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  • Writer's pictureTina McLain

Pila'a Beach

Updated: Nov 8, 2022

A not-well-known beach on the island of Kauai in Hawaii.



I really had to think hard about whether or not I would share this, because it is a special place to me. It’s not well known and I’d like to keep it that way. It is a beach I just recently found. Ellie & I hiked down to the beach together.


I love this beach because if you just look from the parking area out at the ocean you can see the most incredible water—full of different colors of blue and green. It is so clear you can see the rocks scattered at the bottom of the ocean floor. It is a breathtaking sight. Pictures don’t do it justice. So if you don’t want to hike down to the beach you can just take in the view from the top.


It’s a steep hike down to the “beach.” You want to be in good physical condition to hike up or down it. Honestly, I probably shouldn’t have hiked down. But it was totally worth it, even though I’m paying for it days afterwards. The trail is full of slick, steep slopes, tall “steps” and overgrown brush. It even has a rope at one part of the trail to use to go up/down since it is so steep and can be muddy.



Once you reach the bottom of the trail you can access a sandy beach to the left or a rocky beach with large boulders to the right. Most of the people that come to the beach go fishing, particularly in the rocky area of the beach. Both directions are beautiful. The water seemed to be pretty rough and the bottom of the ocean floor was covered with slabs of rock, so “swimming” wasn’t a very safe option.


Ellie and I enjoyed walking down the rocky part of the beach, more like rock hopping. We went quite a ways until we could see around the next inlet, then we turned around and hiked to the “sandy” part of the beach. We went a little ways then just sat in the sand, taking in our beautiful surroundings.


We only saw 2 other people at the beach, one was fishing and the other looked like he was taking a dip in the water. It was very private and peaceful. The hike back up sucked. Having a chronic illness and being out of shape made it very painful for me. By the time Ellie and I made it back to the top we were exhausted, overheated and very hungry. Thankfully we were only about 20 minutes away from our favorite Thai restaurant in Princeville.



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