Current conditions at Keʻe Beach

Active Alerts

High Surf Warning

Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - 3:03am to Thursday, January 23, 2020 - 6:00pm
Issued Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - 3:03am

Beach & Nearshore

Extreme Hazard

Conditions are extremely hazardous. People are advised to stay out of the ocean.
Primarily for beachgoers and surfers

Offshore

Extreme Hazard

Offshore conditions are extremely dangerous. Kayakers and users of other unpowered craft are advised to stay out of the ocean.
Primarily for boaters and kayakers
Learn more about these rating signs and alerts. Ratings updated Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - 3:40am

Weather

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64°F
Fair
Winds West at 5.8 MPH (5 KT)

Surf Forecast (Official)

SURF ALONG NORTH FACING SHORES WILL BE 8 TO 12 FEET TONIGHT, LOWERING TO 6 TO 10 FEET TUESDAY.

Tower Reports

Surf is Clean from NNW at 4 to 6 feet (face height)
Water visibility is Good
Wind ENE 2 to 10 mph
Skies are Clear
Reported Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - 3:35pm at Keʻe Tower

Recommended Activities

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Amenities

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Beach ID: 815

Lifeguards on duty as of July 3, 2008.

Background

Location: Keʻe Beach is located in Haʻena State Park at the west end of Highway 56.

Description: Haʻena State Park lies between Limahuli Stream to the east and N5 Pali Coast State Park to the west. The western end of the park is fronted by Kēʻē Beach, a narrow white sand beach that parallels a wide, shallow reef flat. A small, sand-bottomed lagoon lies off the west end of the beach. A deep, narrow channel through the reef joins the lagoon to the open ocean. Many large ironwood trees, some with their roots exposed, line the dunes in the backshore.

Precautions: Kēʻē Beach is exposed to high surf during the winter months and occasionally during the summer months. This surf activity is evidenced in the backshore by the severe erosion of the dunes, where waves sweeping across the beach have undermined the ironwood trees, exposing their roots and occasionally toppling them onto the beach. High surf also generates a powerful rip current that runs out the narrow channel at the west end of the lagoon to the open ocean. Swimmers and snorkelers should stay clear of the channel at any time there is a rip current, which is any time surf is breaking on the reef. There are no lifeguards here.

Highlights: Kēʻē Beach is the most popular snorkeling site on Kauaʻi's north shore. Visitors drive from all parts of the island to snorkel in the small, protected lagoon off the beach, where many species of colorful reef fish are abundant, including wrasses, butterflyfish, damselfish, goatfish, convictfish, and surgeonfish. The shallow, sandy lagoon also provides an excellent swimming area for families with little children.

Kēʻē Beach is one of the most tropical looking beaches on Kauaʻi with its high mountains and lushly vegetated backshore. Ironwoods line the dunes, and coconut palms, tropical almonds, and a dense undergrowth ofti and guava cover the point at the west end of the beach. In the midst of this tropical splendor are several important archaeological sites associated with the hula, including
Ke Ahu o Laka, a platform where the hula is performed, and Kauluapaoa Heiau, a temple dedicated to Laka, the goddess of the hula. These sites are still used by hula halau for graduation
and other ceremonies.

Kēʻē means "avoidance."

This description is from John R. K. Clark's Beaches Series: Beaches of Oʻahu, Beaches of Kauaʻi and Niʻihau, Beaches of Maui County, and Beaches of the Big Island published and available for purchase from the University of Hawaiʻi Press. We thank John R. K. Clark for providing beach descriptions for use on this site.
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