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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
Bike ride down was fast...
Bike ride down was fast and fun! To and from the starting point was scenic. Stops were great. Hosts made everything fun and interactive.
rob_s, Jan 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Kauai

star-5
Dont miss this
Mike_C, Sep 2021
Waimea Canyon Downhill Bike Ride
Great guides that were fun and entertaining. Lots of good culture and Kauii knowledge sharing and very good safety briefing. A must activity to enjoy Waimea canyon and the spectacular views from the top . Excellent bikes and helmets and the ride ends at the ocean coastline for the sunset viewing. Dont miss it. Ernesto and Mickey were our guides.
star-5
Amazing experience!!
Sandy_H, Oct 2021
Kauai's Waimea Canyon and South Side Private Guided Tour
Our private tour with Noah (noahsarkkauai), to Waimea Canyon and the south side of Kauai, was absolutely fantastic!! Noah is an amazing storyteller and is so knowledgeable about the flora, fauna, and history of Kauai. Noah is friendly and a joy to be around. He even played the ukulele and serenaded us during part of the tour!! We collectively agreed that we would take this tour with Noah again. Worth every penny!!
star-5
The Best Experience on Kauai!
koolhof, Dec 2021
Waimea Canyon Downhill Bike Ride
Kiana and Nino shared anecdotes and history of Hawaiian life. The views of Waimea Canyon were spectacular. We were so impressed with Kiana’s creative photography. This experience is a MUST if you like biking, seeing majestic scenery, and learning Hawaiian lore.
star-5
Amazing Private Tour!
Sylvia_M, Jul 2021
Kauai Private Tour : Waimea Canyon and Southside
Our private tour of Waimea Canyon and the Southside of Kauai was amazing! Our tour guide/driver Bobby made the tour memorable and extra special by making sure we got to see the best views and was very patient with us in making sure we captured these special moments on camera with his sophisticated photography skills! Bobby was a fun and very knowledgeable tour guide! Strongly recommend this private tour if you are in Kauai. Will not be disappointed!
star-5
Private is the way to go!
Christina_W, Jan 2022
Private Waimea Canyon Tour
Private is right - it was my husband, me, and our John (our tour guide, driver, historian, and personal photographer). A magnificent way to discover the island. Bravo!!!
star-4
The rain and clouds gave...
David_E, Jan 2022
Waimea Canyon & Na Pali Driving Tour app
The rain and clouds gave way to a sunny afternoon and we were finally able to see the canyon on the way back. It is truly stunning!
star-5
Best Helicopter Experience On Island
Simon_C, Jan 2022
Canyon Landing Safari on Kauai
This was the best helicopter tour I’ve ever taken and I’ve taken a few! The flight was amazing in length the views we saw and the knowledge of Kyle our pilot. Yo be able to also land on the Canyon met the land owner Bob who at 80 years old was a fantastic and a again so knowledgeable.
star-5
Had a great experience...
William_P, Dec 2021
Kauai's Waimea Canyon and South Side Private Guided Tour
Had a great experience with Noah and his knowledge of the island. It was a wonderful day with some great views!
star-5
Finding the sun on a cloudy day!
Mary_F, Dec 2021
Private Waimea Canyon 6 hour Tour with Local Guide
Orlando our guide has lived in Hawaii for 30+ years and knew how to route our trip for the best possible experience! He was great with details that we would never get driving on our own! There were 5 of us and everyone had the same opinion - we would gladly give 5 stars! We had a GREAT time!
star-5
Must do!
JuanH, Dec 2021
Waimea Canyon Downhill Bike Ride
Amazing views, speed and lots of fun! You start the day meeting at Paco’s tacos. They explain a few things and ride on the van up to the canyon. From there you go take a couple of pictures and then start your ride down. You finish by the ocean to catch the sunset with a nice cold one.
star-5
What a magical places to visit!!!
Jaime_C, Sep 2021
Waimea Canyon & Na Pali Driving Tour app
This is our first time in this beautiful amazing island of Kauai! Our road trip to Waimea Canyon and Na’Pali Coast Driving Tour with Shaka App is truly a wonderful experience. It is highly recommended. Thanks!
star-5
Awesome Trip!
Chris_L, Dec 2021
Private Waimea Canyon Tour
John was an amazing tour guide! We enjoyed the private tour format and he was very knowledgeable and made us feel right ant home. Can’t recommend this tour enough!

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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