Wet and Dry Caves Near Kee Beach Mystify Kauai Visitors
Huge caves near the end of the road on Kauai’s north shore provide an interesting attraction for visitors. These north shore caves near the western end of Route 560 (Kuhio Hwy.) also have a unique history and importance in the Hawaiian culture.
Geologists will tell you that the caves – two wet caves and one dry cave – were formed thousands of years ago during a time when the sea level of the area was much higher. According to Hawaiian legend the wet caves were created by the volcano goddess Pele.
Waiakanaloa and Waikapalae Wet Caves
The Hawaiian names of the two wet caves are Waiakanaloa (Water used by Kanaloa), and Waikapalae (Waters of the lace fern). The huge Waikapalae cave is often referred to as the Blue Room because light shines down into the cave creating a serene blue color in the pool of water.
This is not a safe swimming area so it is best to only observe this beautiful cave and not enter the water. People have gotten into serious trouble while swimming here as the water is deep and the people who try to swim beneath the low rocks at the back of the pool may easily hit their head or encounter other problems. Enjoy the cave’s captivating scenery and then swim nearby at Ke’e Beach where there is a lifeguard.
Maniniholo Dry Cave
Just across from Haena Beach Park is the dry cave known by the Hawaiian name Maniniholo, which means “Traveling manini fish.” The cave’s large opening faces the road and you will often see water dripping down from the ceiling of the cave.
While you are in this area exploring you may also want to take a dip in the Cold Pond which is a nice swimming hole along the stream not far from the end of the road. This is also a nice place to rinse off the saltwater from your beach visits.
Also in this area, just adjacent to Ke’e Beach, is the trailhead of the Kalalau Trail that leads along the famous Na Pali Coast. A nice day hike is the two-mile walk to the first valley which is called Hanakapiai, and if you are adventurous you can hike another two miles up the Hanakapiai River to see the spectacular waterfall there. (Also see Kauai Hiking Safety Tips.)
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