Hike to Turtle Cave

Hawaii Turtle Cave Trailhead

Added by Dan Deublein

Repel down the cliffs of Kauai to visit a cave inhabited by sea turtles! 

Turtle Cave is located within a small bay on the Princeville side of Kauai. This hike requires swimming, repelling down a steep cliff and potentially high tides.  This particular access point is located on private property, so you should be staying in one of the rentals or traveling with a guest. 

When you turn right on Edward Rd, make your second left just before the dead end. You will want to park towards the end of the parking lot and walk between buildings 3 & 4 towards the ocean. 

Look for a sign that says "Warning High Surf Below" and this is where the dirt trail begins. The initial hike is along a red dirt path with minimal descent. As you continue, the trail morphs into an extremely rocky path requiring the use of existing ropes to repel downward. 

As you reach the bottom, you will need to boulder over several rocks until you see the opening face of the cave. Be sure to look for sea turtles as they are often swimming in the bay area if not sleeping inside - hence, the name Turtle Cave! 

You must be able to assess the tide and your ability to reach the cave. DO NOT attempt this during high tide or during the winter months. During the summer, you can typically swim or even wade up to the beach. 

Once you reach the beach, begin exploring the cave and be on the watch for turtles. If you are lucky enough to see the turtles, just remember they are protected by state and federal laws, which prohibit you from approaching them. 

Continue towards the back of the cave which slightly bends to reveal a second opening to the ocean. This is why you may also hear the term "Two Headed Turtle Cave". When you are finished enjoying this incredible adventure, simply return the way you came. 

Pack List

  • Dry Sack
  • Water & Snacks
  • Camera
  • Sunscreen
  • Swimwear
  • Water Shoes
  • Headlamp
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Activities:

Chillin, Diving, Fitness, Hiking, Photography, Rock Climbing, Swimming

Skill Level:

Advanced

Season:

Spring, Summer

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

0.75 Miles

Elev. Gain:

62 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Beach
Cliff Jumping
Easy Parking
Scenic
Swimming Hole
Wildlife

Are we missing something?

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How to Get There

about 2 months ago

Being Mindful and Discreet

So just wanted to mention to anyone that finds this cave to be mindful that the animals you find here are endangered and the more people who find out and start to frequent this place, the more likely you'll push them out of this safe haven they have from predators and human habitat destruction. The locals are serious about keeping this place a secret from the growing number of tourists so if you do post photos or find out how to get there they have asked that you keep from tagging where this place is and telling more people how to get there. This is an extremely special place and preserving it would be the top priority.

about 2 months ago

Added by Dan Deublein

Dan is an explorer for The Outbound and editor of The Proper Function, an outdoor online editorial. He is passionate about exploration and can’t stay put for more than a week.

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