79.8 F

Hawaii Travel & Things To Do In Hawaii

Amy Fujimotohttps://alohawithlove.com
I grew up in Hawaii and love trying out new things to do in Hawaii. When I'm not writing about Hawaii travel, I document my Mom's recipes, hike with Daisy the waddling rescue, work on my 200-gallon aquaponics system, and dream about my future van conversion so I can do some more traveling.
  1. The waterfalls on this trail are truly spectacular, and although smaller in size than the Grand Canyon as you said it looks much greener (which I love). Thanks for sharing this valuable information, I hope to be able to visit Hawaii one day 🙂

Comment below so we can discuss!

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links to buy something I may earn a commission with no additional cost to you. This helps keep Aloha With Love running, thank you! Learn More.

Although Waimea Canyon is nothing compared to the Grand Canyon in size, you have to admit – it’s still breathtaking. The Waimea Canyon trail offers gigantic and unbelievable views on such a tiny island. Self-guided driving tours with stops and lookouts make for a relaxing sightseeing day. Even paid tours for Waimea Canyon are well worth it because it’s impossible to discover all of it in just a single lifetime.

Waimea Canyon activities are generally free, which is great news for the majority of us (including me). However, if you find yourself with a lingering sense to learn more about the Waimea Canyon, go for the paid tour!

Aloha with love,

Waimea Canyon trail

A Little Intro To Kauai’s Big Canyon

If you’re on Kauai, two things have got to be on your Kauai must do list: the Na Pali coast and the Waimea Canyon. While the Na Pali coast’s untamed cliffs will get your heart pumping, the Waimea Canyon with her ancient layers of time will give you chicken skin. In fact, Kauai has lava flow dating back to 5 million years ago, making Kauai the oldest island of Hawaii’s main islands.

Cool Fact: Waimea Canyon’s nickname is the Grand Canyon of the Pacific!

Hiking the Waimea Canyon.

The Waimea Canyon Trail

The Waimea Canyon trail (aka “Canyon trail”) is one of the most popular hikes to explore the Waimea Canyon. The trail takes you toward Waipoo falls, but you’ll pass several smaller waterfalls on the way if it’s been raining recently. While you won’t be able to reach the base of Waipoo falls, you’ll still get to see it at a closer distance. Plus, the views you’ll get on the Waimea Canyon trail are so much different than the view at the top so it’s certainly worth it.

Be prepared for the Waimea Canyon trail to go up and down, have plenty of tree roots, and some rather steep inclines. Be careful of rainy days where these ups and downs will have an effect on your traction and may cause you to slip and lose your footing. The best time to hike any Waimea Canyon trail is after a few sunny days to allow the rain to evaporate and dry out from the ground.

Another reason why the Waimea Canyon trail is a great choice is that kids love it! The challenges this hike provides really gets the blood pumping and it’s a completely different experience than Kauai’s numerous rainforest hikes. Plus, the added benefit of a waterfall, swimming pool (the smaller waterfalls are accessible) and potential mud seems to always be an incentive for kids.

Another way you can access the Waimea Canyon trail is via the Cliff trail. Park your car on the side of the road between mile markers 14 and 15 and walk down the dirt path until you get to a fork in the road. The way to the Cliff viewpoint is quick and easy and gorgeous. From there, you can easily backtrack to the fork and begin the Waimea Canyon trail.

Waimea Canyon trail
Waimea Canyon lookout.

Waimea Canyon Drives And Lookouts

Like the Waimea Canyon trail, driving along the canyon is free and fun. If you choose to view Waimea Canyon by car, there are several lookouts along Kokee Road (Highway 550) that you can stop at but here are the more popular and well-maintained ones. What’s probably the most popular lookout is the Waimea Canyon Lookout, which is just past the 10 mile marker. There’s a large parking lot and viewing area so you really can’t miss it. Because of its popularity, you’ll probably get a lot of other people in your photos, which is not always bad since they’ll provide a comparison to the vastness of Waimea Canyon.

