Waimea Canyon State Park
Waimea Canyon State Park
5
About
Also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, this scenic state park overlooks the colorful Waimea Canyon, which stretches over 14 miles and is more than 3,600 feet deep. The park itself is famous for its scenic drive, panoramic lookouts, and hikes of varying difficulty. Depending on the time you visit, the canyon’s appearance can seem to change throughout the day—it’s best to visit earlier in the morning for fewer crowds and better visibility. You might even spot a rainbow, especially during the summer months. There are many ways you can tour the canyon, including a bike tour, or even from up top on a helicopter ride. – Tripadvisor
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travellers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Top ways to experience Waimea Canyon State Park
See what travellers are saying
  • 2TravelWithDogs
    Casa Grande, Arizona76 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Kauai Grand Canyon
    This is one adventure you don’t want to miss. Unfortunately everything is being charged for these days. It is absolutely beautiful with all the waterfalls. If you’ve been to the Grand Canyon in AZ, you will love it here. Nice driving tour with several spots to stop for pictures. Also several hiking trails if that is what you are looking for. Best time is in the morning. Afternoons get busy with cars. If it rains it can be muddy.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 25 May 2023
  • Catherine B
    Linden, Texas14 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful views and of the Canyon and Napali coast.
    Absolutely breathtaking views. Unfortunately it was raining a bit when we visited to the amount of hiking we would have liked to do was limited. There is an abundance of hikes throughout the park. The drive is very nice with multiple lookout points if hiking is not your thing.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 26 May 2023
  • mckjl3
    Washington DC, District of Columbia117 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    AN ABSOLUTE MUST SEE
    Wow this was everything we wanted and so much more. We didn’t know a lot coming knit the park but one of the employees at the canyon lookout explained everything very well. The first lookout (the canyon lookout) has amazing views of the canyon. There is a pay station there where it costs $10 to park and $5 per person. This is good for all of the Waimea state park lookouts (I believe there’s 3 more) and parking for trails for the entire day. We spent about 10 minutes at the canyon lookout and then continued to drive. There are several side of the road, unofficial lookouts that give you a better lookout of the waterfall that appears on the left side of the main official canyon lookout. There’s only room for a handful or cars but it’s worth it to stop. The second lookout has 2 views. One is straight down the canyon looking towards the ocean. The other is a nice spot with another area where you can see Ni’ihue (the forbidden isle). That sign is a little run down but an easy quick stop. They’re both very easy to get to from the parking lot. The third stop is the first view of the Napali coast. There’s 2 lookouts here as well. One in the grass and one with a paved path. It’s absolutely spectacular. If you can’t do a boat or helicopter ride than this is the best it’s gonna be for those of us who don’t hike 10 miles. The last lookout has several potholes getting there due to the rain and weather. The clouds can roll in over the ridges here depending on the day. This lookout is even better than the third! If you walk down the trail about 100 yards (often muddy) it’s an even better, unobstructed view. Just be careful since this is the trail and there are no railings. The walk down is quite bumpy and hilly so not accessible for those in wheelchairs. I’d say the first and third lookouts are the most accessible. Second and fourth have some uphills and off roading instead of a paved path. This is well worth the money and we could’ve spent the whole day here!
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 27 May 2023
  • MariaBCalifornia
    Chino Hills, California638 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful view
    We drove through Waimea Canyon State Park and the views were beautiful. If you did nothing other than park and walk up to lookout view at the main parking lot, it's worth seeing. Not too hard of a drive either. They have bathrooms available at the main parking lot also. There is a small fee per person ($5 I think), which can be charged at the machines there.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 28 May 2023
  • Molly S
    Victoria, Australia46 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Not to be missed!
    You cannot miss out on seeing Waimea Canyon, it is one of the most spectacular natural sights I’ve ever laid eyes on. Even if you only stop at the Waimea Canyon lookout & Kalalau lookout it will have been worth it, but if you’re able to do one of the trails I’d suggest you do. We did the Cliff & Canyon trails. The cliff trail is quite short. The canyon trail gave us a good workout maybe 45 minutes each way.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 31 May 2023
  • Cheryl H
    Kansas19 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful mountain drive
    Beautiful drive with lookout stops along the way and picnic area at the museum. sometimes you have to park along the road, so just look for places cars have pulled off. most lookouts are not signed.
    Visited June 2023
    Written 9 June 2023
  • skbell
    San Jose, California8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth the trip
    Waimea Canyon is an amazing site. Unfortunately it was a pretty cloudy, rainy day and even though we headed up early the views were still a bit fogged in. Even then it was worth the drive as the scenery is stunning.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 15 June 2023
  • LnS2004
    Cypress, California8,977 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Magnificent
    A visit to this famous landmark topped our sightseeing agenda. Fees of $10 for parking and $5 per person, paid with credit card at onsite machine, were well worth it. It’s wonderful that easier, zigzagging path access was available for movement-challenged visitors. The sight of the sunlight moving across the red, green, and brown hued landscape was magnificent and breathtaking. What a natural masterpiece! We could see a waterfall in the distance. And tiny tour helicopters circling.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 18 June 2023
  • BAYSAILORR
    Melbourne, Florida3 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A crapshhot and ripoff by the State of Hawaii
    It cost me $80 in fees to visit Waimea Canyon with my family group of 12. The canyon views are incredible in bright sunshine....but lighting during our visit was less than ideal. You pay ridiculous fees and take a huge risk on quality of the views. Worse yet, the upper sections on the road to Kalalau lookout are studded with large and deep potholes which could easily damage vehicle suspensions. TheState of Hawaii should be totally embarrassed by the lack of maintenance provided for the outrageous prices charged. I've been coming here for over 25 years - this latest visit will be my last!
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 23 June 2023
  • taikogirl1
    Rapid City, South Dakota291 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Take a beautiful drive.
    Lovely drive and views. This is definitely a great drive when you are on Kaua'i. It has some nice pull off points but be careful of all the potholes. It could leave you stranded with very spotty cell service. There is plenty of hiking trails that will probably give you better views than from the road but since I don't hike, I can only give you the car view perspective. There are basic restroom facilities and make sure to bring water. There are places to pull off for a picnic. We did Waimea Canyon Rd going up and took the Koke'e Rd back down. Both were fantastic with amazing views.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 26 June 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles8,622 reviews
Excellent
7,474
Very good
1,003
Average
118
Poor
9
Terrible
18

