This beach is perhaps more well known by it's nickname, Secret Beach but in Hawaiian is known as Kauapea Beach. However, many locals simply call this beach Secrets for short. This 3,000 foot long north shore beach is known for its size, privacy, and scenery. Secret beach is between Kalihiwai Bay and Kilauea Point and is accessed by a steep trail which is of course, not marked. This beach is great because it's so large and vast, that many times you feel like you are one of the only people there. Keep walking down the beach until you find a spot that suits you, and enjoy this beach. Beware, the further down you march the more likely you are to be in the unofficial clothing optional section of Secret Beach.
You can see Secrets from the nearby Kilauea Lighthouse (nearby Kilauea Bay and Kahili Beach). The ocean at Secret Beach tends to be rough and is subject to extremely strong currents, especially in the winter. It's sometimes swimable during the summer, but seldom suitable for novice swimmers. In additinon, walking on the lava rocks to the left of Secret Beach is only safe on the calmest summer days and when the surf report calls for small waves less than 2 ft high. When conditions allow you will find neat tidal pools known as Secret Lagoons. This rocky coastline leads to a beautiful waterfall as well.
Secret Beach Waterfall and Lagoons
Tidal lagoons form on the west end of the beach offering a kind of kiddie pool. Also half way down the beach to the east (right) is a waterfall. It varies in volume with weather, but usually has at least a trickle of fresh water and a small pool It's a great spot to rinse off your gear, or body after getting salty and sandy. At the base of the waterfall is a small pool (sometimes not much more than a puddle) which can be a nice freshwater area to sit in and cool off.
Secret beach has a reputation of being one of Kauai's nude and clothing optional beaches, although it's rare to see more than a couple people without clothing. This has now become Kauai's premier nude beach, although Kauai County authorities sometimes attempt to enforce the nudity ban (posting notices). Most of the topless and nude sun bathers use the far east side of the beach. So if you venture that far down the beach prepare to dress accordingly.
Whales and dolphins are seem off the shore at times during the summer. You can also see Moku'ae'ae, a small rocky outcropping that is a bird sanctuary and part of the Kilauea Refuge.
Secret Beach is located approximately one-half mile northwest of the town of Kilauea and is situated between the Kilauea Lighthouse and Kalihiwai Valley. As its name suggests, the beach is not easily accessible and no public roads lead to it. To find it, take the Kuhio Highway past Kilauea and turn right on Kalihiwai Road. Follow the road for about 50 yards and then turn right into an unmarked, unpaved road. Proceed to the end and park. Nearby is the foot path leading to the west end of the beach.
A few beaches near Secret (Kauapea) Beach:
Please check with appropriate resources and authorities regarding beach conditions, tides, etc. This website is produced in the interest of public safety and injury prevention and cannot guarantee or warrant your safety at any of the locations described herein. That is your responsibility. This website and any sponsors or affiliates accept no responsibility, express or implied, for the use or misuse of this website and the information contained herein. Any statements or assessments of conditions are based solely on opinion and should NOT be considered expert advice.
Water conditions at the beach vary by season. Although the beach is accessible year round, swimming is only advisable in the summer and even then swimming can be risky when the surf is high or rough because of strong, unpredictable currents. In winter the surf is turbulent and dangerous; accordingly, swimming is not recommended for anyone who is inexperienced under these conditions. This beach has strong shorebreaks and dangerous currents.
The trail to the beach winds steeply downhill through brush and may be barely discernible in places. The hike takes about 10 minutes in good weather. On rainy days and particularly in the winter, the trail is dangerously slick. Be prepared to be covered in reddish hued clay that is notoriously difficult to remove from clothing. Locals recommend braving the hike either barefoot or using Neoprene booties that kayaking enthusiasts tend to use. Since the return requires hiking back up the same path, most visitors will want to come on a dry day to avoid these conditions.