Kepuhi Beach

Kepuhi Beach - Quiet Hidden Beach on Kauai’s North Shore
Local Expert's Rating:
5.0 / 5
The Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for a quiet, secluded, and pretty beachfront on the popular Kauai North Shore, Kepuhi Beach is a great option. It’s rarely crowded—sometimes downright deserted—which recommends it as a tranquil spot for sunbathing, sand-strolling, and oceanfront picnicking. What it’s not is a particularly good place for swimming, though some average snorkeling is possible when conditions are calm.

- The Local Expert Team

It’s not always easy to find an uncrowded stretch of easily reached sand on Kauai, but the beachfront of Kepuhi Point on the North Shore usually delivers on that count. Accessed via the Kuhio Highway west of Hanalei, not far east of the better-known Tunnels Beach, Kepuhi Beach has a nice out-of-the-way feel.

It’s a pretty swath of shore, too, with classic Kauai North Shore views of jungle-green ridges (including, to the west, some of the ravishing skyline of Tunnels Beach). Swaying coconut palms edge the pearly sand that eases down to the surf. Roughened by a fringing reef, those waters aren’t the best for swimming: The current can be strong and dangerous here. No lifeguards watch over Kepuhi Beach, either. 

That said, when conditions are calm there’s decent snorkeling to be had at Kepuhi Beach, though nothing of the quality and variety on offer not far west along the coast at Tunnels Beach. But if you’re spending some hours here and you’ve watched the waters awhile to gauge their friendliness, you can sometimes take a safe dip.

Like other North Shore beaches, though, Kepuhi Beach gets heavier surf generally too dangerous to contend with during the winter.

In other words, Kepuhi Beach is one of those Kauai seashores really more suited to onshore enjoyment. Given its low profile and somewhat hidden location off the Kuhio Highway—and the fact that the swimming and snorkeling aren’t super-great by Kauai standards—you’ll rarely have to share these sands with very many other people. In fact, you might just luck out and find them empty, especially during the week.

The elbowroom and pretty prospects make Kepuhi Beach a fine place for a picnic, a beach stroll, or just some quiet reflection with sand between your toes and breaking waves to gaze upon. 

Set close to the Hanalei Colony Resort and the YMCA Camp Naue, Kepuhi Beach waits at the end of a path reached off Alamoo Road north of the highway. There’s not much parking, so you might consider parking along the Kuhio (where allowed) and walking through the neighborhood—or, if you park a bit farther southeast, along the beachfront—to get to Kepuhi Point. 

Not the most spectacular or activity-rich beach on the North Shore—and let’s point out that Kauai has some very high standards when it comes to beaches—Kepuhi Beach is nonetheless a lovely place to spend some time. The fact that you may well have it nearly or completely to yourself makes it all the more magical!

Insider Tips:
-It’s possible to walk to Tunnels Beach from Kepuhi Beach: a nice way to get to that spectacular place, given its parking challenges.
-Kepuhi Beach can get a bit on the windy side—no reason not to visit, but sometimes a weather pattern that cuts short a hangout.