Larsen’s Beach (also known as Ka’aka’aniu Beach) is a secluded stretch of undeveloped beach on Kauai’s northeastern shore. The beach is a favorite for those seeking their own private stretch of sand. Larsen’s has a reputation for being a clothing optional beach, and that is true.
With beach access at one end of the beach, the farther you go on the beach the less clothes you may see. The beach is backed by trees and bushes, offering the option for more privacy.
The beach is best for sunbathing, beachcombing and relaxing. Choppy waves and a rocky bottom hinder ocean activities. Hawaiian monk seals, sea turtles, Laysan Albatrosses and Wedge-tailed Sheerwater birds can be seen in the area.
Access is provided by a well-maintained dirt road that is aptly named Larsen Beach Road (labeled Larson Beach Road at Google Maps). Larsen Beach Road can be accessed from Koolau Road at about the midpoint between the Mark Zuckerberg property and Moloaa Beach.
There’s a parking area at the end of the road where the trail to Larsen’s Beach starts. The hike down from the parking area to the beach takes about ten minutes. The trail is not too steep and includes some rocky parts and dense brush.
Down the beach a ways is a rocky promontory. Past this promontory is a similar beach. Some people refer to this second beach as North Larsen’s Beach (with the first part referred to as South Larsen’s Beach). However, the second beach (past the promontory) is actually known as Waipake Beach (and the first beach is known simply as Larsen’s Beach).
The beach is named after Laruentsius David Larsen (1886-1944), the manager of the Kilauea Sugar Plantation Company from 1918 to 1930. Larsen had a beach house here (that is now gone).
Though not as picturesque as some of the other Kauai beaches with mountains and other scenery as a backdrop, the beach does have its charms. This is an unspoiled stretch of beach that offers peace and solitude. Still, don’t let your guard down at Larsen’s. Larsen’s Beach has seen its share of injuries and fatalities, so be cautious, especially when entering the water.
Larsen’s Beach Photos
The beach is not that wide, but does have ample room for beach activities.
Trees and bushes back the beach.
Larsen’s Beach Road
The path down to the beach.
At the far end of Larsen’s Beach is this rocky promontory. Past this promontory is a similar beach known as Waipake Beach. There are two paths to Waipake, one on the rocks below, and one that goes above the promontory.