Waimea Canyon Kauai
Kauai, also known as the Garden Island, has a lot to offer when it comes to scenic views and hiking trails. The Waimea Canyon, nicknamed “the Grand Canyon of the Pacific” by Mark Train, should definitely be on your to-do list when visiting Kauai and if you are ballin on a budget like we were and cannot afford the $260/person helicopter tour (which we heard was incredible if you can spare it) we’d highly recommend visiting the outlooks and hiking down into the canyon.
There are several trail options of varying difficulty beginning at the canyon outlooks off of highway 550, Cliff trail being the easiest at only 0.1 Miles to an overlook, Canyon Trail being the middle of the pack at 1.8 miles each way, and Kukui being the most extreme at 5 miles each way for expert hikers only.
We chose to take the Canyon trail for a moderate 4 mile hike (depending on where you begin) and despite the rain turning the trail into a mud slide, enjoyed 360 degree views of the canyon.
Fuel required: Unleaded-Premium-Diesel- Rocket Fuel
Length: 1.8 miles each direction (3.6 miles round trip)
Duration: 2-3 hours
The hike was extraordinarily slippery due to the recently rain storm, Robert ended up having quite a messy fall, but during good conditions this should be a relatively easy going hike ending at the top of a waterfall with beautiful panoramic views of the canyon along the way.
We took the Black pipe loop off of the main trail on the return hike and it was somewhat anticlimactic, just adding on an extra 0.5 miles to the hike without much of a view in return.
Once we made it back to the parking lot, we decided to continue up the highway to Kokee Lodge for a snack and warm latte (it can get chilly up in the canyon) and we’re greeted by live music and a cozy fire. The band playing happened to be from Nashville TN and we felt right at home as we relaxed and warmed up. We’d highly recommend their Honey Nutmeg Latte and Green Smoothie, worthy of a pit stop.
If you do this trail during the wet season, be prepared to get muddy. Enjoy and be safe!