About “Queen’s Bath Waterfalls”
The “Queens Bath Waterfalls” are what I’m dubbing this pair of waterfalls that we noticed when we went looking for the tidal pool that apparently people can swim in when the tides are calm (it wasn’t when we were there; not that we were going for a swim anyways).
The upper waterfall (see below) tumbles some 15-30ft before dropping into a small but serene pool. The lower waterfall (see photo above) plunges about 15ft right into a churning inlet surrounded by lava already tortured by the elements of surf, wind, and rain.
The walk to these falls was a pretty straightforward 120ft descent. We left the well-established car park and residential area along a somewhat slippery path alongside a stream containing these waterfalls ultimately entering a large bench of sculpted lava (better have decent shoes here). However, we didn’t walk far enough towards the Hanalei Bay side of the bench where allegedly the Queen’s Bath itself was. Maybe next time we’ll check it out and see for ourselves what hoopla is about.
While reading about who the queen of Queen’s Bath was referring to, I learned that this area was locally named as a tribute to Queen Emma, the mother of Prince Albert after whom Princeville was named. Sometimes, the once-abundant now threatened Hawaiian Monk Seal is said to make an appearance from its nesting sanctuary in the coral-fringed islands and atolls of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (though we didn’t see one on our December 2006 trip).
From Hwy 56 in Princeville (about 30 miles or an hour drive north of Lihu’e), head north on Ka Haku Road (which curves westward amongst vacation rental condominiums and golf courses) for 1.5 miles to Punahele Road. Turn right onto Punahele Road, and in about a quarter-mile turn right at the second Kapiolani Loop entrance. From Kapiolani Loop, park at the small but developed parking area immediately to your left.
Note that if you do happen to turn right at the first instance of Kapiolani Loop, I suppose you could drive this loop to the car park which would now be on your right.
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