Waimea Canyon is a truly remarkable sight offering numerous scenic overlooks and amazing photo opportunities. Definitely a perfect spot for a person like me with a passion for photography.
The canyon is a natural wonder of Hawaii and is called the “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific”. It is smaller than its sister in Arizona, Grand Canyon, but is greener and shares the same dramatic sights. Waimea Canyon has almost 1000 meters tall cliffs with lush green foliage along with reddish lava beds and numerous waterfalls.
You can easily spend more than one day in the canyon but we only had one day so we tried to get the most out of it. The whole drive up and through the canyon is gorgeous. It has three major lookouts, which I without a doubt recommend you to stop and indulge – Waimea Canyon Lookout, Pu’u Hinahina Lookout and Pu´u O Kila Lookout.
Waimea Canyon Lookout is the first and offers the best panoramic views, although it will probably be a bunch of people at this lookout. There are several beautiful lookouts along the way but I was looking forward to Pu’u O Kila Lookout the most because it is said to have the most fantastic view over Kalalau Valley. When we reached this point I unfortunately only saw a white wall of clouds. Of course this was a disappointment but at least I had other ways of seeing this gorgeous valley. Read more on Kalalau Trail.
Waimea Canyon Drive is definitely a drive of contrasts. Starting of down by the ocean surrounded by palms and beaches you meet dry reddish nature as you drive uphill. When you drive further you reach Kokee State Park. The temperature here has dropped almost 10 degrees Celsius and you are now surrounded by lush dark green nature and pine trees. I get the feeling of being up in the mountains back home in Sweden. I imagine Kokee State Park is a perfect getaway on a hot summer day!
We had time for one hike in this gorgeous canyon and we chose to hike Waipoo falls. The actual waterfall wasn’t the beauty in this hike, the views were the thing that blew my mind away. Read more about the Waipoo fall hike here.
The beauty that struck me the most about Waimea Canyon is the dramatic interior with the layers of green, red and brown. Such a different but yet fantastic view. It’s difficult to believe such a gorgeous undeveloped sight exists here!