Bill H
Ka'anapali, HI6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
We took a mid morning trip to see the canyon on May 16. You travel up a long and winding road for what seemed to be close to an hour as we were told to visit the Kalalau Valley (last) lookout first.
There was one other major lookout 5-10 minutes before Kalalau and a number of other minor lookouts to see when pulling off the road. Theres very little signage to confirm you are on the correct road but keep driving and eventually you will reach the Kalalau lookout parking lot. There ia a parking pay meter on the walk to the lookout that seems to operate on the honor system. $10 per car and $5 per non-Hawaiian resident. Unfortunately at this time, a heavy fog prevented any views from the lookout. We stopped at the next lookout parking lot on the way down and had wonderful views of the valley with the clouds lifting from it. The views are definitely worth the trip. You get beautiful ocean views on the way down from the trip. Tips: medication for car sickness if needed, drop car into lower gear or ride your breaks the last 5 min of the descent 😁
Written 17 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stacey J
41 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
Stunning scenery, even in the rain. The other reviews were correct, if you are in the clouds without a view, drive on up for awhile and then try again. We had stunning views on the second try at the two major viewpoints. We took a short hike for some more views- be careful as it is very slippery when wet. So glad we took the time to see this!
Written 15 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sightseer59721865544
132 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
This park is beautiful with so many amazing walks and viewpoints, I wish I had more time there to do more walks! Much better on a sunny day to see all the views. I would recommend the Pihea Vista walk, a stop along the way driving there!

Bring thermals and lots of water, it is drastically colder because of the elevation! And check the website before going for any road closures or weather warnings!
Written 10 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Izabela Tsvetanova
Provincetown, MA6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Amazing trip. One of the beautiful hikes I did. Bring a lot of water and some snacks. And the end of the road there is a very good place for lunch.
Written 2 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Extraordinary556093
San Jose, CA17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
A definite must-see on any trip to Kauai. While some of the trails were a little muddy we took hiking shoes which are washable so it really wasn't a big deal.
Written 1 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Barbara G
21 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
This is a gorgeous park with amazing views. Quiet and colorful with pretty waterfall in the distance. A green Grand Canyon!
Written 24 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jonathan P
10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Couples
We had an amazing time in Kauai, and my personal favorite was Waimea Canyon. You can’t understate how beautiful the views were here. We went to the lookout and pay the $10-$20 required to see it, and then chose one of the hikes to do and see the inside view of the canyon. It is simply stunning! Can’t recommend highly enough.
Written 21 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Robertos-Journey
Sandpoint, ID88 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Solo
Waimea Canyon is the WOW must see place on Kauai. It's well worth the long winding drive up the hill to gaze down into this huge and colorful canyon. There are many pullouts along the way for taking photographs. Most of them will be full of cars but if you are patient you can usually find a spot. There is a nice lodge at the top that serves great lunch, has a good bar, and a well-stocked souvenir store. After you've seen the the Canyon you can keep going to the Kalalau Lookout and hope that the weather will be kind to you and allow you to see the Napili coast. If you have only one day on Kauai this is probably the thing to do.
Written 19 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Joette N
Oakdale, CA493 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
We picked the perfect day to visit. Lots of lookouts. When you get your the main canyon lookout or the further ocean Na Pali Coast lookout, there is a 10 dollar parking charge and 5 dollars a person on top of that. Pay stations only take credit cards I believe. Make sure you also stop at the red rock waterfall just before mile 5 on either the way up or down. Great family photo op!!
Written 14 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

froggie93
fl764 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
So glad someone suggested we visit this park they called it the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. The colors are just stunning. As you drive into the park you will also pass the SteamVents. There is plenty to do here and if you like to hike or are up to exploring there are plenty of things to see. We were limited on our walking and did not venture on those routes. If you are not very mobile but can walk or are assisted by a cane you can still access this site.
Written 24 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 7,997
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Waimea Canyon State Park - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Waimea Canyon State Park

According to Tripadvisor travellers, these are the best ways to experience Waimea Canyon State Park:


Restaurants near Waimea Canyon State Park: View all restaurants near Waimea Canyon State Park on Tripadvisor


All things to do in Waimea
RestaurantsFlightsHoliday homesTravel StoriesCruisesCar Hire