Polihale State Park Beach, Kauai
Polihale state beach is literally at the western end of the island. It’s literally the end of the road, out past the Pacific Missile Range Facility. This beach is extremely remote and difficult to reach. Four wheel drive vehicles are recommended but not required for the drive out to the beach as the last six miles is a rough, unpaved, potholed dirt road that is sometimes closed. Unfortunately, the day we ventured out the road was indeed closed so we didn’t get out to the beach. I have heard that the views are spectacular but the water is rough and not fit for swimming, except for Queen’s Pond. Camping and fishing are allowed.
To get here take Highway 50 past Kekaha. Turn on Kekaha Road then a right turn onto Old Mana Road. Continue approximately 13 miles.
It is vast. It is an amazing long beach the most western part of the island you could get to along the coast. Very deserted, it looks like a bit end of the world or something. To get there 4WD is recommended because the road becomes dirt road but it’s also fun to drive bumpy roads! It is an open sea so you need to be careful for a strong currency, but there is a swimming pool too so you can enjoy water there. don’t forget to bring something to shade from sun it is a big open space with no shade.
Polihale Beach is remarkable! It is often overlooked, but is one of the most spectacular beaches I've ever seen. There are so many different shades of blue in the water, then there's the start of the Na Pali cliffs and the huge sand dunes, and the whale watching is great--depending upon the season. We saw 3 whales while sitting on the beach in early February.
This is a good beach for expert surfers and for strolling. Swimming is certainly not recommended for there is an extremely strong undertow, nor is surfing for the novice.
The drive here can be treacherous and is recommended for 4 wheel drive vehicles only. We were on a motorcyle, so we didn't have some of the same obstacles that you would have with a car. Don't come here if it's been raining on the West Shore--you certainly will get the car stuck.
Camping is allowed here and you must get a permit from the Division of State Parks (808-274-3444), and is $5.00 per group per night. You should try to get the permit well in advance. There are shower and restroom facilities, though they are not well maintained.
** DO NOT MISS **
Getting there is unnerving, daunting and sometimes you wonder where you're headed but upon arriving you will be heavily rewarded!
This beach is very secluded. You have to drive through a sugarcane field marred with potholes and often times you will wonder why you embarked on the drive at all. All your efforts will pay off in the end!
Polihale State Park has one of Kaua'i's best beaches and most dramatic locations (at the far western end of the Na Pali cliffs), but you have to do a little work to get there so it's not very populated. First, you have to take route 50 across the southern belly of Kaua'i past all the small towns until it ends just past Barking Sands. Then you have to ride rugged, washboard dirt roads for about 20 minutes (thank god you have a rental car!) until you finally reach a wide parking lot. At that point, jump out of your car and head towards the water. You'll be on one of the widest, vastes, longest stretches of beach in Hawaii, facing due west towards practically nothing. If you're lucky you'll have the beach to yourself, but mostly you'll be far away from everyone. In the distance, you may see people riding dune buggies or (I really saw this) dragging people around on blankets tied to pick-up truck hitches (there's not much nighlife here, after all). We were ableto take 5 whippets to the beach and they had plenty of room to run. And the Na Pali cliffs are beautiful!
Just give yourselves 45 minutes from Waimea to get there. It doesn't look that far on the map but the dirt road driving is slow.