It is called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Waimea Canyon on Kauaʻi was one of the highlights of this trip. It is a 3,000 foot park is one of the most spectacular natural settings on Earth. We planned an entire day with a guide from Kauai Hiking Adventures. We were incredibly fortunate to have Jeffrey Courson, a Californian who came to Kanai decades ago and has an encyclopedic knowledge of the island’s planting, animals, history, and topography. Above is my son Jack at the very end of a cliff overlooking the canyon.
We got up early after having a great local dinner the night before, including the local favorite of loco moco and fresh fish below.
Kauai Hiking Adventure is owned by Andrew Hewitt and arranges tailored hikes for each group. Jeff sized up our interests and abilities after we met him and switched over to his 4×4. We did a series of overlooks featuring water falls, including the towering Waipoo Falls with an eight-hundred foot drop. We were with Jeff from 8:30 to 5:30 and it was one of the most memorable experiences of our lives. This is an amazing way to see these tropical forests.
Jeff took us on a hike into the valley where we learned about the local flora and fauna. We tasted berries and fruits that are abundant on the island. These included small guava tasting like strawberries and lemon drops. We tasted herbs including wild ginger blossoms. The end of the trail is not for those afraid of heights as you stand on a narrow path with steep drops on either side down sheer cliffs. However, the chilling path leads to awesome views.
Here are some pictures from the morning hike.
After the morning hike, we went to a campground for lunch where the islands roosters were again abundant.
After lunch, we went on a hike to the top of Waipoo Falls with its breathtaking views of the canyon. This hike was down hill to reach a small waterfall and a little further to the top of the Waipoo Falls as it drops 800 feet. The walk back was challenging due to its steepness, but it was well worth it. One chilling site was just added in the form of a cross where a young man recently fell off the cliff while taking a selfie.
Here are some pictures from the second hike:
After a terrific day, we bid a reluctant goodbye to Jeff and thanks Kauai Hiking Adventures (also known locally as Andrew’s Adventures). Tomorrow we may venture to the North side of the island.