Kauai - Turtle Cave

Introduction:

Where? : Located at the north section of Kauai at Princeville ocean cliffs.

Google Map Link


 

What? : A sea cave right on the ocean cliff where at night being used by sea turtles as a sleeping place.

 

When? : Year round when it is low tide and no ocean storms.

 

Due note 1: I was debating with myself if to publish this place, very delicate sea Turtle ecosystem. Because my blog audience is small and it mainly being watch by people that love nature, as myself, I decided to share this unique experience with you.

Respect the Turtles and do not disturb them.

These are wild animals, keep your distance, do no touch them or stay there for long time.

 

Due note 2: Getting to this place is trespassing through private property so do this at your own risk.

 

Due note 3: Do not bring flipflops !

 

My thoughts: For me and my sun this visit was unique, once in a lifetime, nature experience!!!


 

The visit:

I will start with remark that this is a doable short visit but please pay attention to the warnings below.

 

How long: Overall, this is around 1 hr visit, around ¼ of a mile long. This is not about distance but rather mainly depending on how fast you can climb down the rocky section and across the ocean water cove.

 

When: The place is nice at daytime but for seeing turtles, you must come at night. we went there at 8pm, well after dark and during low tide.

 

Some other aspects:

Cary head flashlights because you will need to use your hands when going down or climb up. Check if it has some Waterproof abilities else pack it when you need to swim.

 

Waterproof all your stuff, in most cases you will need to swim for a short distance or get wet by the wave.

 

When we were there was an old rope at the trail rocky section, if you can bring 10-15m rope with you, just in case. No need to bring heavy duty rappelling rope, just something that will help you with balance and going down safely on the slippery rock cliff.

 

It is highly recommended to check when is the low tide is, the cove aces can get treacherous in high tide as the waves hit the rocks.

 

Have in your car some towels to put on the car seats because you will probably come back with muddy clothe.

 

The trail is straining within a private property and they do not like people parking or trespassing there so try not to get attention and park far from the trailhead.

 

How to get there: from Ka Hku Rd, turn right into Pepelani Loop, turn right into Kaui Rd. turn right into Edward road and left on first road into the complex.

Because it is not recommended to park on Kaui or Edward Rd sidelines I parked my car at the first parking lot of the complex (link to parking spot).


The hike

I walk fast from my car through the complex until reaching the gap between buildings 3 & 4 on my right (after ~500ft), almost at the end of the road (link to map).

Turned right towards the ocean, cross the grass and you will reach the cliff and the trailhead, you can’t miss it with all the warning signs.


Start to go down the cliff, the trail gets into steep rocky section requiring the use of existing ropes to go down safely. This section is bit slippery especially if it’s raining.

As you reach the bottom section, you will need to boulder over several rocks to your right until you see the opening face of the cave across the sea cove. Here you need to assess your ability to cross the water section and reach the cave.


When we did it the water was calm and low tide so we can cross it without a swim, walking at hip level water. DO NOT attempt this crossing during high tide or during stormy weather.

Once you cross the sea cove and reach the cave side (~20-30 m crossing) you will get into the dry sandy cave. Start progressing into the cave that is not so deep (50m), what is nice about this cave is that it has large open to the sea also from the other side, explore the cave and watch for turtles. When we visit here, we saw around 15 large sea turtles sleeping on the remote cave entrance.


Do remember that turtles are protected by state and federal laws, which prohibit you from approaching them. Try to be a quite as you can, do not spotlight or disturb the turtles.

 

When visiting this place we were the only one there, that increase the feeling of “this is a special moment” !

 

When you are finished enjoying this incredible unique experience you need to return the same way you came down.

 

Pictures:




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