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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
$119.51 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Awesome ride and guides!
Fantastic job from our guides! They were extremely professional, attentive and had the well-being of all their group in mind. The downhill bike ride and sunset at the end was amazing. I could tell the tour guides loved their job.
Marian_G, Oct 2021

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
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
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
It was the best!
Suzanne, Jun 2021
Waimea Canyon Downhill Bike Ride
It was wonderful to see all of the views and a fun ride down the canyon! It was nice to have personal escorts for safety:)
star-5
The tour was excellent! Tour guide was also excellent!
Janice_H, Oct 2021
Private Waimea Canyon Tour
The canyon and waterfall were beautiful. The coffee plantation was very interesting. Elena was very flexible in showing us things that interested us.
star-5
A must tour to do in Kauai!
Christopher_Q, Oct 2021
Canyon Landing Safari on Kauai
This a MUST tour to do in Kauai, since you can't drive all the way around the Island, like the rest. Keith, our tour guide, was an amazing pilot, taking off and landing was as smooth as it can get. He also had a great knowledge of the Island and its history. We were able to meet Mr. Robinson, the owner of portion of the Island, during our stop and got a little history lesson as well. The Jurassic park waterfalls were stunning. Overall a great experience, we highly recommend this tour.
star-5
Great day trip. John is Wonderful guide. Saw much more of the area than we expected. Nice surprises along the way.
Marty_H, Oct 2021
Private Waimea Canyon Tour
John was very knowledgeable about Kauai and knew all the great places to see and how to get the best pictures…… We batted 1000 for great shots of canyon, valley, falls, blow hole turtles, etc. Visiting the coffee plantation was a special treat for me to see how it is grown, harvested,, and roasted to cup. Also visited a couple of quaint local towns. This is a great tour which he customized to include some of our specific interests. Highly recommend.
star-5
Great little trip
Johnny_C, Sep 2021
Waimea Canyon & Na Pali Driving Tour app
Awesome views and great commentary along the way. Every stop had great things to see and do. We were not able to do all the hiking due to a 2yr old but it was still worth it.
star-5
Spectacular views and we...
Cory_P, Sep 2021
Canyon Landing Safari on Kauai
Spectacular views and we loved our pilot Kyle! Very enjoyable! Canyon landing adds an awesome element to the journey!
star-5
BOOK IT!
Nikki_K, Sep 2021
Waimea Canyon Downhill Bike Ride
We booked this excursion last minute and I’m so glad we did. Book it!! Our tour guides were Keonna and Ernesto. They did a great job and making us feel comfortable about the experience. I would recommend to see Waimea Canyon with this duo. They had fun facts, took great pictures for us and made us feel apart of the island. I highly recommend this tour to anyone who is unfamiliar with the area and are looking for a fun experience with an adrenaline rush. You two were awesome!!
star-5
Best Tour Guide in Kauai
Cheryl_D, Aug 2021
Kauai's Waimea Canyon and South Side Private Guided Tour
Wonderful day exploring all aspects of the Canyon unclose and personal. Noah is the best tour guide on the island. He even entertained us with ukulele tunes and many historical stories. a must do for Kauai!
star-5
Great family friendly way to see the island!
Ashe-G, May 2021
Kauai's Waimea Canyon and South Side Private Guided Tour
Noah was so much fun! Waimea Canyon was gorgeous and Noah kept the drive entertaining with stories and Hawaiian tales about the islands and kingdom. He modified the tour to allow us to explore the makauwahi cave trail and we saw giant tortoises munching grasses and native Hawaiian plants. Tacos in Waimea town and several stop to see breath taking views of the Napoli coast and Poipu Beach rounded out the day. Great intro to Kauai and lovely company to boot.

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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