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Kauai’s West Shore Beaches - Lucy Wright Beach Park and Polihale

These two sets of beaches are very interesting and together make up a whole lot of sand to discover! If you are on Kauai’s West shore then you should definitely take the time to check out Lucy Wright Beach Park as well as the Polihale Beaches.

Lucy Wright Beach Park
In 1778 Captain James Hook first set foot on Hawaii at Lucy Wright Beach Park, although it wasn’t named that then. However, despite the fact that his arrival was a big deal the locals chose to name the beach after Lucy Wright. She died in 1931 and was very active in the Waimea community.

This is a famous beach in a way, yet it’s not as pretty as some of the others. That is because the Waimea River flows into the beach near here and the water is not as clear and pretty as in other places. Watching the water from the river and the ocean mix together is an interesting way to spend a few hours. If you like camping out then you can get a county permit and camp at this beach .

Polihale
If you are interested in walking 15 miles of uninterrupted beach then you should definitely check out Polihale. This beach has three different regions because it is so long. Most of the beaches on this stretch of sand are completely exposed to the ocean and have really strong currents and waves. There are a couple of places that are safer, but for the most part that is not the case. The three regions are Kekaha Beach Park, Pacific Missile Range Facility, and Polihale State Park. If you decide to go for a walk on this long beach be careful of the super hot sand that can burn your feet and don’t forget to take water with you. There are not many places where you can buy it out here. Also, don’t get too close to the waves because they can be so strong that they pull you into the water.

Kekaha Beach Park
The first part of Polihale is Kekaha Beach Park. The waves and surf here are outrageously strong so stay out of the water. If the water is super calm you might try it out, but be careful and always be on the lookout for changing tides.

Pacific Missile Range Facility
The US Navy operates the Pacific Missile Range Facility and provides a training ground for Anti Submarine Warfare. Missile tests are also conducted here. You will find it difficult to access this area, especially since 9/11, and can try to make arrangements before you arrive. Even then you still might not be able to access this area.

Right past here is Barking Sands Beach. The name of this beach comes from a legend that if the conditions are walk the sand dunes will sound as if they are barking with every single step you take. Generally the sand will “bark” if it is really dry, but other than that you can walk, jump, kick, and do anything else with no result.

Polihale State Park
The most northern part of the island is Polihale State Park. If you want to get any further you will have to get in a boat to do so. The Na Pali Coast begins here as well. There are facilities here at the Park yet they are not in tiptop condition. You will find bathrooms, drinking water, showers, and picnic tables. Perhaps the most famous part of Polihale State Park are the sand dunes. They are truly amazing. They can reach 100 feet tall and be 300 feet wide. If you want to walk, run, or roll down the dune that can be fun and enjoyable. But if you want to go up then you better be in really good shape because it is a workout!

It rarely rains at Polihale and it is generally dry and the sand hot. When it does rain you will find that the road can get slippery and hard to drive on. Regardless, if you aren’t a local or professional driving on beaches with soft sand then you shouldn’t drive out to Polihale. If you get stuck you might prefer to leave the car there and pay the rental agency the balance than try and pay a tow truck to pull you out!

If you do want to arrive at Polihale State Park then simply take Hwy 50 until the end and veer right at the fork. You will see a dirt road, take it and travel 3 3/10 miles to a large tree. Here you will be able to enjoy Polihale not to mention Queen’s Pond!

Queen’s Pond is enclosed by a reef that allows fresh seawater in and out but protection from the tides an waves. Generally the swimming is safe and enjoyable and plenty of people of all ages can enjoy Queen’s Pond. If the surf is high then you might want to avoid Queen’s Pond until the water is a little calmer.

From here you are not too far from the Na Pali beaches, however these beaches simply are not accessible without putting forth a whole lot of effort and preparing yourself for a real adventure!

You will really enjoy checking out the different stretches of beach at Polihale and might just discover something new on your own! Take your time, always carry bottled water, and be careful of the strong waters. If you do that then you should have no problem enjoying Polihale.



 
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