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Queens Bath Princeville
Queens Bath has become so popular that they have a parking lot installed in the residential community to assess the trail. The parking lot holds about 10 cars and the adjacent streets all have “no parking” signs in front of the immediate homes. First warning, the Princeville Patrol is very serious about parking anywhere but the designated lot. They will ticket and tow if you are not in the lot.
WARNING: Please know your own personal limits. Although the path drops only 120 in elevation, it can be slippery. Once reaching the lava, walk away from the ocean next to the treeline. You never know when a large wave will strike the sea wall.
The path begins off the parking lot. It can be very slippery but at the beginning of the trail it is mostly covered by pine needles and other leaves which helps keep it dry. The total elevation change to the bottom of the path is only about 120 feet. Along the path you will hear a rushing stream and about halfway down is a nice 8-foot waterfall. The path becomes more slippery as it starts to open up at the ocean and there is another small waterfall then a 15-foot waterfall as the stream dumps into the ocean. At this point you need to closely look at the ocean to see it you should venture out on the large black lava shelf, which is no more than 10 above sea level. In the winter months and high tide the ocean crashes over the lava and several deaths occur each year due to tourist getting too close to the edge and a large wave hits them knocking them into the ocean. The lava pool known as Queens Bath is located about 250 yards to the left as you face the ocean. You walk across large black lava boulders to get to the large lava inlet protected from the immediate surf. You will recognize the pool (about the size of 2 large swimming pools) on a calm day. The ocean fills the pool and circulates new water in with small waves and the tide. Small fish get trapped and it is a great place to snorkel on a CALM DAY. On a rough day, you can’t even recognize the pool because it just looks like all the other inlets.
There is a way to determine if it is safe to venture down to Queens Bath. Just a block past the turnoff to Queens Bath is the Makai golf course. There is a pathway that parallels the 7th hole. It takes you to the 7th green/ 8th tee box, which looks directly over Queens Bath. It’s a great place to take a picture and check out how rough the ocean is. Caution: Currently the Makai Course is being completely redone. I’m not sure after the redesign if the pathway will still be there. As of today, Feb 2009, the path was still there but there is a lot of construction going on.
Complete current pictures can be seen at Queens Bath Pictures. For pictures of what it looks like on a rough winter day go to www.trailblazerhawaii.com. Rogue waves can completelly sweep you off the rocks or fill the whole pool with water and sweep you out to sea. Be extremely careful here in winter.Be sure and check out the local swim team doing dives and flips. Highly NOT recommended.