Hiking Project Logo

gem icon Trunk Bay [Suggest Edits]

12 votes
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Description

Trunk Bar is an iconic Caribbean beach on St. John. Two-thirds of STJ is a National Park, with most of that land donated to USG/DOI by Laurence Rockefeller. Trunk Bay is THE go-to place for first-time visitors. There's a Ranger Station, burger joint, swag shop, life guard and under water snorkeling trail. The beach can get crowded, especially when the cruise ships drop off day-trippers. But early or late in the day, it is spectacular. The under water snorkel trail must be done at least once. There's a covered picnic area in case of rain along with flush toilets and showers. Easy peazy... EXCEPT parking can be tough at peak times.

The Trunk Bay Underwater Trail is a wonderful way to learn about native marine life, through both personal encounters with the native organisms, and through the educational plaques dotted throughout the trail. This trail follows along the Western side of Trunk Cay and U-turns back around to the beach. It is highly recommended for anyone interested in taking this trail to bring snorkel gear to better enjoy the experience (it should be noted that the National Park Service has rentals for snorkel gear nearby for most of the day). Expect to get wet and bring appropriate clothing. Depth on the trail ranges from 3 to 18 feet, and visibility is crystal clear.

Even though the trail officially U-turns back about halfway along the Cay, the National Park Service allows access beyond to view the additional reefs by the northern tip, as long as you do not venture out of view of the lifeguards; the farther out you go, the rougher the water gets. A wide range of exotic fish live in the nearby reefs, including grouper, angelfish, parrotfish, snapper, trumpetfish, and tang, in addition to other creatures such as various anemones, feather duster worms, urchins, sponges, stingrays, and different species of sea turtle.

When along the trail, refrain from touching any organisms, including corals. The reefs are also sensitive to certain sunscreen

Short Walk: The parking lot is within 100 yards of the beach. The challenge is if you're trying to park during the peak of the day. You might have to look for a sliver of a slot on the side of the road. Other options include a group taxi from town or hitching.

If doing the underwater trail, admission for adults is $4, kids 16 or younger get in free. Parking access is listed alongside the main road. It gets filled rather quickly, so shoot to arrive before 8:30 AM. Most visitors use local taxis to drop them off and pick them up, however keep in mind that they are not always available. Restrooms are right near the entrance to the beach, along with a food truck and restaurant.

Family Friendly: Like most STJ beaches, the sand is soft and the waves are mild. The water is a great temp. Views are astonishing. Early and late arrivers will have an easier time finding shade under the trees.

Gem Type: Swimming

Shared by:
Marc Berejka

You & This Gem

Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Jul 28, 2019
Lynda Hoffman
We saw sting ray, tarpon, and lots of grunion. Loved going from marker to marker. We paid entrance fee, rented fins (we own masks), and the snack bar
Jul 21, 2019
Tori Small
Jul 3, 2019
Megan Eddington
Snorkeled :)
Jun 2, 2019
Connor White
The perfect end to a day of exploring the wonderful Island of St. John! Absolutely beautiful area, and the snorkeling around Trunk Cay is amazing!
Jul 28, 2018
Jessica Burnett
Aug 25, 2017
Angela Sherwin
Beautiful snorkel trail with Deb and Ben and Dom.
Apr 14, 2017
Kelly Wachholz
Mar 23, 2017
Michael Sherwin
Great beach for the family

Nearby Gems

gem Favorite Resting at beach

Maho Bay Beach

(6) Cruz Bay, VI
gem Favorite Coral.

Waterlemon Cay

(10) Cruz Bay, VI
gem Favorite Flowers along the trail.

Salt Pond Bay

(7) Cruz Bay, VI
gem Favorite Cinnamon Bay, Saint John

Cinnamon Bay

(5) Cruz Bay, VI
gem Favorite Leaving the petroglyphs.

Taino Petroglyphs

(5) Cruz Bay, VI
gem Favorite Leinster Bay Trail, Virgin Islands National Park.

Annaberg Sugar Plantation Ruins

(1) Cruz Bay, VI
gem Favorite Creque Marine Railway and House

Creque Marine Railway and Powerhouse Ruins

(2) Charlot…, VI

Nearby Trails

2.5 mi 4.0 km Salt Pond Bay to Ram Head Point
Intermediate
Cruz Bay, VI
Intermediate
Cruz Bay, VI
All Clear
Update
Dry
12 days ago
12 
2.3 mi 3.6 km Reef Bay Trail
Intermediate
Cruz Bay, VI
Intermediate
Cruz Bay, VI
All Clear
Update
Dry
12 days ago
1.1 mi 1.8 km Leinster Bay Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Cruz Bay, VI
Easy/Intermediate
Cruz Bay, VI
Unknown
Update
0.8 mi 1.4 km Ram Head Trail
Difficult
Cruz Bay, VI
Difficult
Cruz Bay, VI
All Clear
Update
Dry
12 days ago
1.0 mi 1.7 km Francis Bay Trail
Easy
Cruz Bay, VI
Easy
Cruz Bay, VI
Unknown
Update
1.5 mi 2.4 km Brown Bay Trail
Difficult
Cruz Bay, VI
Difficult
Cruz Bay, VI
All Clear
Update
Dry - A little overgrown at the end.
12 days ago
0.4 mi 0.6 km Salt Pond Bay Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Cruz Bay, VI
Easy/Intermediate
Cruz Bay, VI
All Clear
Update
Dry
12 days ago
13.6 mi 22.0 km St. John Trail Tour
Difficult
Cruz Bay, VI
Difficult
Cruz Bay, VI
Unknown
Update
1.5 mi 2.5 km Lameshur Bay Trail
Difficult
Cruz Bay, VI
Difficult
Cruz Bay, VI
Minor Issues
Update
Dry, Fallen Trees - Some spider webs, wasp nests, dead animal remains.
12 days ago
1.9 mi 3.1 km Cinnamon Bay Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Cruz Bay, VI
Intermediate/Difficult
Cruz Bay, VI
All Clear
Update
Dry, Fallen Trees - A few fallen trees.
12 days ago
Shared by Marc Berejka on Oct 31, 2015. All Page Views: 273. Last Month: 6.