Where Is Polihale Located?
Polihale State Park is a remote wild beach on the Western Side of the Hawaiian Island of Kauai.
Why Visit Polihale?
Recently named by Travel and Leisure as the world’s best-secured beach. The name literally means “a leaping off place for spirits” or “house of death”. This park is by far the longest stretch of beach in the state of Hawaii. It is the most western publically accessible area in Hawaii. Verdant cliffs frame this public beach.
Things To Do
The miles of sand dunes, some dunes are as tall as 100 feet. These large sand structures allow for countless hours of beach-combing and funding unique seashells. However, there is little vegetation on these beaches so make sure you bring your own shade such as canopies, tents or umbrellas. Walking north on the beach you will arrive at the base of 2,000-foot high Polihale Ridge which is one of a dozen ridges that are roadless and rugged reaching out to the ocean. Macau Point is where these cliffs jet out into the ocean.
Being on the west side of the island of Kauai, will provide you with some of the most stunning sunsets so make sure you plan to spend the entire day. The sun sets over the westernmost island Niihau, the forbidden island; the only land that can be seen for miles and miles. The sun will slowly set casting beautiful colors onto the Coast of Na Pali, setting the scenery on fire with the crimsons and orange colors.
How To Get There
Many area locals travel down highway 50, the main road for Kauai’s south side, for a weekend hang out. The highway will wind you through various towns and villages as you leave Linhue heading westward to the Na Pali Coast. Eventually, the road ends and turns into a bumpy dirt road which is the entrance to the Park.
Be prepared as the road sometimes floods in the winter causing closure and is almost always slow going with puddles, potholes and ruts. You will see many four-wheel drive vehicles heading down the three-mile dirt road, past old sugar cane fields–a reminder of the history of Hawaii. The old sugarcane road eventually opens up to a 7 mile long stretch of white sand beach. Take caution: Some rental car companies do not allow rental vehicles on this access road and beach so be sure to check the rental company policy before making this drive. There are some tourist companies that offer day trips which you might want to consider due to the conditions of the road before entering the park.
The average temperature varies very little. The hottest months are August, September and July when temperatures reach about 87 degrees as a high and 73 degrees as a low.
The ocean water at this State Park has strong currents and no lifeguards on duty, making this beach a dangerous beach for swimming, and swimming is not recommended. There are other activities to enjoy in the cold water of the beach on a hot dry day. Just remember to take caution in the water no matter the activity. There is a “Safer” spot called Queens Pond on barking sands beach on the south end of the park that has a protective reef, making the waters calmer and usually safer to swim and surf.
Places To Stay At
Amazingly, despite being remote, this beach does have cell phone service. There are new facilities and shelters for day and overnight camping. Facilities have running water, toilets and outdoor showers. If you plan on camping overnight, be prepared to pay a camping fee. Otherwise, the beach has free daily access. If you do decide to camp overnight, you will see the best stargazing on the planet.
If camping is not your style, hotels are located a short distance away Kekaha and Waimea. Even if you choose to stay on the opposite end of the island, it is only a 30-mile drive to this beautiful and majestic beach.
This is a place that should be on everyone’s bucket list of things to do. Polihale beach is the perfect spot for a Kauai sunset, a picnic and getting away from it all. While in the Hawaii island chain, don’t miss this perfect opportunity to visit an untouched and pristine beach.