Salt Pond Beach Park - Hanapepe
Salt Pond Beach Park is the easiest to access calm ocean oasis of the South Shore of Kaua'i. Its' name comes from the traditional Hawaiian salt pond adjacent to the ocean cove. The soft sand appears noticeably golden from the mixture of Kauai's rich red earth pigment and the miniature fragments of coral and shell that mix in fine particulate along the shore. The shallow swimming cove is a perfect family friendly landing zone.
AT A GLANCE:
HIGHLIGHTS: The calmest ocean access in this region featuring a protected inner swimming area. In the warm and dry leeward region of the island, a good destination when raining elsewhere, with easy drive up parking close to the beach.
ACTIVITIES: Swimming, snorkeling, picnics, and beach lounging.
LIFEGUARD: Yes, daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
WARNINGS! Swimming is only recommended in the protected pool in front of the lifeguard tower, tides and surf can affect the currents inside the pool. Best to check in with local lifeguards regarding the days' conditions before swimming.
AMENITIES: Parking, restrooms, picnic benches with shelters, barbeques, and showers. ADA, family, and elderly accessible. Often has a food vending truck onsite.
On any given day at Salt Pond visitors' share the beach with local families and their kids. It is more laid back and local-style then near the more developed resort regions, making for a nice change of pace. There are many picnic benches and shelters throughout the 5.9 acre park, making it a great destination for a South side rest stop.
An outer break wall protecting the pool here is a combination of naturally cemented sand and lava rock creating a barrier from the open ocean. Even Hawaiian monk seals, a native endemic mammal, occasionally land on the beach to rest. For ease of snorkeling, small fishes swim around the safety of the shallow pool. The lifeguards here are very friendly, and guests are encouraged to check in with them to get safety recommendations.
The Salt Pond:
In Hawaiian language salt making is called "pa'akai" (pronounced as pa-a kigh) the name refers to the solid part of ocean. Visitors can look upon the Salt making area and evaporation pool, but are asked to not enter as to keep the process undisturbed.
The town of Hanapepe is as slow as they come, harkening back to the days sleepy old Hawai'I. It was a population center back in the active days of sugar cane production. In 1992, hurricane "Iniki" made land fall directly on the little town devastating many old historic buildings. The slow rebuilding of the town continues and its charming main street is host to art galleries, and eateries for a taste of old Hawai'i. There is a wooden suspension pedestrian bridge spanning the river just off the center of town. If in the area on a Friday, the town hosts an evening art walk with lots of galleries and entertainment available throughout the central part of Hanapepe Road.
Nearby Port Allen and the Hanapepe Airport offer some great options for exploring. A visit to Salt Pond can be a nice addition either before or after touring for part of the day.
Closest town: Hanapepe
Kamuali'i Highway West after passing through Hanapepe town and small traffic light intersection, proceed a few hundred yards looking for a clearly visible sign for "Salt Pond" on the right but pointing you left, enter left hand turn lane and turn left on Lele Road follow for a half mile and look for right hand turn onto Lokokai Road. Proceed to the end of the road to the parking area.