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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
Exhilarating!!
Going down a hill on a bike at 30 mph is super fun! Hosts were hilarious. Great views of the canyon before the ride starts. Just about anyone can do this.
Andrea_K, Aug 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Kauai

star-5
Ernesto and Neno were...
Teresa_A, Aug 2022
Waimea Canyon Downhill Bike Ride
Ernesto and Neno were fantastic guides for our downhill bike adventure of Waimea Canyon. We loved the the creative pictures Ernesto took as well as the history and local culture they shared with us along the way. Such a great way to experience the canyon and the beautiful lookouts! Can’t recommend them enough!
star-5
Definitely worth seeing!
Cheryl_W, Aug 2022
Kauai Shore Excursion: Journey to Waimea Canyon
Absolutely loved this!! Waimea Canyon was beautiful as was the Spouting Horn. The tour guide offered lots of commentary and interesting information. He obviously really loves Kauai and wanted us to know about its rich history and to see its beauty for ourselves.
star-5
Spectacular
tkkmgreen, May 2022
Waimea Canyon Downhill Bike Ride
This is one of the best activities we have done, anywhere, anytime. The downhill biking was spectacular, but the entire trip was well organized and well planned, and the guides were not only safety conscious, but also entertaining, creative and tech-savvy photographers, with great island dining and hiking recommendations.
star-5
Kauai Waimea Canyon Bike Ride
Michelle_M, Aug 2022
Waimea Canyon Downhill Bike Ride
Our family of five had the BEST time on this ride! Our boys are 21, 18, and 16, and loved all the jokes and history the hosts, Nino and Ernesto, provided. They also stopped at beautiful sites along the way, where they took both funny and amazing shots of Waimea Canyon! The bike ride down was fast paced, fun, and gorgeous (even for me, who is not the best rider). This was by far our favorite part of our trip to Kauai!
star-5
Beautiful views!
Tiffany_G, Mar 2022
Waimea Canyon Downhill Bike Ride
The tour guide was very knowledgeable about the area and kept the ride fun and enjoyable. Safety was their concern. I would recommend having some bike riding experience.
star-5
Waimea Canyon Tour
Debra_W, Aug 2022
Private Waimea Canyon Tour
My boyfriend and I had a wonderful day with our guide John on June 29. Thanks to John, we learned a lot about Kauai and went to charming towns we did not even know about. The canyon and waterfall views are amazing. We also enjoyed lunch at Chicken in the Barrel. Great to be able to relax and not drive. Highly recommend.
star-5
Excellent tour of so much of Kauai!
Keith_F, Aug 2022
Private Waimea Canyon Tour
Wonderful all-day tour! John, our driver and guide, was excellent. He knew so much about Kauai & shared it all with us. Took us to special locations to view the canyon, to delightful little towns, the coffee plantation, and more. Highly recommend this private tour! Well worth every penny!
star-5
A great experience in Kauai
Robert_C, Jul 2022
Waimea Canyon Private Tour with Local Guide
Our guide Kevin was great...he was very knowledgable and caring. It made our tour very unique and relaxing.
star-5
Self guided tour the best
rdavis1945verizonnet, Apr 2022
Waimea Canyon & Na Pali Driving Tour app
Great narration; great stopping points; Waimea canyon the best. Didn't want a group. Wanted to go at our own pace.
star-5
Enthusiastic, personal, friendly
Denise_P, Jun 2022
Kauai's Waimea Canyon and South Side Private Guided Tour
Noah gives a fantastic tour. He’s knowledgeable, enthusiastic, & passionate about Kauai. With personal touches through the tour, it’s a great way to see and learn about the amazing canyon and south side.
star-4
Fehn's conquer Waimea Canyon
Nicole_F, Jun 2022
Waimea Canyon & Na Pali Driving Tour app
Loved that it was at your own pace. Loved the narration even though it seemed to "cut out" a lot of words. Had a great time.
star-5
Our guide Noah was...
Christina_B, May 2022
Kauai's Waimea Canyon and South Side Private Guided Tour
Our guide Noah was wonderful. He was knowledgeable, fun, and really adjusted the experience to fit my family’s needs. I would recommend this tour to everyone, and if you get Noah as your guide, better yet!
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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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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: