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aerial photograph of Waimea Canyon State Park

Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, lies along the western side of Kaua‘i in the Hawaiian Islands. This expansive canyon is 3,000 feet deep and 10 miles long. Its reddish cliffs and surrounding forest attract visitors hoping to get a closer look as well as hike, fish, picnic, and bird watch.

Waimea Canyon State Park serves to protect this picturesque area so that visitors may have a chance to see it as well as explore the trails that wind through the lush tropical woodlands, past streams and waterfalls, and along the deep canyon.

A short drive north of Waimea Canyon, Kokee State Park, visitors will find more trails and picnic areas plus concessions, primitive campsites, and cabins. All nestled within the woodlands high up in the mountains.

Activities

Millions of years ago the Waimea River and volcanic activity carved this extensive canyon into the earth. Today visitors enjoy hiking into this 3,000 foot deep canyon that is one mile wide and ten miles long at this Hawaii state park.

During your visit to Kaua‘i, make sure you save time to stop and check out this picturesque area. Not only will you discover amazing views but also trails, picnic areas, and restrooms. Be sure to bring water and snacks, there isn’t any drinking water available within the park. Concessions and more picnic facilities are located in nearby Kokee State Park.

Here are some of the activities that you can do during your visit to Waimea Canyon State Park:

Hiking at Waimea Canyon State Park

Waimea Canyon State Park offers guests spectacular views as they descend into an extensive canyon and hike along trails winding throughout the surrounding wet tropical forest and into an adjacent forest preserve.

Hikers should wear good shoes (trails may be slippery), bring plenty of water, and be careful to stay on the marked trails and off of private property in areas surrounding the park.

Nearby Kokee State Park features another 45 miles of trails that extend throughout the mountains, woodlands, and wetlands offering guests spectacular views of Waimea Canyon and the Pacific Coast.

Here are a couple of the trails at Waimea Canyon State Park:

  • Iliau Nature Loop – Easy 0.3 mile trail that winds through the native upland scrub along the western side of Waimea Canyon. Spectacular views of the canyons as well as local flora and fauna.
  • Kukui Trail – Difficult 2.5 mile trail that leads across many river crossings and down (2,000 foot drop) the west side of Waimea Canyon. This trail begins along Highway 550 about ¾ of a mile from the 8-mile marker.

large waterfall in the distance at Waimea Canyon State Park

Fishing at Waimea Canyon State Park

Pack your fishing gear and pick up a Hawaii fishing license just in case. Waimea Canyon State Park has many streams and waterfalls plus the Puu Lua Reservoir where guests may catch Rainbow trout. During fishing season guests may only fish during daylight hours. Catch and Release is not allowed.

Birding at Waimea Canyon State Park

If you are a bird enthusiast, you will enjoy visiting Waimea Canyon State Park. Inside this scenic area you may see Rose-ringed Parakeets, African Silverbills, Cattle Egrets, Northern Cardinals, Apapanes, Zebra Doves, Scaly-breasted Munias, Pacific Golden-Plovers, White-tailed Tropicbirds, Red-tailed Tropicbirds, Warbling White-eyes, White-rumped Shamas, Chestnut Munias, and Red-crested Cardinals.

Nature and Wildlife at Waimea Canyon State Park

Waimea Canyon State Park is just one of the many incredibly beautiful areas on Kauai. This preserved island features undeveloped trails and expansive areas where birds, deer, goats, chicken, cattle, frogs, and many other creatures thrive.

Pets

Pets are not allowed inside Waimea Canyon State Park, so please plan ahead and make other arrangements. Service animals are not considered pets and are permitted within the park.

Camping

Waimea Canyon State Park encourages guests to visit for the day and spend the night in nearby Kokee State Park. This public recreational area lies north of Waimea Canyon and features primitive campsites and a variety of cabins nestled within the mountainous woodlands.

The 9 primitive campsites have access to picnic tables, flush toilets, showers, and potable water. And the cabins, located high up in the mountains, offer guests a choice in size and comfort features. Each cabin has 2 bedrooms (except the duplex style), a bathroom with a shower, a fully equipped kitchen, and a wood burning stove. Linens are also provided.

This park also features 45 miles of hiking trails that wind through the forested mountains, scrub native rainforest, and along streams.

Park Location

Waimea Canyon State Park
Waimea Canyon Dr
Waimea, HI 96796
Phone: 808.274.3444

Park Website

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Waimea Canyon State Park: