[post_thumbnail]If the soothing ocean surf has put you to sleep one too many times and the heat of the Hawaiian sun has become a little overbearing then Waimea Canyon is the place for you. 18 miles up a very windy and treacherous road, this spectacular attraction sits 4000 feet above sea level. Visitors have been known to get very dizzy on the way up to the canyon so ensure you’re equipped with Gravol if you feel it may affect you. Apart from this, the cool refreshing air and breathtaking views are well worth the trip!
Known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, Waimea Canyon is approximately 10 miles (16 km) and is 3000 feet (900 metres) deep. When you catch a glimpse of the minuscule helicopters touring the canyon in the distance you really get an idea of how big it really is. In Hawaiian, “Waimea” means “reddish water” which refers to the canyon’s red soil. It was formed by a deep incision by Waimea river after years of extreme rainfall on Mount Waiʻaleʻale, the islands central peak which is also known as one of the world’s wettest places.
Waimea Canyon is very accessible with ramps and stairwells up to the viewpoint. You can also drive further up towards Koke’e State Park for alternative lookout points and hiking trails that lead down into the canyon. If you’re planning on hiking down the canyon make sure you’re well equipped with lots of water, a map and all the usual safety gear.
Take the road all the way to Koke’e State Park and you’ll find a magnificent view of the island of Niihau not to far off the coast of Kauai. To get to Waimea Canyon you can arrange an excursion with a local tour operator or make the drive yourself.