Queen’s Bath

Queen’s Bath on Kauai’s North Shore is supposed to be an amazing place to go snorkeling and swimming. It is also one of Kauai’s most dangerous places to visit killing numerous people that have visited there. Since it is located in Princeville it was just a short walk down the road from where we were staying and we thought we would go check it out. How dangerous could it be, right?

After strolling through a residential neighborhood we came to the trailhead that would lead to Queen’s Bath. The trail followed a stream that would occasionally drop off into a picturesque waterfall. We continued down the trail over rocks and roots, a bit of a scramble in parts, and finally emerged at the bottom where it opened out onto a rugged lava shelf dropping off into breaking waves. Looking down I immediately noticed a slab of wood with a warning about Queen’s Bath carved into it.

I was expecting Kerri to comment about the warning sign, as she was looking rather uneasy about the walk we would have to do along the “dangerous” lava shelf to get out to Queen’s Bath. But hearing no complaints, Sydney and I started out parallel to the breaking waves against the rugged lava edge. I warned Sydney about the dangers of breaking waves and told her to NEVER turn her back on the ocean and ALWAYS have a way out. Looking back, we saw Kerri lagging behind and looking even more uneasy, which was understandable. This was not a place to be when the ocean was not perfectly calm. We waited for her to catch up and continued out along the ledge passing numerous warning signs about the dangers of being there.

Once out at Queen’s Bath we found a group of people standing along the edge, which went against the warnings, and nobody was swimming or snorkeling. Large waves were coming up over the edge and spilling into the pool of Queen’s Bath, while others were breaking hard against the shelf. Not a very safe place to be. We stood back in an area that offered a quick escape while expecting at any moment for a sneaker wave to come and rip someone from the shelf. Fortunately, that didn’t happen.

We made our way back out along the lava shelf and back up the trail to the calm of the residential neighborhood unscathed. Queen’s Bath was a great place to visit, but I would not dare to go swimming or snorkeling there unless it was a perfectly calm day. Maybe another time.

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Dreamer. Photographer. Sailing addict. World traveler. I left my desk job in Portland, Oregon to travel the world...


  1. Kerri says

    I didn’t see the sign about how many people have died at Queens Bath until we were coming back – otherwise there would have been no way I would have gone further. Just the raw power of the ocean and other signs were making me nervous enough. Seeing Queen’s bath was well worth the trip though.

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