Sunday, September 6, 2009

Kauai - Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon located in Western Kauai is often compared to Grand Canyon in Arizona. I have to admit that if I hadn't seen Grand Canyon before, I would definitely think that Waimea Canyon is the seventh world's wonder.

The canyon is pretty large: 10 miles (16km) long, 1 mile (1.6km) wide and 3'000 feet (900m) deep. It was formed both by the erosion and also by a catastrophic collapse of the volcano that created KauaŹ»i. It is definitely beautiful and worth visiting. There are numerous lookouts into the canyon from the Waimea Canyon Road and there are also many hiking opportunities both within the canyon, as well as along its edges.

We decided to go for a hike leading to Waipo'o Falls. It was a nice short hike (~3.5 miles) offering spectacular views of the canyon. If you do not have a 4WD you need to park your car next to 14-mile marker on the highway and walk extra 0.5 mile on a dirt road. Soon the dirt road will meet the Canyon Trail, which runs parallel to the canyon rim. Views are tremendous from there (as you can see from the photos below). Waipo'o Falls, on the other hand, were truly disappointing. We definitely saw many way more spectacular waterfalls during our trip.

There are many viewpoints along Waimea Canyon Road that offer spectacular views of the canyon:

The path leading to the Canyon Trail:

We took short side trip to Cliff Viewpoint, from where there were outstanding views to the canyon:

My father pretends that he is deadly tired and can not walk anymore:

For some part, the Canyon Trail runs very close to the rim of the canyon:

Waipo'o Falls, not so impressive, ha?

Again, my father being silly and pretending that I am terrorizing him: