February 12, 2013
If there is one sight you must see while on Kauai, it is the Waimea Canyon. If you are staying on the north shore, it is definitely worth the drive down to the west side! It is said that Mark Twain called it “the Grand Canyon of the Pacific”. The canyon is 10 miles long, 1 mile wide and more than 3600 feet deep!
Once you decide to make the trek to the canyon, make sure to fill up your gas tank. You will be embarking on a 40 mile round trip! Also, make sure to pack a sweatshirt or jacket as you will experience a 4,000 foot increase in elevation. It does tend to be 10-15 degrees cooler up in the canyon.
As you are driving up the road at the start of the canyon, notice all of the deep, red dirt and how dry it is. Make sure to stop at the Waimea Canyon Lookout, which is just past mile marker 10. The views will take your breath away and are only a preview of what you will see later! Just past mile marker 15 are the Koke’e Museum and Koke’e Lodge. This is the only place in the canyon will you will be able to stop for lunch. If you did forget to pack food stop here!
All of the lookouts have extraordinary views. However, my favorite is the Pu’u Kila lookout. It is just past the Kalalau lookout. You absolutely should not go to Waimea Canyon without stopping at this one. It has the most spectacular view of the Kalalau Valley, which is the largest valley on the Na Pali. Make sure to notice how much more wet it is the higher up you get into the canyon!
This is a great day adventure on the beautiful garden isle- Kauai. Pick up a Kauai Guide book for more information on the canyon and for the great hikes available there.
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