Waimea Canyon

Gaze out at the colorful greens and reds of the majestic peaks and troughs in Kauai’s Grand Canyon of the Pacific.

Waimea Canyon is a stunning valley of red-brown hills and green vegetation. This exceptional Hawaiian wonder stretches across 14 miles (23 kilometers) of tumultuous topography at a maximum depth of 3,600 feet (1,100 meters). Bring your camera for excellent photo opportunities in this scenic part of the world.

Drive through the park along the main road to reach Waimea Canyon Overlook, which offers a marvelous vista from a popular vantage point. Stop multiple times and leave your car in the parking lots of the Puu ka Pele and Puu Hinahina viewing areas and walk around.

Look for intriguing geographical features that make up the spectacular canyon, including deep valley gorges, jagged peaks and crested buttes. Rainbows often make an appearance over the canyon.

Continue traveling up the twisting road next to the long canyon, which is about 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) wide. Bring snacks and refreshments and set up a picnic with your family with this wonderful backdrop. The canyon was formed by erosion from the Waimea River. Follow the winding trails that surround the canyon to see waterfalls and streams that add to the wonder of this natural treasure.

Take a helicopter ride with a tour operator around the island and appreciate the immense canyon from above. Walk along the ridges of the canyon and spot the comparatively small helicopters buzzing around. Continue hiking north through the park to reach Koke’e State Park, where you will find many trails and intriguing geological formations.

Make sure to bring hiking shoes and extra layers of clothing in anticipation of sudden changes in temperature and weather. Choose between a self-guided tour with a rental car and a tour bus operator.

Waimea Canyon is in Waimea Canyon State Park on the western side of the island of Kauai. Drive north for about 6 miles (10 kilometers) from Waimea to reach the start of the park. Visit nearby attractions, such as the Ku’la Natural Area Reserve, the Pu’u O Kila Lookout and the Na Pali-Kona Forest Reserve.

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