A Trip Up Waimea Canyon

One of the highlights of any trip to Kaua’i is a drive up Waimea Canyon. This spectacular drive on the western part of the island goes from sea level to above 5000 feet. In addition to beautiful canyon views there are views of the spectacular Na Pali cliffs from Koke’e State Park above the canyon. This year I made the trip twice.

Waimea Canyon is the largest canyon in the Pacific and truly a dramatic sight to behold. The canyon measures 10 miles long, 1 mile wide, and more than 3,500-feet deep. It was carved thousands of years ago by rivers and floods that flowed from the Mount Wai’ale’ale summit. The lines in the canyon walls depict different volcanic eruptions and lava flows that have occurred over the centuries.

You can get some wonderful views of parts of the canyon before you even get into the park.

View of Waimea Canyon, Koke'e State Park

View of Waimea Canyon

I love this view of Waimea Canyon from Pu’u Hinahina Viewpoint.

View of Waimea Canyon, Puu Hinahina Viewpoint, Kokee State Park

Waimea Canyon, Pu'u Hinahina Viewpoint

There are lovely birds in Waimea Canyon, exotic for me …

Erckel's Francolin, Kalalau Overlook, Kokee State Park

Erckel's Francolin

Red-crested Cardinal, Puu Hinahina Overlook

Red-crested Cardinal

Red-crested Cardinal juvenile, Puu Hinahina Overlook, Kokee State Park

Red-crested Cardinal juvenile

Pacific Golden-Plover, Kalalau Overlook, Kokee State Park

Pacific Golden-Plover

Apapane, Kalalau Overlook, Kokee State Park


Zebra Dove, Kokee State Park

Zebra Dove

… and of course the ubiquitous Kaua’i chickens.

Chickens, Kokee State Park

Chickens devour popcorn in Koke'e State Park

Chickens, Kalalau Lookout, Kokee State Park

A hen and her family at Kalalau Lookout.

As you can tell from the photos, it had been raining off and on that day. At the Kalalau Lookout, which overlooks the Na Pali coast, I saw a beautiful rainbow.

Rainbow, Kalalau Lookout, Kokee State Park

Rainbow seen from the Kalalau Lookout

The view of the Na Pali coast through the clouds at the top of the road at Wai’ale’ale, one of the wettest spots on earth, was spectacular.

Waialeale, Kokee State Park

View from Wai'ale'ale

On the return trip I stopped to take a photo of the huge poinsettia bushes in a front yard. I thought they were gorgeous!



I have been a bit slow in getting my photos organized from this trip. I hope to post more this week.

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Filed under Hawaii bird photography, Hawaii photography, Kaua'i Birds

28 responses to “A Trip Up Waimea Canyon

  1. Beautiful! Cool looking birds…and Poinsettia bushes? wow
    Truly paradise! Me thinks you may want to retire there.

  2. Cindy

    I am so glad you saw a rainbow..a positive omen! I love Red Crested Cardinals..what a super time you had. Great shots, thanks for sharing!

    • The rainbow was incredibly gorgeous. There are rainbows all over Kaua’i. The Red-crested Cardinals are so pretty, and they can be very tame. I had two that came to the condo regularly for handouts. 🙂

  3. Wonderful pictures Linda. What a beautiful place, lovely birds and gorgeous Poinsettia bushes!

  4. incaunipocrit

    Reblogged this on Basil Wheel.

  5. It’s been 24 years since I’ve been to Kauai (wow where did those years go) and I still remember Waimea Canyon has being spectacular. And when I saw those Red Crested Cardinals I was enchanted (especially because in those years I still hadn’t seen our Northern Cardinal “in person/bird” . Thanks for sharing your trip, brought good memories.

    • Thanks for your kind comments Annette. 24 years is too long to stay away from paradise! You must make an effort to get back there. I love the Red-crested Cardinals! We don’t have Northern Cardinals in NM either, although we do have Pyrrhuloxia.

  6. Beautiful pictures, Linda. I especially like the canyon photos and the Red Headed Cardinal, the Zebra Dove and the………..heck, I like them all. 🙂

    • Hi Bob, and thanks for your comments. The thing about Kaua’i is that you can pretty much point your camera anywhere and get a good photo! Happy you like the photos. More to come!

  7. It’s been too long since I made that drive – I love Kauai and the trip to that canyon is wonderful. Looking at your beautiful photos, I can almost feel the warm mist on my face!

    • Well you must make a real effort to get back there! It truly is paradise. I love Kaua’i too, and the drive up Waimea canyon is one of my favorite parts of any trip there. Thanks for your very kind comments! xoxox

  8. What a wonderful place and amazing looking birds – love the cardinal and zebra dove particularly. Looks like a very nice trip – I am jealous of the warm and lush green 🙂


  9. Spectacular rainbow! What a gorgeous place. And super photos!!

  10. Fabulous post!!! Looking forward to seeing more of your wonderful photos!

  11. Linda,

    Spectacular views and such wonderful birds! Your blog is lovely.

    Take your time with your photos, I am very willing to wait–worth it!


    • Thanks Laura. I’m happy that you like my blog and my photos. I really think I’m more of a writer than a photographer as I tend to use photos to illustrate the narrative of what I did or where I went. Working on more illustrated Kaua’i narrative. Stay tuned!

  12. Gorgeous photos from Kauai. I love the birds and the scenic shots.

    • Thank you Eileen. Very happy that you enjoyed the photos. I love Kaua’i, its scenery and its birds and sealife. It’s a wonderful place to visit, and I very much enjoy having a photographic record of my visits. Stay tuned, because I’m working on several blog posts from this past visit! 🙂

  13. Beautiful canyon and photos! I’ve been there twice!

    • Yes, it is a lovely place, isn’t it? I’ve been there four times, and I’m only just beginning to grasp the grandeur and scope of it. Happy that you like the photos. Thanks for your kind comments. 🙂

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