Visiting Hawaii’s Majestic Waimea Canyon State Park

by Aug 28, 2019

The plane ride over Waimea Canyon got canceled, what do you want to do now?

Let’s drive there!

Waimea Canyon State Park tl;dr

  • Waimea Means Red Waters
  • Parking on the Other Hand is Not Free
  • Free Admission to Daylight Hours Only Park
  • It’s the Pacific’s Version of the Grand Canyon
  • Be Sure to Your Gas Gauge and Check Weather Conditions

The vibrantly alive island of Kauai is full of the most wondrous examples of Mother Nature’s creative ability. Everywhere you look, there’s a view, there’s a jungle, there’s a coral reef to explore! Some of the hardest things to witness is the sheer magnitude of the such island features.

Nadia booked a flight over Waimea Canyon to get a sense of the canyon’s size however due to poor weather conditions our trip got canceled. Not knowing what to do with ourselves, yet still having the desire to the canyon I suggested that we drive there.

And drive there we did…
After we figured out how to get there (thank you Google maps).

drive Waimea Kauai HI (58)

We drove all the way up there, frequently stopping to take in the views (who knows what would happen later and it might be too late to take pictures if it were to get dark). We stopped at every lookout, and every location we thought would provide a good view. The problem is, they all had great views!

We eventually made it into Waimea Canyon and unfortunately there wasn’t much to see. Just like our time to Bromo, the fog, precipitation, clouds wouldn’t allow us to witness the sheer beauty of Waimea Canyon. The drive up was but a mere tease to the diamond in the rough that Mother Nature clung to herself with all the greediness of a child.

lookouts Waimea Kauai HI (60)

Nadia and I stood there for a moment hoping the clouds would dissipate and allows us a glimpse of the natural treasure hidden within. But it didn’t and we were left standing in the fog, eventually getting wet.

That’s life and we simply have to roll with it. Another time Waimea!

We drove back down with our heads held high knowing that we at least tried despite not knowing what exactly we would find out there. While not a complete win, it was still an amazing road trip into the unknown.

View of Nadia and JM and the Pacific from Waimea

What is It

Waimea Canyon is a long and deep canyon that runs for over 10 miles and is about 3000 feet deep and it’s simply GORGEOUS!

Waimea means red waters as a reference to the water that flows through the canyon.  The canyon itself it long and deep but . There isn’t a fee to enter the park but there are parking fees except if you’re a Hawaii resident.

The drive up into the canyon is filled with places to stop to take in breathtaking views of both the canyon itself and the rest of the island. You can see it all from up there. Be mindful though because it’s easy to get distracted by the scenery from driving the long and winding roads.

lookouts Waimea Kauai HI (58)

view Waimea Kauai HI (50)

Where is It

Waimea Canyon is located on the south western side of the island of Kauai in Hawaii.

view Waimea Kauai HI (85)

What to Do There

Every park has activities you can partake in. There’s plenty of things you can do up there at Waimea Canyon:

  • Fishing
  • Sightseeing
  • Hunting
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking

BUT don’t do these:

  • Don’t Bring Animals or Pets
  • No Motorized Vehicles
  • No Rock Climbing
  • No Commercial Activities
  • NO Camping

Given that we were “clouded” in, there wasn’t much to do up there for us other than look at the fog(?) and is very similar to our time at Mount Bromo.

sunset Waimea Kauai HI (76)

drive Waimea Kauai HI (60)

The drive back, while dark, still retained the same beauty it shared with us during the day.

Irregardless of the adverse weather conditions being what it is, it was still a great and memorable trip up there!

Waimea Canyon State Park


How well do you deal with weather issues ruining your trip?

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