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Can I walk to Polihale State Park beach

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Can I walk to Polihale State Park beach

We are spending 12 days at a cottage in Kekaha in mid March.

We last stayed at the same cottage in 2007 and loved it. We like to get away from the typical resort environment and just relax; and Kekaha was really perfect for us. One of my favorite times was hiking/walking on the beach there. Now I understand that the beach is gone at Kekaha.

We never did risk the drive to Polihale State Park beach. I am considering doing it this time.

If I do not drive all the way in can I just park and hike in?

I realize it probably is not the most scenic hike; but it sounds like the Beach is worth the 4 mile trek.

How is the access road lately?

Please advise.

Thanks, Greg

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1. Re: Can I walk to Polihale State Park beach

Here's a thread with the same question. I was trying to find a more recent one because I remember koloagirl responding to this question a month or so ago, but couldn't find it. I think the info is the same.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g29218-i304-k38402…

Santa Rosa...
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2. Re: Can I walk to Polihale State Park beach

You can do it but keep in mind it would be like a 5 mile hike through the Sahara. No shade and hot. And then think about the hike back after you finally get there. Take plenty of fluids. Another problem is lugging what you'll need for the beach. Most people take some form of shade and lots of fluid with them to Polihale.

Plenty of people make the drive to Polihale in all different kinds of vehicles. Granted, the conditions of the road change based on any recent hard rains but I always rent small vehicles and don't recall ever turning around and saying forget it. Some trips require me to drive a lot slower than others, zigzagging across the road to find the most level spots.

And on the rental companies...... in all my years of renting cars on Kauai I've never once had an agent expressly warn me that I cannot take the car to Polihale. And it's not in the contract. I suppose if someone asks them "Where is Polihale Beach on this map?" or "I heard you can't take the cars to Polihale Beach. Is this true?", of course the agent is going to say don't do it. As far as being told this on the way out the door or it being in the contract, it's never happened to me and I've survived many drives there in many types of cars.

Kauai, Hawaii
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3. Re: Can I walk to Polihale State Park beach

Polihale is not a supremely difficult drive unless there have been major rains. It is typically fine, but you would be wise to check before you go. If you are out in Kekaha, the locals will know. Posters here will, too.

I classify myself as a whuz (sp?) when it comes to driving in difficult places - I still have some mobility issues that I have to plan around to be safe - and I don't find that road an issue. There are a couple of spots where the sand is loose/deep - DO NOT stop in the middle of that kind of surface! Nor gun it and spin out. And down. And you should be fine!

I think walking in would be a lot more hazardous - too long and hot. And when you get there, you need shade - and that you have to carry in!

Edited: 12:31 pm, January 31, 2013
La Mirada...
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4. Re: Can I walk to Polihale State Park beach

Greg - it would at least a 8-10 mile round trip. You might get lucky and someone would pick you up. I would never leave my rental car parked near the start of the road or on the side....to me that would just be tempting fate for a break-in.

We've driven the road (slowly) in a economy car. Do be careful of the last curve to Queen's Pond....the road can be very (deep) sandy.

Napa - rental contracts do not specify not driving the rental out to Polihale, but contacts do state (and you sign off on it) that the rental is not to be driven on un-paved roads. To do so is a violation of the contract. It's on an Avis, Enterprise and Alamo contract (I saved them from past trips). Now, I just admitted we violated the contract....

3Chihuahuas

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5. Re: Can I walk to Polihale State Park beach

I agree with mezzsop. We've driven out there numerous times. We park near the bathrooms when the dirt is hard and then walk out to the beach. Avoid any soft sand, as mezzsop mentions above. I really cannot imagine hiking all the way out there and back. Do check the conditions before making the drive. We usually go out there in June so we have not had to deal with a lot of rain.

Kaua'i, HI
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6. Re: Can I walk to Polihale State Park beach

Aloha from Kaua'i!

I'd venture and say about 80% of all visitors violate their rental contract and drive out to Polihale State Park.....and I'm sure the rental car companies know this as well!

Check the road conditions carefully...if there has been heavy rain out there, the road is likely to be heavily rutted from big tire trucks and big potholes that can swallow a rental car! But, if it looks good, then just use the precautions already mentioned here...and do not proceed if you see an area of deep sand over the road.....we have pulled out many rental cars with our truck over the years in these areas.....better to just park before you get into trouble with them! You might have to walk a bit, but better than waiting for someone to come along to help.

Again, not to duplicate information already in another thread, but during the summer months a safe swimming "pond" forms along the beach at Polihale....this is commonly called "Queens Pond" and since it is far from the edge of the ocean, is a popular place to swim with families during the summer months. It is basically like a big bath tub and can get to about 5 feet in depth (or even a little deeper).....when you come to the big monkeypod tree at the fork of the road, turn left there and park in the area where you see other cars....walk over the dunes and you will see it. A safe area to float and swim....maybe not the cleanest water ever (some people don't like it because of that)....it is a great place to float in a air mattress for a sunny afternoon and swim safely in a place that swimming is not safe in any other location.

I wouldn't advise walking into Polihale....you might get lucky and have someone pick you up, but if not....that would be one very long, hot and dusty walk to the beach area and back. Plus I wouldn't recommend leaving your rental car in any area outside of the parking areas by the beach...

Malama Pono,

Janet

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7. Re: Can I walk to Polihale State Park beach

A serious side effect of violating the contract is that your insurance may be voided. I read a story of this happening to someone who was using credit card car insurance. If I recall correctly even the car rental company stated they were not at fault for the accident but the insurance would not cover it because they violated the dirt road clause.

Janet, Queen's Pond is connected to the ocean. It's the section that's protected by the reef. Not visible in high surf.

La Mirada...
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8. Re: Can I walk to Polihale State Park beach

hgjames is absolutely correct. I should have elaborated on what I said. Violating the rental contract (for any reason) can void ANY insurance. Your personal auto insurance, the coverage provided by some credit cards and insurance bought directly from the car rental company. You could be responsible for the entire cost of the car (for instance it catches fire & burns).

I'm not advocating everyone drive out to Polihale in their rental car. If you do, be aware of the possible consequences. Everyone should read all that fine print on the contracts.

3Chihuahuas

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9. Re: Can I walk to Polihale State Park beach

3chis, I don't recall ever signing off on a contract that I agree to not go on un-paved roads. I'm usually pretty picky about contracts. Not driving on unpaved roads would eliminate a number of roads on Kauai. That would be hard to enforce.

When I check out my car the agent always goes through the initialing process with me explaining what I'm initialing for. I honestly don't remember ever hearing of that one or signing for it. If so, I would have questioned it because you can find yourself on a number of unpaved roads in typical sightseeing.

Is it hidden somewhere where you don't have to initial for it?

La Mirada...
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10. Re: Can I walk to Polihale State Park beach

YES napa…it’s in the fine print. And yes, I’m a pack-rat. I have a big envelope or folder for every year’s vacation papers. Thankfully, I’m organized. And can find stuff fairly easily……

On the Enterprise contract where you sign full name it states “Acknowledgement of the entire agreement which consists of pages 1 through 4” basically all the fine print. On the back is Section 4 “Renter agrees to the following limits on use” (10) “Vehicle shall not be driven on an unpaved road or off-road.”

On the Alamo contract, also where you sign your full name it states “You agree to all provisions contained within this agreement, including those contained within Alamo’s rental agreement jacket and all applicable optional products brochures.” Inside the jacket is nearly identical wording regarding not driving on an un-paved road. Not surprising since Alamo & Enterprise belong to the same company.

On the Avis contract is the basically the same wording as Alamo “I agree to the terms and conditions including who may drive the car which is stated on the rental document jacket provided”

In violation 15 A 4 “to be operated in a test, race or contest or on unpaved road”

And speaking about violating a rental car agreement….if you allow someone who is not listed on the rental agreement to drive and yes, even a spouse, you are in violation of the agreement. ALL drivers must be listed.

3Chihuahuas

Edited: 4:48 pm, January 31, 2013