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Waimea Canyon Rim Trail

A spectacular hike along the rim of the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific."

Hiking Difficult

6.8 km
423 m
423 m
2-3 hrs
Low Point
952 m
High Point
1.1 km
Waimea Canyon Rim Trail Map

Waimea Canyon is a stunning natural wonder on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. It is known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific because of its size and beauty. The canyon stretches for about 10 miles, measures one mile across, and plunges up to 3,000 feet deep. It was formed by the erosion of the Waimea River, which cut through the lava and basalt layers of the ancient volcano that once covered the island. The canyon is named for the reddish water of the river, which reflects the color of the soil. The canyon offers spectacular views of the rugged landscape, waterfalls, and rainbows. It is home to many native plants and animals, such as ohia trees, ferns, birds, and goats.


One of the best ways to explore Waimea Canyon is by hiking the Waimea Canyon Trail. This trail is a moderate hike that takes you along the rim of the canyon, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the valley and the ocean. The trail starts from the Puu Hinahina Lookout on Highway 550 and follows a dirt path that passes several lookout points and interpretive signs that explain the history and geology of the canyon. You can also see some remnants of an old irrigation ditch that was built in the 1920s to divert water from the canyon to nearby sugar plantations.

After taking a right turn to continue following the canyon rim, the trail reaches a viewpoint of Waipoo Falls, an 800-foot waterfall that cascades down the canyon wall. The route shown here continues beyond the waterfall to additional overlooks further along the rim. The marked route turns around at the Ka'ou highpoint and retraces its steps back to the trailhead.

If you're interested in some bonus miles, adventurous hikers can turn this trail into a loop using some of the other trails in the state park.

Source: Waimea Canyon State Park - Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WaimeaCanyonStatePark. Waimea Canyon State Park - Hawaii State Parks. https://hawaiistateparks.org/parks/kauai/waimea-canyon-state-park/. Division of State Parks | Waimea Canyon State Park. https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/kauai/waimea-canyon-state-park/. Waimea Canyon State Park. https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/kauai/waimea-canyon-state-park. Waimea Canyon Information, Photos & More - Hawaii Guide. https://www.hawaii-guide.com/kauai/sights/waimeacanyon. Conversation with Bing Chat



Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

all year round


  • Picturesque
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area