West Kauai Waimea Canyon is the largest canyon in the Pacific and truly a dramatic sight to behold. The canyon measures 10 miles long, 1 mile wide, and more than 3,500-feet deep. It was carved thousands of years ago by rivers and floods that flowed from Mount Waialeale's summit. The lines in the canyon walls depict different volcanic eruptions and lava flows that have occurred over the centuries.
Even though smaller than the Grand Canyon of Arizona, Waimea Canyon rivals the beauty. Numerous lookouts and hikes offer terrific views of every aspect of this natural wonder. The canyon is protected by the Koke'e State Park which encompasses 4,345 acres of land and has 45 miles of trails that run through the canyon and the nearby Alakai Swamp. The Ranger's Station is located at the Koke'e Museum has hiking maps of the area. There are no gas stations along the 40-mile Waimea Canyon Road so be sure to fill up before starting this trip. The main park area provides restrooms. The elevation makes the air 10-15 degrees cooler than in the valley and by afternoon many areas are often shrouded in clouds. Directions: Take Highway 50 west from Hanapepe toward Waimea. Waimea Canyon Drive is on the right just past Mile Marker #23. The road travels through the canyon area and ends at Pu'u o Kila Lookout. Makaha Ridge Road runs off Waimea Canyon Road just before Mile Market #14 and travels to more sceneic lookouts. Numerous lookouts and trails lead off of these two roads. Useful Information: -Waimea Canyon Road travels the canyon and provides excellent lookouts of the gorge -No gas stations are located along this road - be sure to fill up before starting the trip -Excellent photo opportunies at every turn -Best viewing of the Kalalau Valley is in the early morning -Numerous trails lead through and above the canyon - check at the Ranger Station for maps -Certain trails require a state permit before hiking -Camping available at Koke'e Campground -Hale Koa Cabins also available - call 808-335-5290 for information and reservations -For weather information in the canyon, call 808-245-6001