September 2018 update: The gate to Queen’s Bath may be padlocked. Click here for more information.
December 2018 update: Woman Drowns at Queen’s Bath
May 2021 update: Officials Install Warning Sign at Queen’s Bath
Queen’s Bath, in Princeville, Kauai, is a beautiful but potentially dangerous tide pool that is a popular tourist attraction. In the summer months, the pool looks like a big, natural hot tub with many guests. In the winter months, pounding surf makes the pool a dangerous place, though the pool can be dangerous at any time. A makeshift sign (photo below) near the bath warns there have been 29 drownings (number not verified) and that “unexpected large waves will knock you off rocks & sweep you out to sea!”
Parking for Queen’s Bath is in a residential area in the proximity of the St. Regis Princeville Resort, Hanalei Bay Resort and the Wyndham Bali Hai Villas. The parking is near the end of Punahele Road, which is just off Ka Haku Road, the main road that runs through Princeville. There is usually not enough parking for the many visitors. (Some people who stay nearby opt to walk or bike to the area.)
A trail located to the right of the parking lot leads down to the ocean. The slippery path is picturesque and mostly shaded, and there is a waterfall near the bottom. Once at sea level you will be on lava rock that must be navigated for several hundred meters to get to the bath. If the tide is low, you will first see an open tidepool (for lack of a better term), but that is not Queen’s Bath. Keep going until you see the round pool. If conditions are calm, there might be dozens of people (and even a few pets) in and around the bath area.
To reiterate, Queen’s Bath can be a dangerous area, and should be treated as a dangerous area at all times. Unexpected large (rogue) waves can suddenly appear. Stay sufficiently back away from the water if the surf is heavy. Look at the ground below you. If the ground is wet then waves have reached this area. Move back to a dry area. There are safety tubes located on signs along the coast in the event of an emergency.
Location at Google Maps
Queen’s Bath Photos
Take Punahele Road to the Queen’s Bath parking area.
Do not park anywhere except the official parking area near the trailhead. Do not park in yards or along the street.
The official parking area. If you’re staying in the Princeville area it is probably better to just walk or take a bicycle to the Queen’s Bath trail.
The first portion of the trail. It takes about ten minutes to hike from the parking area to the bottom of the trail at the coastline and about another five to ten minutes to walk along the coastline to Queen’s Bath.
This trail is very slippery when wet.
A waterfall can be found on the lower portion of the trail.
Heed the warnings and proceed with extreme caution at Queen’s Bath. Deaths and numerous injuries have occurred in the area.
Safety tubes in the event of an emergency can be found along the coastline at Queen’s Bath.
There’s another waterfall at the bottom of the trail.
This is not Queen’s Bath but is actually known as the “Pool of Death,” the subject of a viral YouTube video.
Once on the coastline, the path to the bath is jagged lava rock.
The actual Queen’s Bath on a calm summer day. In winter months the waters are often too turbulent for swimming, though waves, and rogue waves can strike at any time.
Look closely to see a dog enjoying Queen’s Bath.