Salt Pond Beach is a relaxing beach near Hanapepe that is a favorite of local families. The beach is reminiscent of Poipu Beach, but without the buildings and crowds. Like Poipu Beach, Salt Pond Beach gets plenty of sun and it can get quite hot here.
Salt Pond Beach is located between two rocky points, and an outside reef creates a lagoon protected from high surf that is perfect for families and kids. Snorkeling and swimming in the lagoon are favorite activities at Salt Pond Beach. Views from the beach can be especially picturesque at sunset, but the beach lacks a dramatic backdrop that some of the other Kauai beaches have.
The small Port Allen Airport is located past the east end of the beach and aircraft from Skydive Kauai can sometimes be seen from the beach taking off from the airport.
The beach is named after the salt ponds that are adjacent to the beach. In a practice that has been handed down over generations, sea salt is extracted from the pond for use by local families for cooking, blessings, pickling and as a bleach. Red clay from the mountains of Waimea is often mixed in to provide coloring and to fortify the salt with iron.
Lifeguards (9AM to 5PM daily), cold showers, restrooms, pavilions, picnic tables and camping (permit required) add to the attractiveness of the beach as a destination for families and campers seeking a relaxing place in the sun and sand. The cost for permits at Salt Pond is $3 per person per night. Hawaii residents and children under 18 are exempt from camping permit fees.
The Salt Pond Park campground is closed every Tuesday at 10AM for maintenance and reopens at noon each Wednesday.
These photos of the salt ponds were taken in the off season of salt harvesting. The salt is harvested during the summer months when conditions are usually dry.
Directions: Salt Pond Beach is located 18 miles from Lihue. Take Highway 50 towards Hanapepe. At the end of Hanapepe Town, turn left onto Lele Road. Continue for a quarter mile passing by the salt pond beds.