The Canyon Trail is a beautiful hiking trail inside of the Waimea Canyon State Park, on Kauai. There are plenty of ways to explore the Waimea Canyon from simply driving up by car, a downhill bike tour, or a hike. If you are up for it, hiking provides a completely different experience. You see things from a different perspective. You experience the canyon’s sights and sounds up close!
Luckily, this was not our first hiking experience on Kauai so we were prepared. Our first hike on Kauai was part of the Kalalau Trail. And, it was a learning experience! We were so naïve and unprepared. We didn’t have proper footwear, underestimated the difficulty of the hike and didn’t pack enough water.
Unfortunately, the Kalalau Trail was closed for 14 months due to flood damage. But, good news, as of mid-June 2019 it is now re-opened. However, some changes have been made to restrict the amount of hikers and you now require a pass. You can purchase your pass up to 14 days in advance. Click here for more information. If you aren’t able to get a pass, have no fear there are plenty of other excellent hiking options on Kauai.
The Canyon Trail Hike
On this particular trip, we decide to take on the Canyon Trial. It’s a moderate 3.4 miles round trip hike with the added bonus of a waterfall. This hike is definitely doable for someone moderately fit. This is not a hike for first timers or for small children.
On hike day, it was beautiful and sunny in Poipu where we were staying. As we approached the canyon, it started raining. So, prepare for rain. It’s Kauai after all.
We weren’t about to let a bit of rain stop us. We laced up our hiking shoes, put on our light rain jackets and off we went. Since we arrived early, the trail wasn’t too busy but it was muddy. Some sections of the trail were quite slick. Fortunately, a good portion of the hike is in the forest, so the trees offer a bit of protection against the rain. We went a slow and steady pace and we fine. But, watch out for the roots!
Eventually, we reach a flatter area and were treated to a better view inside the canyon. The scenery around was pretty incredible. The deep red and green colors and textures of the rock formations from inside the canyon are hard to describe but, so breathtaking. Looking down into the canyon is a little scary since you are very high up.
Just a little further, is Waipo’o Falls. Once there, we took a short snack and water break before heading back. The waterfall isn’t very impressive but you can get in the water around it. So, that’s cool.
On the way back, the trail was much busier. It was still raining and things were muddier. We made it back to the car, wet, muddy and very hungry. On our drive back, we stopped at Anake’s for some acai bowls.
Looking for some food suggestions? Check out our favorite foods on Kauai.
Wary Travelers Tips:
Finally, be prepared! Start with the proper footwear. The right shoes make such a difference. We highly recommend the Salomon Speedcross shoes. They are lightweight, comfortable and perfect for the mud. Don’t forget to pack water, sunscreen, bug spray, a snack, a camera or your phone and a rain jacket!
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