike for about 3-5 minutes, and you should reach Queen’s Bath.
The “Pool of Death” Near Queen’s Bath
As you hike towards Queen’s Bath, you will walk past the Pool of Death first.
Honestly, we assumed and thought this was Queen’s Bath on our first visit here. Consider this your warning and keep walking to get to the correct location.
The waves at the Pool of Death were extremely hazardous when we visited. We were even scared to walk to the side to hike up to Queen’s Bath because of the high surf in the month of February.
Take extra precautions and walk as far from the ocean as possible. If you take pictures, never turn your back to the ocean as the waves can come out of nowhere.
After hiking for a few more minutes, you should eventually get to Queen’s Bath.
Depending on the ocean conditions, you will find people swimming in the pool or just enjoying the gorgeous scenery.
We decided to sit and enjoy the scenery because we felt the water conditions were not safe enough for swimming. The tide would rise so high, and it was scary watching from the top while other people swam in the pool.
To us, the risk just wasn’t worth it. We sat down in a safe spot away from the waves and enjoyed the gorgeous scenery for about 20 minutes, then decided to hike back up once the water conditions worsened.
Watching the Big Surf at Queen’s Bath
Although the waves here get pretty massive, is not recommended to watch the surf from Queen’s Bath. There are other parts of the island where watching the waves is much safer.
While some of the cliffs at Queen’s Bath might seem tall at over 10 feet above sea level, that doesn’t necessarily mean the location you are standing on is safe.
This is why it’s only recommended to hike down to Queen’s Bath only if the surf is below four feet.
We recommend watching the waves from a different location, such as the Kilauea Lighthouse.
Best Times to Visit Queen’s Bath
The best time to go to Queen’s Bath is when the waves are calmer during the summer months (May-October).
No matter what time of the year you go, please check the surf report before you go. We can’t stress this enough.
Queen’s Bath Safety Information
Check the Surf Report: Do not swim if the waves are high, as there have been fatalities here. Make sure to watch the surf while you are there as well. The water conditions can change unexpectedly.
Do not swim if the waves are above four feet: Even if the waves are below four feet, take extra precautions as ocean conditions can change and large waves can appear unexpectedly.
Never swim alone: This is always a good practice no matter where you go, especially at Queen’s Bath.
Do not turn your back to the ocean: The waves here can be very strong and come out of nowhere. It is always best to keep an eye on the ocean.
Do not get in the water if you are not an experienced swimmer: The current at Queen’s Bath can be strong. If you are not a strong swimmer, we recommend not going in. I am not a strong swimmer myself, so I decided to sit down and enjoy the gorgeous scenery instead of swimming.
Do not swim in the Pool of Death: As the name suggests, many people have died here. The waves and conditions at the Pool of Death are extremely hazardous.
Never play on rocks between the bath and the water: People have died from being swept away by waves while playing on the rocks. For your own safety, never do this.
Be cautious of cliffs: Do not get too close to the edge of the cliffs. They can be unstable, and people have died from falling off.
Do not cliff jump/dive into Queen’s Bath: The depth of the pool can change depending on the tide, and you can seriously injure yourself.
Never swim in the ocean here: The ocean near Queen’s Bath can have strong rip currents. Do not swim here! Only swim in the pool if you do opt to swim at all.
What to Bring
Hiking shoes or sandals: The hike can be very slippery when wet. Also, you will be hiking on lava rocks on the second part of the hike.
See Also: The Best Hiking Shoes for Hawaii
We recommend wearing closed-toed shoes such as sneakers or hiking sandals.
A hat or sunglasses: To protect yourself from the sun, remember to add a sunhat and sunglasses to your Hawaii packing list.
Pack a beach towel: Remember to grab one from your hotel or vacation rental if you plan to swim in the pool.
A camera to take pictures: The views here are incredible. Make sure to pack a camera to capture the gorgeous scenery.
Water and snacks: Bring water to stay hydrated and snacks to keep your energy up.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you swim in Queen’s Bath Kauai?
The answer to this question is a little complicated. While technically you can swim in Queen’s Bath, we do not recommend it if the tide is too high.
The waves and conditions here can be very dangerous. We only recommend swimming if the waves are below four feet and if you are an experienced swimmer.
This is not a place for inexperienced swimmers.
Why is it called Queen’s Bath?
Queen’s Bath was named after Queen Emma. In ancient times, Queen’s Bath was where royalty went to relax, release stress, and enjoy the stunning views.
How long is the Queen’s Bath hike?
The hike to Queen’s Bath is about 20-30 minutes roundtrip, depending on how fast you hike.
Is Queen’s Bath safe?
While Queen’s Bath is a beautiful place, it can be very dangerous. If you decide to swim, do so at your own risk.
We only recommend swimming if the waves are below four feet and you are an experienced swimmer.
What’s in the area?
There are so many things to do on Kauai’s northern shore. After your visit to Queen’s Bath, we recommend checking out the following:
Hanalei Bay: This is a must-see on your Kauai North Shore itinerary.
Hanalei Bay is a stunning crescent-shaped bay with clear blue water and soft sand beaches.
Hanalei Bay is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, surfing, and watching some of the best sunsets on the island. it’s about a 14-minute drive from Queen’s Bath.
Anini Beach: Anini Beach is a great place to relax and enjoy stunning views. It’s known for gentle waves, making it perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and fishing. Anini Beach is about a 10-minute drive from Queen’s Bath.
Sealodge Beach: If you’re staying at Sealodge or within walking distance of it, make sure to visit Sealodge Beach.
It’s a beautiful and secluded beach located about a 4-minute drive from Queen’s Bath. The beach is stunning and surrounded by lush vegetation. It’s also almost always empty since there is no public parking.
Pali Ke Kua Beach: Also known as Hideaways Beach, Pali Ke Kua is a beautiful and secluded beach in Princeville.
A short 15 minute but steep hike is required to get to the beach. The start of the trail is located by the gatehouse of the St. Regis Hotel. This beach is perfect for swimming and snorkeling (for experienced snorkelers).
Tunnels Beach: This beach is one of Kauai’s best snorkeling and diving beaches. Tunnels Beach is located in Haena State Park, about a 30-minute drive from Queen’s Bath.
This is one of the most picturesque beaches on Kauai. The beach gets its name from the lava tubes that run into the ocean, providing natural pools for swimming and snorkeling. Mark this as a must-see on your Kauai itinerary!
Reservations are required, so visit the Division of Parks website for tickets.
The Wrap Up
Queen’s Bath is a beautiful place to visit, but it can also be very dangerous if you don’t plan accordingly.
Check the surf report before going, as the waves can be very treacherous.
As gorgeous as the place is, please take extra precautions and only swim if the waves are below four feet and if you are an experienced swimmer.
If you plan on swimming, please do so at your own risk.
Mahalo for reading our post! Until next time, Aloha!
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