4.5 star rating: Recommended 292 Reviews

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  • Address: Waimea Canyon Drive, Waimea 96796, USA
  • Admission: Free

Kauai ATTRACTIONS See all

Waimea Canyon Tours

A geological kaleidoscope of reds and browns, Kauai’s impressive Waimea Canyon—at 14 miles (22.5 kilometers) long, one mile (1.6 kilometers) wide, and 3,600 feet (1,097 meters) deep—is Hawaii’s version of the Grand Canyon. In fact, some say Mark Twain was the first to lend it its nickname: the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Stop on its winding rim road for views of a far-below river, sheer drop-offs, spectacular views, excellent hiking, and waterfall-lined crevasses, all just a short way away from the Garden Isle’s legendary Na Pali Coast.

The Basics
The canyon, within the purview of the free-to-access Waimea Canyon State Park, is best seen on a tour, which allows you to gaze over the cliff edges without having to also navigate a vehicle along the winding, canyon-hugging route. Take a 4WD tour on Kauai’s backroads and past popular attractions like quaint Koloa Town, the Spouting Horn blowhole, the artsy town of Hanapepe, and the old Russian Fort before skirting the canyon. Or follow the Wailua River—coupling boat or kayak rides to the jungle of Fern Grotto—with a journey west for comparatively dry river views. Most Waimea Canyon tours continue to Kauai’s northern coast, stopping at Kokee State Park and the Kalalau Overlook for sweeping views of the undulating Na Pali Coast.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Waimea Canyon itself is dry and dusty, but the Na Pali Coast can be foggy and wet. Be prepared and dress in layers for whatever the weather may bring.
  • Although the canyon trails aren’t generally wheelchair accessible, the many lookout points are.
  • For experienced hikers, longer treks—including guided multi-day hut-to-hut hikes—are an option. Trail maps and additional information are available in the Kokee Museum and Visitor Center north of the canyon.
  • There are no gas stations and only one restaurant along Waimea Canyon Drive—a route that, depending on how many stops you make, could take all day. Choose a tour that includes lunch or snacks, or pack food.
 
How to Get There
Access Waimea Canyon along scenic, in-and-out Waimea Canyon Drive (Highway 550) in southwestern Kauai. There are several lookout points and trailheads along the route. You can access the road from coastal Highway 50 in the town of Waimea, or from farther west at Kekaha, via Kokee Road. On the return journey be sure to look for glimpses of distant Niihau, the Forbidden Island.
 
When to Get There
It’s best to head to Waimea Canyon early in the day (before 10am) or in the late afternoon (after 3pm), when the fog that regularly rolls off the sea is less likely to obscure views along the route. Very early morning and at sunset, the canyon’s colors come alive and make for great photographs.
 
Stops Along the Waimea Canyon
There are dozens of pull-offs along Waimea Canyon Drive, but don’t miss sights like the Waimea Canyon Lookout at mile marker 10 or Waipio Falls, best seen from a small lookout around mile marker 13, opposite a picnic area with restrooms and water fountains. The Iliau Nature Loop is a flat and easy (though dusty) trail with signage on local birds and plants, as well as some great canyon views; look for it just before mile marker 9. The restaurant at Kokee State Park, north of the canyon, serves local-style meals—try the loco moco, a hearty Hawaiian dish of white rice, a hamburger patty, a fried egg, and gravy.

Tours & Tickets

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Oahu to Kauai Day Trip: Waimea Canyon and Fern Grotto, Oahu, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Oahu to Kauai Day Trip: Waimea Canyon and Fern Grotto

4.5 star rating: Recommended 4 Reviews

Island hop from Oahu take a visit to some of Kauai’s most beautiful spots and discover why this island is Kauai is called “The Garden Isle.” On this full-day ...  Read more

Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $445.00
Kauai: Waimea Canyon Tour, Kauai, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Kauai: Waimea Canyon Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 10 Reviews

Discover the natural beauty and experience one of the best views of the western coast of Kauai. This tour takes you right up to the rim of one of the most ...  Read more

Location: Lihue, Hawaii
Duration: 7 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $75.00
Kauai Deluxe Sightseeing Flight, Kauai, Nature & Wildlife
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Kauai Deluxe Sightseeing Flight

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 78 Reviews

See Kauai on a deluxe sightseeing flight! For approximately an hour, you’ll enjoy Kauai’s stunning scenery from the air, as you explore this Hawaiian island, ...  Read more

Location: Lihue, Kauai
Duration: 65 minutes (approx.)

From USD $140.00
Kauai: Waimea Canyon and Fern Grotto Kauai, Kauai, Air Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Kauai: Waimea Canyon and Fern Grotto Kauai

4.5 star rating: Recommended 21 Reviews

Explore some of Kauai’s most beautiful spots which will demonstrate why this island is known as “The Garden Isle.” During your all-day tour, the lush ...  Read more

Location: Lihue, Hawaii
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $120.00
Kauai Waimea Canyon and Wailua River, Kauai, Nature & Wildlife
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Kauai Waimea Canyon and Wailua River

4.5 star rating: Recommended 149 Reviews

Enjoy a day filled with the beauty, legends and stories of Kauai, the Garden Island, on a Waimea Canyon Kauai tour! This fully guided scenic tour takes you to ...  Read more

Location: Kauai, Hawaii
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $114.69
Private Tour: Waimea Canyon, Wailua Falls, Kauai Coffee Company and Spouting Horn, Kauai, Full-day ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Private Tour: Waimea Canyon, Wailua Falls, Kauai Coffee Company and Spouting Horn

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 23 Reviews

A private tour of Kauai’s Waimea Canyon provides closer views of nearby waterfalls than bigger coach tours can access. You'll enjoy great photo ops of Waipo'o ...  Read more

Location: Kauai, Hawaii
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $135.20
Kauai Day Trip: Waimea Canyon, Wailua River from Oahu, Oahu, Private Sightseeing Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Kauai Day Trip: Waimea Canyon, Wailua River from Oahu

4 star rating: Recommended 37 Reviews

Fly from Oahu to Kauai to explore the lush island's natural beauty, including Kauai’s famously scenic Waimea Canyon, nicknamed ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific.’ ...  Read more

Location: Waikiki, Oahu
Duration: 15 hours (approx.)

From USD $486.65
Waimea Canyon Bicycle Downhill, Kauai, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Waimea Canyon Bicycle Downhill

4.5 star rating: Recommended 39 Reviews

This fun and exciting Kauai biking tour is a cruise through Koke'e State Park and Waimea Canyon State Park. You'll be Kauai mountain biking from the rim of the ...  Read more

Location: Kauai, Hawaii
Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $113.54
Private Tour: Kauai Sightseeing Adventure with Picnic Lunch, Kauai, Bike & Mountain Bike Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Private Tour: Kauai Sightseeing Adventure with Picnic Lunch

4.5 star rating: Recommended 6 Reviews

See the best of Kauai on this private tour! Choose to see the East and North shores or the West and South shores and explore cities like Princeville, Kapaa, ...  Read more

Location: Kauai, Hawaii
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $233.99
Kauai Waimea Canyon Experience, Kauai, Private Sightseeing Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Kauai Waimea Canyon Experience

4.5 star rating: Recommended 20 Reviews

Over 100 years ago Mark Twain nicknamed Waimea Canyon the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific". Experience nature's grandeur first hand on a Waimea Canyon ...  Read more

Location: Kauai, Hawaii
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $85.36

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