To new arrivals the official name of this beach, Kauapea (“the fair rain”), is certainly more secret than what most call it, Secret Beach. That’s because it’s located at the end of a dirt road, coincidentally named Secret Beach Road, which is to the right off the first Kalihiwai Road (which was split into two parts by a bridge outage back in 1957) just north of Kilauea off Kuhio Highway. One should proceed slowly onto the dirt road as it is usually washboarded at the start (by cars and trucks operated by people afflicted with the hurry sickness), and occasionally deeply rutted toward the end by heavy rains.
Parking lot and trailhead (between the stone gateposts)
Parking may be crowded on any sunny afternoon as it’s only adequate for about a dozen vehicles, and there are several driveways not to be blocked. Between the stone gateposts, by the bamboo, is the trail to the beach, a little over a quarter-mile and mostly STEEP and very slippery when it’s raining.
Stepping off point
At the bottom of the trail lies the most beautiful stretch of sand I’ve seen on Kauai, and the sand stretches eastward all the way to Kilauea Point. To the west, alternating expanses of lava rock and sandy beach.
Secret Beach to the west
Secret Beach eastward
…to Kilauea Point
By the way, that small island off Kilauea Point is called Moku‘ae‘ae, Hawaiian for “small island.”
Obviously, the greatest extent of Secret Beach lies between the bottom of the trail and Kilauea Point. Nevertheless, the expanse of sandy beach beyond the first lava ‘finger’ is difficult to appreciate in the panoramic shot, so here’s a better glimpse of that western extent of Secret Beach, viewed from atop the rocks.
Western expanse of Secret Beach
Perhaps this view is inaccurate in the opposite extreme, appearing more vast than it really is, but suffice it to say, it is not crowded. …and give a listen to the surf on this side of the rocks.
Breakers at Secret Beach
Rumors abound concerning both the location and the activities and sights at this beach, often touted as a nude beach. Admittedly, the location is obscured from view, but easily located via Google Maps, and the only sights I’ve seen are pictured in this post, so evidence that hedonist scofflaws are cavorting anywhere on Kauai is thin. In fact I’ve rarely seen more than a handful of people here—students doing beach cleanup, families large and small hiking up/down the trail, one or two modestly dressed couples, and half a dozen surfers.
Since this post is more about the destination than the journey, I’ll throw up some farewell shots from the beach, along with a few from the climb.
Finally, as a hiker, I rather enjoy the trail more than the beach, so here are a few shots heading out to the car.
As a reminder, if it was raining or had just rained this would be an extremely slippery, if not outright dangerous trek. On the other hand, why go to the beach when it’s raining?