Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, is a large canyon located on the western side of the island.  While not as large as the Grand Canyon, it is quite big at approximately ten miles long and up to 3,000 feet deep boasting spectacular waterfalls, jawdropping coastline, and lush forest. It’s no wonder so many movies have been filmed here. Waimea is Hawaiian for “reddish water”, a reference to the erosion of the canyon’s red soil which adds to the already brilliant color pallet.  We set aside almost a full day to do the drive to the top of the canyon allowing plenty of time for a few short hikes and to stop at each and every pull out for photos. The road up is narrow and very curvy but well maintained and easy to drive. My advice is to start early and drive all the way to the end first. Clouds and rain tend to roll in later in the day making visibility poor to nonexistent and on clear days, the late afternoon sun at your back really shows off the vivid colors of the canyon. Then, on the trip back down, take your time and stop at each and every lookout for some of the best views and photos on the entire island. Also when you get to the lookout over the Na Pali coastline, if there are clouds, wait a few minutes because they roll in and out and you will be rewarded with the view below.  When we got there you couldn’t see anything and then after just a few minutes the clouds parted and there was the most amazing green mountains and blue water.  We were lucky enough to see Waimea Canyon and some of the Na Pali Coast from the ground and from the air (we took a helicopter tour which I will post about later).  And while I could write much much more, this post nor my pictures do the day any justice. If you are planning a trip to Kauai, skip a day at the beach to see it for yourself.  I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

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