An online magazine with information related to attractions, lodging, dining,
and travel resources in selected areas of Hawaii

Kauai - Waimea Canyon State Park

Waimea Canyon State Park is located on the western side of Kauai. It is about ten or eleven miles long, a mile wide and as much as 3,600 feet deep, (depending on where you decide to lay the yardstick). Even though he never saw it, Mark Twain had heard about it and dubbed it the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. It is an apt moniker for a very dramatic natural wonder. Like the rest of the Garden Isle, Waimea was born of the volcano and has been shaped by erosion and the collapse of part of the island. The overall reddish hue is the result of the weathering of the basalt lava beds that make up much of it's base structure.

Waimea (reddish water in the Hawaiian language) is one of the principal tourist attractions on Kauai and it is taken for granted that virtually all who visit the island will make the pilgrimage. The usual procedure is to drive to the end of the road and peer over one or two of the roadside viewpoints. We did that and found the views to be as spectacular as everyone had said they would be. Just because it is the thing to do definitely does not mean that you should not do it. We had taken a helicopter tour of the island the day before we drove to Waimea and, at the time, we felt that the views from ground level were not as dramatic as what we had seen from the air. After returning home and looking at our pictures we realized that both views were amazing and sufficiently different that we were very happy that we had taken the time to admire this natural wonder from all angles. I only wish that we had had time to explore it on foot. There are obviously some interesting hiking opportunities in the park.

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