Wyllie’s Beach

Wyllie's Beach — Take a Steep Downhill Hike Straight to the Sandy Shores
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Are you looking to get your steps in for the day, but want a nice reward for all that hard work? Test your mettle by taking the steep downhill hike straight to Wyllie’s Beach and back again. In between this quick yet intense trek, reward yourself with an afternoon of playing in the sand and surf.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Although it’s just a small piece of the coast along North Shore Kauai, Wyllie’s Beach is well worth experiencing at least once. Overall, with its shallow water reef, calm waters, and rough sand, it’s much the same as Anini Beach to the east, but a bit more secluded.

A stream empties out into the ocean between these two beaches, adding to the magic of the landscape. Although you can cross the channel to get to the next beach, the currents at the mouth of the river are rather strong.

Plus, the water at Wyllie’s Beach often looks murky after heavy rains, potentially hiding reef sharks and other wily sea creatures in your midst. Across the rest of the beach, the waves are minimal year-round, making it a great place to float and snorkel.

In order to make it to this beautiful section of the coast, you must first traverse the steep and often slippery path, starting at the trailhead near The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas. Although quite short, the path forces you to challenge yourself while giving you a chance to make every step count.

Your pedometer may not read high after the trek, but you’ll know that you really put in the work to make it to Wyllie’s Beach and back again. Just be sure to tread carefully after it rains. The slick surface makes it easy to lose your footing.

Upon arriving at the water’s edge of Wyllie’s Beach, you can enjoy playing in the sand and surf as a nice reward for your hard work. There’s no lifeguard here, so plan to float, snorkel, or paddle around in the shallow waters. Or you can just enjoy jumping the waves. If you want to swim in the deeper water, the next beach over has a lifeguard on duty more often than not.

Interesting things to do at Wyllie’s Beach include:

Swimming
The calm, shallow waters are fantastic for when you want to take a chill dip in the water without worrying about it getting too deep all of a sudden. If you do want to experience swimming in the deep water, you’ll have to go about a ½ mile out from the shore. But since there’s no lifeguard on duty at Wyllie’s Beach, it’s best to avoid going so far out unless you’re a particularly strong swimmer.

Snorkeling
With the shallow water reef lying just beneath the water’s surface, you have plenty of opportunities to snorkel about and see marine life in their natural habitats. To get the best view, start near high tide at the east side of the reef and go about 50 yards out. Then, let the current gently push you along the reef while gazing in awe at all the colorful fish, sea turtles, and other stunning marine life in your midst.

Paddleboarding
Since the water is so calm in this little section of North Shore Kauai, Wyllie’s Beach makes for an excellent spot to try out paddleboarding. Without big waves coming your way, you’ll be able to quickly get up onto your board and paddle around to your heart’s content. As you travel along the surface of the water, gaze into the depths to see all the creatures swimming about just below your board.

With its relatively secluded atmosphere, Wyllie’s Beach serves as a place to go beachcombing or sunbathing. The shady spots under the trees are great for getting in a quick nap before resuming your tropical adventures. As you search for a great spot to settle down, look for the mangos ripening overhead — and watch out for the overly ripe ones underfoot. If you’re lucky, you’ll find one that’s just right for the picking, letting you enjoy an impromptu taste of paradise.

Insider Tips:
-There are many black lava rocks and broken shells along Wyllie’s Beach, so bring a pair of water shoes to wear while exploring the sandy shores. Also, wear a good pair of hiking shoes for the oft-slippery path down to the beach and back up to the trailhead.
-Stay at least eight feet away from the sea turtles at all times and never touch them. Otherwise, you could end up on the wrong side of the law and have a negative impact on the well-being of the animals.