Larsen’s Beach is located in a secluded area on Kauai’s northeastern shore. There is no road that leads all the way to the beach, and the one that leads near it is a dirt road. It is also quite a steep mile hike down to the beach on an overgrown Kaua’i red earth path. If it has been raining (and it does a lot on the North Shore) then expect slippery sections and some trail hazards. Real shoes are recommended; you can put them aside once your toes are in the sand. “Why go then?” you ask. Well….For starters, the path you just hiked delivers you to an oceanfront paradise like a modern day cast-away. The beach has a nice long stretch of deserted sand and is backed by brush and shade trees and an outer reef breaks up the big surf, creating smaller waves that lap gently onto the beach. The farther you go down the beach the less people and clothing you will see. We did opt for taking it all off and living like the locals for about an hour and didn’t see one other person. It was very liberating but if you choose to go au natural, better pack some sunscreen for those parts that haven’t ever seen the sun. Secondly, mingling with the scattering of naked people are monk seals also lounging lazily along the shore. On the day we went, several had just given birth and watching and photographing them with their new pups was one of the highlights of the trip. You have to keep your distance though because like any new parents, they are very protective and have been known to attack. I have a great zoom lens and was able to capture some pretty amazing shots. Other things you should know before you go…snorkeling is not recommended anywhere along this 2 mile stretch of beach as strong rip currents have sucked people right out into the open waters and no lifeguards are present. I was told this after I had been out in the water snorkeling. The water seemed very calm but I was told it could change in an instant. Lucky for me it didn’t. Also, be prepared for no facilities so make restroom stops before heading out, and bring your own necessities, leaving only footprints as you depart.

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