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Okay, I can’t help myself. I’m on a roll now, first with the whale watching in Poipu and then with the perfect whale watching rental home. So if you are going to be whale watching on the south shore and maybe even staying at The Tides, here is another site for you to see.
Waimea Canyon is also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Why? Well, anyone who has gone to visit this natural wonder can tell you that it is no small hole in the ground. Let’s crunch some numbers:
The Grand Canyon in Arizona is 277 miles long and 6,000 feet deep, right? But the continental United States (which is 3,000 miles across) is quite a large piece of land for a canyon that size, almost dwarfing the Grand Canyon with its sheer bulk. At ten miles long and 3,000 feet deep, Waimea Canyon definitely creates a sizeable landmark on Kauai, cutting deep into this 25 mile wide island and revealing the jagged and exquisite beauty of nature.
Of course, if you really want to see Waimea Canyon, then you need to head to Kokee State Park. Located just north of Waimea Canyon State Park, Kokee has several hiking trails that show off the canyon nicely, from the 1.8 mile Canyon Trail to the 0.1 mile Cliff Trail. Other great canyon views can be found on Iliau Nature Loop (0.25 miles), Kumuwela Trail (1 mile), and Black Pipe Trail (0.5 miles).
So don’t you think the canyon is worth seeing? Well, if you are staying at The Tides or in the south near Poipu, then all you have to do is take Lawai Road north toward the 530 (Koloa Road). Turn west (left) and take the 530 to Kua Road, turning left at Kua to get onto Kaumualii Hwy. Stay on the HWY for 12 miles until you see Waimea Canyon Drive (HWY 550) on your right. This turn will be right before Hapokele Park, so keep that landmark in mind. Go another 7 miles (actually I think it’s a little less) up the road, past the hospital, and out of town. The road will actually turn into Kokee Road, so don’t be worried when the name changes. Continue to follow this road another 3 miles. Waimea Canyon State Park will be on your right and Kokee State Park is another 4 miles or so after that on the same road.