Secret Beach is one of the most picturesque beaches on Kauai. This is the beach that's seen from the nearby lighthouse. The beach is subject to shocking amounts of sand redistribution as Kauai’s massive winter surf changes the beach’s landscape from season to season.
Secret beach has a reputation of being one of Kauai’s nude beaches (the other being Larsen’s
) but typically only a couple people will be without clothing, preferring the eastern section of the beach.
The Hawaiian name for this beach is Kauapea. The name Secret beach is actually out of vogue: The beach hasn’t been a secret since the 70s. Also, Hawaiian place names are preferred over modern substitutes, it being recognized that the Hawaiian names infer additional meaning and cultural significance.
A reasonably steep path leads down to the beach and may be difficult for people with mobility problems.
Secret Beach Safety
Secret beach is subject to very strong currents and huge winter surf. It's sometimes swimmable during the summer when the ocean is calm but really not suitable for novice swimmers. The beach slopes into deep water quite quickly, and the beach break can be rough. But the beach is somewhat sheltered from wind, so conditions aren’t as choppy as many other places.
Walking on the lava rocks to the left of secret beach is only safe on the calmest summer days when the surf report calls for waves less than 2 feet high. Because the lava shelf is near sea level, this is a particularly dangerous place to explore. There is no hiding from a large wave. The rocky coastline leads to a beautiful waterfall, but some rock climbing is required to view the falls (the fourth panoramic photo below shows the waterfall). Depending on seasonal sand erosion it may not even be possible to explore the lava tide pools, as the beach that connects to this area may be missing..