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This is an overlook view from the trail heading into the main Waimea Canyon.
Photo Credit: guyonthego

Waimea Canyon State Park

11.1 miles north of Kekaha on Highway 550, Kauai, HI 96796
Daylight hours
808-587-0300 (main parks #) 3 hours
December 2010 All year
$0-9 Kauai Hawaii
Website Nature State Parks
First review
Waimea Canyon Park is roughly 1,800 acres in size and includes scenic overlooks, a waterfall and a trail into the canyon. This park as well as the scenic drive to it and to neighboring Koke’e State Park are a highlight of a Kauai visit and will be of interest to most people.

Waimea Canyon is one of the natural gems of the Hawaiian islands. Formed by the collapse of an ancient volcano and then forces of erosion, the canyon is approximately 10 miles long and 3,000 feet deep. It is popularly known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. The canyon walls primarily have a reddish color, which when combined with the deep green color of tropical foliage and sheer cliffs, is impressive to see. You will want to stop often to take in the view at various overlooks.

For those who just want a view, the scenic drive is a good choice. If you wish to hike into the canyon, there is a fairly difficult 2.5 mile trail. The only staffed visitor center is further up the road at the Koke’e Natural History Museum in Koke’e State Park. It is worth going to the museum first in order to get oriented for both Waimea Canyon and Koke’e Parks and to purchase a trail map if you want to hike. It’s also a good idea to check with the museum staff on conditions before taking a hike.

Even if you just come to this park to admire the view and take a few pictures, it’s worth the drive and the time. If you are into hiking, the trail into Waimea Canyon is more impressive and interesting then the short coastal ridge trails in Koke’e State Park, but it also is more demanding.
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Kokee State Park