Kauai is home to one of Hawaii’s most incredible natural wonders; Waimea Canyon. Given the nickname “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific” by Mark Twain, Waimea Canyon is a large canyon that stretches roughly 10 miles long, 1 mile across and 3,000 feet deep. And unlike its dry counterpoint in Arizona, Waimea Canyon is covered in lush greenery and waterfalls.
For beginners and families, the Waimea Canyon Cliff Trail Kauai is a great introduction into hiking at the Waimea Canyon State Park. Running along the ridge top, this trail is a series of gorgeous panoramic views. Parking is available at the lookout at the beginning of the hike.
The Cliff Trail is only a tenth of a mile long, making it a short round trip that can be completed within a half hour. Your scenic vantage point will give you a good perception of the size and depth of the canyon. You may encounter more than other hikers along the way as our local mountain goats frequent the area.
Beginners looking for a longer leisurely stroll can park at the Koke’e State Park entrance off of Koke’e Road and head out on foot from there, taking a stroll along Halemanu Road (0.8 mile dirt road) that will bring you the beginning of the Cliff Trail. Ending this trip at the Cliff Trail overlook makes for a nice two-hour round trip hike.
Always tell someone where you are hiking (name and location of trail) and when you plan to return.
Bring water and stay hydrated. Do not drink from the waterfalls and streams. Kauai has been known to have seriously harmful bacteria in its fresh water.
Bring snacks as its always a good idea to provide your body enough calories to support the physical activity you are engages in.
Its important to know that cuts in tropical climates should be closely monitored. Do not expose open wounds or cuts to the river.
Comfortable footwear with good tread that can stay strapped to your feet is a must. Wear shoes that you don’t mind getting stained with the Kauai red dirt.
Dress in layers so you can easily remove a layer when you get hot. And add one back on when it cools of again. Because we are close to the equator the trails heat up quickly. However, conditions cool just as fast; winds picking up speed and a passing showers causes wind chill factor.