Pohoiki Warm Spring

General Description: A warm pond in the jungle and another in the open next to a popular surf spot
General Location: On the coast of the Big Island southeast of Pahoa in Isaac Hale Beach Park
Pool Type: Basalt Bedrock
Pool Temps: Warm (Below 100° F)
(Click to enlarge.)
Accessibility: In a county park and open all year
Restrictions: Park open 7 am to 7 pm
Elevation: 0 feet.
Distance from road: 0.00 mile.
Map Reference: Kapoho HI USGS 7.5 minute quadrangle

Videos

The Hot Spring:

  Pohoiki Warm Spring is a nice natural hot pond in the jungle near a popular surfing beach.  To get to the pool you park in Isaac Hale Beach Park and walk along the bank a couple hundred yards to the pool, which is only about 20 yards from the ocean.  Many locals know of the surf spot but do not know there is hot water in the area.  Therefor the pool could be empty even if the waves are crowded.  Even if there is no one around, swimming suits should be worn because locals do not like nudity and houses are nearby.

  The pool is in a collapsed lava tube that forms a bowl about 20 feet wide and 10 feet long.  Ground water that is heated by volcanic activity in the eastern rift zone of the Kilauea volcano flows out of the inland side of the pool.  The heated water is just under 100 degrees F and mixes with ocean water seeping inshore keeping the water brackish and the water temperature around 98 degrees F in the pool.  The water is about 4 feet deep and fluctuates by about 1 foot depending on tides.  Another unique thing about this spring is there are hundreds of tiny red shrimp living in the water.  They hang out near the warmer side of the pool along the walls, but if you stay still they will start moving over your skin (maybe cleaning your skin).

  Another small pool, about 5 feet in diameter, is located directly next to the boat ramp at Isaac Hale Beach Park.  The pool looks like it was dug in the gravel next to the boat ramp with a track hoe.  Warm water emerges from the side of the pool on the inland side and mixes with the ocean water that is only about 10 feet from the ocean.  The pool is only about 1 foot deep and 80-90 degrees F, making the soak not as enjoyable as the other pool besides that it is located out in the open instead of hidden in the jungle.

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Videos (click to play)

Pool in the jungle (Pohoiki)Pool in the open (Pohoiki)

Pics (click to enlarge)

heads under water in the jungle (Pohoiki)
Ocean with surfers (Pohoiki)
pool by the boat launch (Pohoiki)
pool in the jungle (Pohoiki)
pool in the open (Pohoiki)