Hike to Turtle Cave

0.75 miles 62 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

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. 

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Rock Climbing
Easy Parking
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole


Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

about 2 years ago

Not safe and unfriendly locals

We decided to check this hike out as it looked fun. But we got there to be greeted by some not so friendly locals. We went anyways. My wife fell off the rock on the “repel” and bruised her hip. She had a very hard time getting out. No turtles were there and you about drown getting to the caves. Not recommended.

Great spot, just be mindful!

I put the pin into my Apple Maps app and had absolutely no trouble finding the trailhead. I also had zero trouble descending to the cave. I could see that it may be treacherous if it was wet/muddy, but if you hold onto the ropes you will be fine. The only thing I would say is to be mindful of both the people staying at the Ali'i Kai resort (as they are paying to be there), but more importantly if you're lucky enough to encounter sea turtles do not harass them. This is their natural habitat and we don't want to ruin it for them!


Update: I think we took the wrong trail! Note: do NOT take the trail directly behind the warning sign at the turn-around at the end of Edward Rd. The directions listed here say to take a "second left" after turning onto Edward Rd., but there is no second left (just one), so I'm not sure where the proper trailhead starts. ----- I am an experienced hiker/backpacker and a total risk-taker, but this "trail" should not be attempted without ropes and climbing gear. I took some buddies there yesterday and there were no existing ropes to help us down - only tree roots. After 20 minutes or so of a super unsafe descent, I called it and we turned back for a super unsafe ascent. I can't imagine attempting this after a rain. My advice: DO NOT GO WITHOUT CLIMBING GEAR.

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