The rugged grandeur of Kauai’s Waimea Canyon

IMG_2755If you’ve ever visited or flown over the Grand Canyon, imagine the same wonder and beauty on a Hawaiian island overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Waimea Canyon is often referred to as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. It is located on the western side of Kauai and is approximately 10 miles long.
 
 
When you enter Waimea Canyon State Park and drive through, you will enjoy magnificent views of the Pacific and in the distance on a clear day you’ll see the mysterious and privately owned island of Niihau, often referred to as The Forbidden Isle.IMG_2752
 
 
The blues of the sea and sky, in contrast to the terra cotta and red hues of the canyon, sprinkled with green, do not disappoint. Waimea Canyon is a scenic jewel and a hiker’s dream.
 
 
 
There is an easy and short hike, the Iliau Nature Loop, and a longer, more difficult hike of Kukui Trail, a 2.5 mile hike down the west side. The adjacent forest reserve has other hiking trails into and out of the canyon.
 
 
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Waimea Canyon State Park is located 11.1 miles north of Kekaha on Koke‘e Road (Highway 550). Bring your camera. Be sure to pack your own drinking water. Enjoy the view.
 
 
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The legendary beauty of Kauai

IMG_2688Kauai is gorgeous, breathtaking and lush—living up to its name of the Garden Isle.

It is the home of Waimea Canyon, the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, and the breathtaking Na Pali Coast. From the crashing waves of Poipu to the lush Princeville on the north shore, Kauai offers scenic vistas, countless waterfalls and one of the wettest places on earth at the top of Mt Wai’ale’ale, which reportedly receives rain almost every day of the year. Kauai is a nature lover’s paradise.

IMG_2709Have I mentioned that it is gorgeous?

The first time I drove on the Kuhio Highway, I was speechless. Just when you think the island couldn’t be more picturesque, there is another view to take your breath away, such as the Hanalei Valley. Rainbows seem to greet you at every turn.

Kauai is the greenest and oldest of the Hawaiin islands. Many movies have been filmed in its natural beauty. When you visit, you instantly see why. It also maintains a somewhat rural feel and exudes old Hawaii. The entire island feels like a botanical garden.IMG_2727

It is easy to navigate as it is just 30 miles at its widest, but it’s best to take your sweet time when exploring this island to enjoy the awe and wonder of Kauai.