The Queen's Bath is one of Princeville's favorite attractions. A pleasant 10 minute hike past a waterfall leads down to a rocky landscape of lava rock. Another 5 minute trek over the rocks leads to the bath. Roughly the size of a swimming pool, the Queen's Bath is a natural tide pool with some fish. Water spills over the lava rocks to refresh the pool. Although the scenery and bath are a pleasant summer time excursion, like many ocean attractions the area should be approached with caution.
From October through April the area is exposed to very big surf. People have been swept off the rocks by waves. The path and rocks are also not suitable for people who have mobility problems.
Many people are confused about the location of the bath - there are other areas where it is also possible (but more dangerous) to swim. In the aerial photo above, the yellow triangle shows where the path emerges from the trees. The green star shows the location of the bath.
A - Sometimes confused for the QB. Exposed to open ocean and difficult to reach. Do not swim here.
B - A popular spot for locals who like to jump off the ledge. Exiting the water is difficult, and the inlet is subject to massive turbulence. Do not swim here.
C - Not to be confused with section D, just past this inlet. This area is exposed to open ocean and judging conditions is very difficult. Do not swim here.
D - This inlet is safe for confident swimmers who are willing to risk slippery rocks, provided the ocean is flat (surf report says 0-2ft). This is as far as you can walk.
Queen's Bath Kauai Safety
The Queen's bath is a higher risk ocean attraction because it's a very foreign environment and people can't easily evaluate the risk. Below are our recommendations.
- Check the surf report the morning you want to visit.
- The Queen's bath is safe for waves that are 4ft high or less.
- Never play on the rocks where the bath connects to the ocean.
- If the surf report calls for waves bigger than 4 ft, skip it and try another day.
- In the winter months, chances of the ocean co-operating are slim.
Technically speaking it takes a very large wave to sweep you out of the bath, or off a top rock ledge. However if you visit the area in big surf you're taking risks that are very hard to judge or quantify. 4-6ft surf can be dangerous because other risks are hidden (like visiting Area D). This video shows what the area looks like in 4-6ft vs 12-15ft surf.