The Waikanaloa Wet Cave is a shallow cave in a rock wall at Haena State Park near Ke’e Beach. The cave was formed when sea levels were higher and waves carved an opening in the rock.
The water in the cave is actually fed by springs in the porous rock. Though the water is freshwater and not saltwater, drinking the water or swimming in the water is not recommended due to the possible presence of the bacteria leptospirosis.
The Waikanaloa Wet Cave is often listed along with the nearby Maniniholo Dry Cave which is across the street from Haena Beach. However, the Waikanaoloa Wet Cave, nearer to Ke’e Beach, is now part of the Ke’e Beach special access area that requires advance reservations to enter. Click here for complete information about permits and access.
Once you have your permits, you can see the cave on the day of your visit to Ke’e Beach and/or the Kalalau Trail. Our advice is to see the cave as you are leaving for the day. When you arrive at Ke’e Beach, there is a raised boardwalk and path from the Ke’e Beach parking area that will take you to the beach and the trail head for the Kalalau Trail. This pathway does not go by the cave. However, when you are leaving Ke’e Beach or the Kalalau Trail, stay on the actual road when you return to the parking lot. The cave will be on your right as you walk back.
Complicating the access situation, authorities have deemed the cave to be an unsafe area due to falling rocks. There is a sign at the cave that says to “leave this area immediately.” If the full plans for the Ke’e Beach Master Plan are carried out in the future, there will be a raised walkway for viewing the cave.
Location at Google Maps
The cave is located on the road to Ke’e Beach, however, access for private vehicles is now restricted. You can still walk on the road when returning to the Ke’e Beach parking lot after your visit to Ke’e Beach and/or the Kalalau Trail.
Kauai authorities are concerned about the liability due to the potential of rocks falling on visitors at the cave. Although we’ve never seen any rocks falling in front of the cave, it is certainly possible, so beware.
There was a film on the water during this visit.
Back in the day when you could get close to the water.