Polihale Beach (this is a dangerous beach for swimming)

Aug 29, 2022 | General Information

Polihale Beach is spectacular by all measures of comparison and almost every description of this beach requires the use of a superlative. This is the longest beach in all of Hawaii stretching a full 12 miles in length. Its width is also impressive often extending the length of a football field. It has sand dunes which rise to the vegetation behind that will stand as high as one-hundred feet. The light golden-brown sand is billowy, soft and the deepest you will find in Hawaii. It abuts against the lush emerald spires and majestic foot cliffs of the Napali Coastline. Its climate is the hottest and driest on Kauai and on most days will provide a respite from the often continuous rainfall that effects the rest of the island which has more rainfall than any other spot on earth. It is the most remote beach on Kauai and among the most private. You won’t have to worry about someone pitching their umbrella right next to yours.  If you get a permit, you can go camping at Polihale State Park.  You can even ride (legally) your 4X Drive vehicles on the sand all the way to the water and down the beach (unfortunately this is not permissible by any of the rental car companies).

Polihale Beach is as dangerous however as it is beautiful. There are no lifeguards on the beach, the waves can shore break and the currents can be treacherous. You should make it a point to stay out of the water.

Bumpy Road to Polihale Beach

Polihale Beach is so long that it actually has a couple of different sections. The furthest northern section which extends almost to the Napali Coast is often referred to by local residents as “End of the Earth”. It requires an additional 45 minute or so drive from the paved road on an extremely bumpy unpaved road which is really only suitable for 4X Drive cars and trucks. Your rental cars will not be covered by insurance from the rental car agencies if they are damaged or break down on this road. At the end of the road however you will often see campers with trucks and local fisherman with the long lines and fishing poles anchored into the sand. This is a great place to get away from it all for a sunset or to see the stars at night.

Queen’s Pond

A couple miles before “End of the Earth” you will come to another entrance to Polihale Beach which is referred to as “Queens Pond”. The general look and feel of this section of the beach is the same as the other portion with its extreme sand dunes and wide sand but it often times has a reef barrier which makes for a bit more sheltered water area. This ocean area can be dangerous as well and is not recommended for swimming either.


Polihale Beach has dirt parking areas, a bathroom, and showers. There is no lifeguard on duty.

Ocean Caution

Be advised that all beaches and ocean locations in Hawaii can be dangerous including Polihale Beach. Be completely aware of the ocean conditions prior to entering any Hawaiian waters however it is not advised that you enter the water at this location. Also, all shorelines and beaches in Hawaii, including this one, can be frequented by sharks, jellyfish and other sea creatures which can provide potential harm to people entering the water.