Take a Trip with Me: Waimea Canyon, Kauai

Of the thee times we’ve been to the Hawaiian islands, we’ve only visited Kauai once. There were a number of things that made this trip different and one of them was that we went in early July as opposed to the end of December.

Despite not having a volcano to bike down such as we did on Christmas Day 2015 on Maui, Kauai is a magical place. It boasts a rainforest, stunning beaches, lava rock formations, and a place called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific: Waimea Canyon.

Is it not beautiful? The colors were extraordinary and the depth of the canyon was stunning! Truly, the Grand Canyon of the Pacific! The canyon was easy to find. There are pull offs and parking lots, some of which lead to trails and lookouts. Luckily, the day we visited was not crowded.

Kauai is one of the oldest Hawaiian Islands and one of the most northern. The further south one travels, the younger the island. You won’t find any volcanos producing lava on Kauai. But, there are some other extraordinary finds. Mt. Waialeale, located in the rainforest on Kauai, is one of the wettest places on earth receiving over 400 inches of rain annually! (worldaltas.com) In fact, Kauai is referred to as the Garden Isle for its verdant and lush vegetation which is evident almost everywhere you look.

On the way to Waimea Canyon, we pulled off to the side to walk on this red dirt hillside.

As you drive along the Canyon road, it will take you to the Kalalau Lookout. The morning we visited the lookout, we were greeted with mist and shrouded views. However, it was still very beautiful.

© Carol labuzzetta, 2013.

These trails, surrounding the lookout, and running into the valley are for the adventurous. They are stunning but can be wet, slippery, and quite grueling for the unprepared. They are also some of the most hiked trails on the Hawaiian Islands. No wonder there is erosion.

Kauai is famous for the NaPali Coast, azure waters, and pristine beaches. But, it has a wild side underlying all its striking beauty. We were awestruck by the natural wonders on Kauai but equally impressed and respectful of the possible dangers that exist here, both seen and unseen. Whether gazing over the guardrail in Waimea Canyon, traversing a slippery, narrow, red dirt trail through the jungle to reach the beach, or stepping into the turquoise pacific waters conscientious regard for one’s surroundings is of upmost importance. Still, I wouldn’t have missed this trip for the world!

Mountain stream on Kauai not far from the ocean’s edge. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2013.

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