polihale kauai

Tips for a Visit to Polihale Beach Kauai 2023!

A visit to Polihale Beach Kauai had been on my bucket list for years. It’s an out-of-way 17-mile stretch of white sand beach on the Western shore of Kauai, where the Na Pali cliffs begin. It’s a remote area and the access road to it is a muddy pothole-filled road.  The road often gets rained out so it’s important to check the weather before heading to the beach. For me, this was a challenge but not one that deterred me so one day we got up early and made the trek out.

Polihale Beach

How to Get to Polihale Beach Kauai

Get yourself on Highway 50 and drive to the end.  At the end of Highway 50 is a bumpy dirt road that takes you into Polihale State Park.  The road was ridiculously bumpy, we all literally could not stay in our seats. Our kids thought it was hilarious and laughed and squealed the entire way while I tried to just hang on. We were lucky in that the road was dry but even following another car grooves ahead of us did nothing to ease the drive.

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Polihale Beach is open 24 hours.  It’s a great place to spend the day at!


I could go on about that bumpy road, but we were truly rewarded at the end of the trip. I want to say that there were about 12-15 other people in the area and that was it ALL DAY. The Polihale Beach Kauai facilities are disgusting but there is a shower (located in the sand) and bathrooms with a small area to change clothes. There are picnic tables not far from a small dirt patch that doubles as a parking lot.

The sand was warm and the sky was clear so there wasn’t much of a break from the heat that the West Shore is known for. We brought along an umbrella which was fabulous to block the sun. The waves were very strong so this isn’t a swimming beach but we had fun putting our feet in the water and just taking in the views.

My photos don’t do justice to this serene place. It was truly stunning in person.

Polihale Beach on Kauai is such a beautiful beach and if you can get access to a 4WD to manage the tricky road you too can be rewarded at the end. Make sure to respect the surrounding area and clean up after you are done enjoying Polihale Beach.


Can you swim at Polihale Beach Kauai?

There is one swimming area at the southwestern edge of the beach. It is a lagoon sheltered from the waves and currents and locals have dubbed it “Queens Bath.” This area is safe for swimming and snorkeling however the rest of the beach is super rough. There are no lifeguards on site.

Polihale beach kauai

Can You Camp at Polihale Beach Kauai?

Due to it being a lesser-known beach, Polihale State Park can be a good camping location. Permits are required for camping and start at $12.  There are no lifeguards at Polihale Beach.

What should you bring to Polihale Beach Kauai?

Polihale Beach offers the basics such as restrooms, showers, and shaded picnic areas, but you will need to bring all other necessities. At a minimum bring sunscreen, a beach umbrella, and a cooler to avoid sunburns and dehydration. You may also want to bring sandals for long walks on the beach and to protect your feet from hot sand. 

It’s also recommended that you fill your tank with gas in Waimea and bring a picnic from local favorites like Foodland.


Clean up thoroughly after yourself, and make sure to take everything that you bring in.

Have you ever visited Polihale Beach Kauai?  What did you think of the road to get there? 

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polihale beach kauai

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  1. Oh this looks so beautiful! Putting it on my travel bucket list!

    1. It’s such a gorgeous and quiet place!! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. We accessed this park with a 2 wheel drive little rental car. Just potholes on road, went slow, no problem. We walked our things to a campsite because there is more sand as you get closer to sites, that’s where 4 wheel drive would come in handy. It was gorgeous and private. We swam, read, relaxed, made a fire, and it was amazing. It is driest on the West side so head there if it’s raining.

    1. Thank you for sharing! I’m glad you had an amazing time! 🙂

  3. Mark herdt says:

    First went there in 1989 and every time we go back to Kauai we go there and everytime my wife says its the last time because of the drive in……. until we get there. It truly is a remarkable beach on an island full of them.

  4. Robert Mukai says:

    I was born and raised in Waimea. We used to go camping and fishing at Polihale when I was a young boy. The area is too rough to swin in Dec and Jan when the ocean is really rough. We used to called the lagoon ” Queen’s Pond. There is a fresh fresh water spring at the area of the beginning of the cliffs.

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