Far from the everyday and miles from ordinary there lies an untouched paradise of pristine sand that stretches as far as the eye can see. Here on the sun-soaked coast of western Kaua‘i, it is just you and the pounding surf, the gentle island breezes, and the soft symphony of the sand itself as it “barks” and sings to you with each reverberating wave crashing upon the shore. Missed by many but remembered by all who visit, Polihale State Park is well worth the epic adventure required to reach these sandy shores and is a perfect place for a day in the sun – and a sunset the likes of which you’ve never seen.
The Resting Place of the Sun
As the western-most point in the main Hawaiian Islands (and the U.S.A), there is something magical about Polihale State Park in Kauai. Located at the end of a rugged dirt road used to access sugarcane fields (4WD is advised, though in dry conditions normal cars are okay), this beach stretches for miles beneath the watchful gaze of the majestic Na Pali Coast and Kokee mountain ranges to the northeast. Winds shape massive sand dunes, some 100-feet high, and the broad beach is one of the state’s largest. Out here, miles from civilization, there is a sense of peace and calm, even as the Pacific puts on a might display of crashing waves and roiling currents (swimming is only safe at the southern end of the beach, in the “Queen’s Pond”). This beach is wild and remote, so grab your own private mile of sand and soak up the sun.
Rugged Beauty at the Polihale State Park
The Polihale State Park in Kauai is a park, but be warned: It has little in the way of facilities. Pavilions offer some shade, and there are toilets, running water, and semi-private outdoor showers, but no lifeguards are on duty and there are no vendors or concessions of any kind. Driving on the beach is permitted (keep this in mind when choosing your spot), but getting stuck is an expensive proposition! The sun here is extremely intense and shade is limited, so plan accordingly. Scary warnings aside, the rugged beauty of this secluded place has to be seen to be believed, and the sunsets alone are worth the trip. In the evenings you can hear the soft bleats of goats on the nearby mountains and the famous “Barking Sands” that transform every wave into an eerie and haunting symphony.
If you are craving unadulterated sunshine and a secluded beach experience, this is the perfect Hawaiian beach escape for you.