  • Waimea Canyon Lookout, just past the 10 mile marker. Probably the most popular lookout. There’s a large parking lot and viewing area so you really can’t miss it. Because of its popularity, you’ll probably get a lot of other people in your photos, which is not always bad since they’ll provide a comparison to the vastness of Waimea Canyon.
  • Puu Hinahina lookout at the 13 mile marker. The view you’ll get here is considerably different as you’ll be seeing the canyon from a curve. While the lookout itself is smaller than the Waimea Canyon Lookout, I still highly recommend Puu Hinahina lookout as the canyon will run perpendicular to you. There is also a small platform where you’ll be able to see Niihau island on a clear day.
  • At the 18 mile marker, you’ll come across Kalalau Lookout where you can view the famous Kalalau Valley that opens out to the Pacific Ocean and the Na Pali Coast. But, the best view that you’ll get of Kalalau Valley is at Puu O Kila Lookout about a mile later, and this one is a winner! Not only can you view the valley at a higher elevation, but there is also a ridge that you can walk around on to get different views and there is also Pihea Trail that you can hike from here as well.
Waipoo falls.

Waimea Canyon Tours

  • The great thing about Kauai is that you get a huge bang for your buck on a helicopter tour. Na Pali and Waimea Canyon are both very famous and should certainly be experienced as much as possible. The helicopter ride will allow you to not only see an aerial view, but also discover beautiful gems such as hidden waterfalls and hard-to-see landmarks.
  • A bike tour downhill from Poipu is a wonderful way to explore the Waimea Canyon. You can enjoy the scenery outside throughout the length of the canyon. Plus, your guide will tell you all about the history and fun facts of the Waimea Canyon and the island itself.
  • There are also a bunch of Waimea Canyon package tours that you can try out. If you’re interested in waterfall swims, luaus, river cruises, jeep runs or in-depth hiking tours, this may be something for you to check out.

Support Aloha With Love:

Do you like what I’m doing and looking for ways to support this blog and my work? Here’s how you can help:

  • Hawaii app: Download the Oahu, Maui, Big Island, and Kauai GPS audio tours straight to your phone for a budget-friendly storytelling guide to Hawaii’s history, culture, and sights.
  • Book activities: Use these links to book your tours at Aloha With Tours (my personal favorites) or Hawaii Activities (all tours).
  • Life in Hawaii: If you have a business, group, or activity that you think matches the theme of Aloha With Love, let me know! I’d love to hear about what you do and find ways to collaborate. Email me at amy@alohawithlove.com.
  • Do more: Like many things in Hawaii, this blog relies on word-of-mouth. Please share, comment, and subscribe to stay in touch. Thank you!

Hawaii Travel & Things To Do In Hawaii

The Complete Guide To Visiting The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

A visit to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is not just a popular activity on the Big Island of Hawaii. It's one of the best things to do in Hawaii and you'll be so glad to spend a day or...

The Best Things To Do In Kauai: 20+ Bucketlist Locations

Many of the best things to do in Kauai are outdoor activities. Kauai has a smaller population, which means there's a lot more nature, hikes, valleys, mountains, and crystal-clear ocean to explore. As Hawaii's oldest island, geologically, Kauai is...

The Very Best Beaches In Hawaii To Visit As A Local

As a frequent traveler myself, I wanted to create a list of the best beaches in Hawaii to help you figure out which beaches you should be visiting during your trip to the islands. This list is of course...

Weather In Hawaii In March: Travel, Events And The Best Time To Go

March in Hawaii is a transition period where winter morphs into summer. Since we're so close to the equator, Hawaii doesn't really have a true spring or summer. Instead, March is the month where there tends to be a...

Weather In Hawaii In April: Travel, Events And The Best Time To Go

Despite what you may think, Hawaii in April is not the rainiest month to visit Hawaii. By the time April hits, the rainy season is at the end of its run and the warmer days of May are already...

Weather In Hawaii In May: Travel, Events And The Best Time To Visit

Hawaii in May is one of the best times to visit the islands. The weather in Hawaii in May is fantastic, ticket prices and hotel prices are down, and there are typically less tourists this time of year since...

Real. Local. Non-touristy. Hawaii Travel & Things To Do In Hawaii.

My emails will make you smile!

I'm all about living life in Hawaii with passion, honesty, and respect. So if you like Hawaii travel, legal hikes, authentic experiences, and a kind and humble personality, I'm your local girl!

You'll love reading my fun and down-to-earth emails from a local perspective. I'll send you my personal tips, travel suggestions, and DIY project ideas that are perfect for Hawaii living.

Sign up below and you'll be added to my email list!

Aloha with love, Amy

The Waimea Canyon Trail, Drives, Lookouts And Tours