Pack a lunch at any of our Kauai vacation rentals then head to Waimea Canyon for one of the best Kauai hiking trails on the island. At the end of the hike you can enjoy a refreshing dip in the waterfall pool seen above in a ravine brilliant with lantana, blackberry and banana passion flower.
From here you will be located above spectacular Waipo`o Falls that tumbles 800 feet below in two tiers. This well known Kauai waterfall is seen from many of the canyon lookouts. While only the top of Waipo`o Falls will be visible from the trail, the canyon views are stunning and the hike is moderate enough for all ages to enjoy.
If you have a 4 wheel drive vehicle you can park at the trail head. Otherwise, leave your car in the roadside parking area and walk 3/4 mile to where the trail begins. Once you are on the Canyon Trail expect to see wild ginger, tropical greenery and a dramatic exposed ridge near the end with many photo opportunities.
Most of the trail is downward on a series of switchbacks so the workout will be on the return. One challenge is near the end when you walk from the plateau that juts out over the canyon and down to the waterfall. Wear shoes with good treads for this as it can be slippery. If you are unsure about your footing, just stay at the plateau and enjoy one of the most breathtaking views of Waimea Canyon.
Kauai Hiking Tips
Allow 3 hours for this 3.6 mile round trip hike. Bring water, snacks and wear good hiking shoes. Pack a swimsuit if you want to enjoy the waterfall pool. A light rain jacket may be useful depending on weather. This hike is popular. The best times to hit the trail are early in the day or late afternoon. If you bring your cell phone, you will be able to check messages from the plateau and take a selfie to prove you were here.
Directions: Off road parking is available just past the 14 mile marker and the Pu`u Hina Hina lookout. Look for the Canyon Trail sign. Be sure to leave all valuables securely locked in your trunk, especially if you are hiking early or later in the day. You will start on the Black Pipe Trail that connects to the Canyon Trail.
Kauai Activities for your Family Vacation
For more things to do on Kauai, refer to our map of Kauai Activities where you will find everything from hiking trails to the 88 Shrines at the Lawai International Center. Another popular resource is our complimentary Parrish Kauai Beach Explorer with ocean tips and more.