Kauai - Waimea Canyon State Park

Introduction:

Where? : Located on the high mountain range at the southwest side of Kauai island.

Google Map Link

 

What? : Waimea Canyon is considered to be Hawaii's version of the Grand Canyon, much smaller and much greener.




When? : Year round.

 

Due note 1: The drive to Waimea Canyon is relatively long, especially if you're staying on the north side of the island. Prepare for a full day trip.

 

Due note 2: If you plan to hike at the park do not bring hiking shows, trail can get muddy after rain !

 

Due note 3: Check the weather and see when it is raining, when it rains the trail will get muddy and the clouds may hide the vista.

 

My thoughts: Amazing canyon and waterfalls view, many viewing points on the way up the mountain ridge, enjoy the changing view from each one. A lot of hiking options.

 

The visit:

This park is considered to be one of Kauai's must-see attractions.

The canyon is 10 miles long and 3,600 feet deep, the long winding road that will take you to the top of the mountains offers several remarkable lookouts and hikes.

 

The drive start at the town of Waimea, take right on hwy 550 and start climbing the road up the mountains.

 

From Waimea town, 4.7 miles on hwy 550 that is going up on the ridge line there is a nice place worth stopping: Red Dirt Waterfall.


Park at the roadside and hike to the small waterfall going over red rock/soil, just near the road. This is a short stop to starch your lag after the long drive and the small water stream mixed with red rock is nice.

 

There are many viewing points along the single road getting into the park, the most recommended one are:

·         Waimea Canyon Lookout

·         Pu’u Hinahina Lookout

·         Kalalau Lookout

·         Pu’u O Kila Lookout



Koke'e State Park here offers many outstanding hikes, but we decided to do only one, an un-official hike I saw in YouTube.

Park at Kalalau Lookout (not far from the end of the road) and go to the viewing platform above the Nā Pali Coast State Wilderness Park, amazing cellarful mountain huge amphitheater covered with dance rainforest.


From here you need to take what is called Kalepa Ridge Trail. Walk all the way to the left side of the viewing platform and pass the fence to the other side. You will notice the trail going down sharply. Follow the trail that is following down the ridge top right on the sharp cliffs.

This trail offers endless viewing point into the green canyons below, the blue ocean to the west and the surrounding colorful mountains. Keep going down the trail all the way to it ending. Take into consideration you will need to climb all the way back up so you do not need to go all the way down….

 

Additional recommended hikes in the park (we did not do):

·         Puhuuinahina Lookout Trail: The trail to the top of Waipo'o Falls

·         Pihea Trail: The trail starts at the very end of the road, the 2 mile Pihea trail will take you to Pihea vista point overlooking the Kalalau valley.

·         Alakai Swamp trail: Located deep in the mountain, you can go all the way to Kilohana lookout.


 

This park indeed one of Kauai jams, large park with amazing view, many hiking options; Overall fun day trip and something different to do.

 

www:

https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/kauai/waimea-canyon-state-park/

 

Map:

https://www.hawaii-guide.com/files/eMaps/kauai_kokee_and_waimea_trail_map.pdf

 

Pictures:












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