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Waimea Canyon
Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon Drive, Waimea, 96796

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.

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Waimea Canyon Downhill Bike Ride
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Waimea Canyon Downhill Bike Ride
$143.45 per adult
Traveler Favorite
The tour was amazing. ...
The tour was amazing. The guides took us to amazing hidden stops! The trip was full of amazing facts, fun trivia game and an amazing bike ride down to the beach for the sunset! The guides did an amazing job! Definite recommend this trip!
Asha_V, Jan 2023

Recent reviews from experiences in Kauai

star-5
Amazing, breathtaking
Margie_S, Dec 2022
Kauai's Waimea Canyon and South Side Private Guided Tour
We had an amazing time on this tour! We won’t have found half of the places Noah took us to. The Waimea Canyon is breathtaking! The south side of the island has gorgeous beaches and some hidden gems too! Thank you Noah for being an amazing tour guide!
star-5
Great tour!
Cheryl_D, Dec 2022
Kauai Shore Excursion: Journey to Waimea Canyon
Tour guide was awesome! Very knowledgeable and funny! So impressed with your tours! Waimea Canyon is way more beautiful than Grand Canyon! Will use your tours from now on!
star-5
A wonderful way to see and explore Waimea Canyon with knowledgeable and fun tour guides.
Christine_D, Dec 2022
Waimea Canyon Downhill Bike Ride
This was a great way to tour Waimea Canyon. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and fun to spend the afternoon with. The ride up was amazing and we stopped at some great lookout spots that I would have missed had I drove up on my own. The bike ride down was so much fun and got to see a great sunset at the bottom at the ocean. A+!
star-5
Great Experience
Susan_D, Dec 2022
Kauai Waimea Canyon and Koke'e Valley Tour w/ Lunch
The scenery was spectacular, the coach was very clean and comfortable and Rosario was an excellent and relaxed guide. Also, the lunch was wonderful!
star-5
Best and easiest way to see it all
Kenneth_T, Jan 2023
Kauai Waimea Canyon and Koke'e Valley Tour w/ Lunch
The views were spectacular and the insights from the guide gave us important historical context of what we were observing.
star-5
Great tour
Deborah_S, Jan 2023
Kauai's Waimea Canyon and South Side Private Guided Tour
Noah was such a good guide. We enjoyed his colorful historic stories of Hawaii and its indigenous people. We would not have found many of the places we saw, on our own. Nothing like having a long time resident to recommend places to eat! We will hire Noah again!
star-5
This Is Much More Than a Bike Ride
Catherine_B, Jan 2023
Waimea Canyon Downhill Bike Ride
The guides were very knowledgeable about the history of the island and culture. They shared a lot of interesting information during our van ride. They operated the bike ride in a safe manner, with the abilities of each rider in mind. I strongly recommend this to riders of any ability.
star-5
Great time!
Denise_H, Jan 2023
Waimea Canyon Downhill Bike Ride
The tour included a lot more than riding down the paved road from the canyon to the beach. Ernesto took fun pictures of us and K shared her family’s Hawaiian history. We learned about the state and canyon in an entertaining way. Very fun time. Thank you.
star-5
Great Introduction to Kauai
Tamara_P, Oct 2022
Kauai Shore Excursion: Journey to Waimea Canyon
We got to see a section of Kauai on the way to Waimea Canyon. The canyon is beautiful. The driver shared information about Kauai and the people that live here. It was a great excursion. Kauai was a cruise stop for us.
star-5
Perfect day in Kauai
Maureen_W, Jan 2023
Private Waimea Canyon Tour
A perfect day from start to finish! John was an expert and we enjoyed every minute. He made sure to make some extra stops since we told him we had one day on Kauai.
star-5
Awesome helicopter tour!
Jutamas_S, Dec 2022
Canyon Landing Safari on Kauai
This is my first time experience. We flew over many canyons and Na Pali coast line. Very smooth flight and beautiful scenery. We saw a lot of waterfalls. Landing was awesome. The pilot Max did a great job at explaining the area and flying. We highly recommend this tour.
star-5
Road to Waimea Canyon
Joan_C, Dec 2022
Kauai Shore Excursion: Journey to Waimea Canyon
Our driver was very knowledgeable and stopped at the highlights on Kauai. He also told us many interesting facts about the island. Very enjoyable day!
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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.

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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.

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Trip ideas

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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.

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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.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Waimea Canyon?
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Kauai?
A:
As well as visiting the Waimea Canyon, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: