After a short little hiatus from talking about Hawaii, I’m back to talk all about our time on Kauai. While our time on Maui was very short, just 2 days and 3 nights, our time on Kauai was set to be a lot longer.

The Wandering Weekenders- An Early Morning Hike In Waimea Canyon

We booked an earlier morning flight from Maui to Kauai via Hawaiian airlines (only about $100/person) and arrived on Kauai, picked up our luggage and car, and were ready to eat lunch and start exploring the island. That first day on Kauai we really didn’t have much planned, except to relax by the pool for a bit and to get to know the island. The next day though, we hit the ground running!

Waimea Canyon

One of the things that I had to see when we were on our trip to Kauai was Waimea Canyon. Known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” this 14 mile long, 1 mile wide, and 3,600 feet deep canyon stretches across the western end of the island of Kauai. While the Hawaiian islands are known for the lush greens and blues of the forests and ocean, Waimea Canyon is dominated by reds and oranges and some greens from the red dirt that is known to dominate the area.

The Wandering Weekenders- An Early Morning Hike In Waimea Canyon

The Wandering Weekenders- An Early Morning Hike In Waimea Canyon

When you drive up to Waimea Canyon, the main road will take you to the main lookout point that will offer breathtaking views of the canyon below. Really take the time to take in the amazing view of this beautiful part of the island.

The Wandering Weekenders- An Early Morning Hike In Waimea Canyon

Before this trip, the only lovers lock bridge that I knew about was the Lovers’ Lock Bridge in Paris. Apparently there’s also one on Kauai at Waimea Canyon. If we had known, I’m sure that Chris and I would have brought one with us in order to attach to this beautiful lookout point.

The Wandering Weekenders- An Early Morning Hike In Waimea Canyon

The Wandering Weekenders- An Early Morning Hike In Waimea Canyon

While we didn’t have a ton of time before we had to run to our next activity, Waimea Canyon does offer a lot of hiking for all different types of hikers, from easy to intense activity. We decided to try and hike a trail before we had to leave, but unfortunately we had to turn back before we could get very far.

The Wandering Weekenders- An Early Morning Hike In Waimea Canyon

The Wandering Weekenders- An Early Morning Hike In Waimea Canyon

Our plans originally were to try and hike the Iliau Nature Trail or the Kukui Trail. The Iliau Nature Trail we probably would have been able to finish, but I don’t think that we were in the right place to start. Anyways, the Iliau Nature Trail is a shorter distance that takes you along the Western edge of Waimea Canyon, while the Kukui Trail will take you all the way down to the canyon floor. I really wish that we had more time for hiking because both of these hikes would have been spectacular! Just don’t forget to bring lots of water with you if you plan on hiking Waimea Canyon, it can get pretty hot and humid on the Hawaiian islands.

The Wandering Weekenders- An Early Morning Hike In Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon- Know Before You Go:

It will take you a while to drive out there: One of the things that you will quickly learn about the island of Kauai is that it takes a while to get anywhere and that the island is very spread out. The two most popular places to stay on the island of Kauai is Poipu Beach on the southern side of the island and Princeville on the northern side. So you combine the fact that Kauai is so spread out and the fact that it’s mountainous, you quickly learn that most of the roads go around the island instead of going through it. This means that even though Waimea Canyon looks relatively close to where you’re staying in Princeville, you actually will probably spend over an hour getting there because you can’t drive through the Na’Pali Coast area. So just be prepared that it might take you a while to get to Waimea Canyon to start off with.

The Wandering Weekenders- An Early Morning Hike In Waimea Canyon

The Wandering Weekenders- An Early Morning Hike In Waimea Canyon

Plan to spend at least a half day at Waimea Canyon, especially if you’re hiking: When you combine the long time that it takes to get to Waimea Canyon and what you can expect to do while you’re there, I would budget at least a half day for your trip to Waimea Canyon, maybe even more if you plan on going on a strenuous hike. We spent a couple of hours there and I felt rushed because we had afternoon activities that we had to get to. I wish that we’d had a full half day to devote to Waimea Canyon so that we could have done a proper hike.

The Wandering Weekenders- An Early Morning Hike In Waimea Canyon

If you’re planning to hike, pack lots of water: I hope that this goes without saying, but plan accordingly on your trip, and plan to bring lots of water with you if you’re going hiking. I’m from Houston where we practically swim to work because it’s so humid, and I still thought that Hawaii was extremely humid. The problem with humidity is that you sweat and sweat and don’t realize how quickly you’re becoming dehydrated, so especially if you’re going hiking I would plan on bringing plenty of water in order to stay hydrated.

The Wandering Weekenders- An Early Morning Hike In Waimea Canyon

And there you have it, my tips and tricks for making your trip to Waimea Canyon extremely special! The Grand Canyon of The Pacific is an extraordinary part of the island of Kauai and definitely not something to be missed during your trip to Kauai! I’m linking up with these Wanderful Women from some Wanderful Wednesday- Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World!

Have you ever visited Kauai and Waimea Canyon? Have I convinced you that you need a visit?

Other Hawaii Posts

My First Trip To Hawaii- Maui
My First Trip To Hawaii- The Big Island
10 Things I Learned While Visiting Hawaii
Hawaii In Instagram Photos
Which Hawaiian Islands Should You Visit?
How To Spend 9 Days Exploring Maui and Kauai
What To Expect When Biking Down Haleakala
A Guided Tour Of The Road To Hana
Where To Eat On Maui

Also, don’t forget about this amazing giveaway that ends on Sunday, April 2nd! A group of us blogger babes have teamed up to gift one lucky person a $75 Sephora or Ulta gift card- winner’s choice and a few other products including a GlamGlow mask, BECCA Highlighter and more. Be sure to check back on the blog next week to see if you’re the winner!

The Giveaway Gals:





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  • what totally gorgeous views! really is spectacular. and i love the love locks! def good to know bc it’s something i’ve always wanted to do in paris too 🙂 hydration is key too!

    xoxo cheshire kat

    • I’ve always wanted to do it in Paris as well, and I kind of wish that I’d known about this before our trip because I totally would have bought a lock with us, especially since it was our 5 year anniversary. And the views were my favorite part!

  • This looks amazing!! Every time I watch Hawaii Five-0 I swoon over all of the green and the hiking opportunities!

    • I really should be watching Hawaii Five-0, just because I know that I’d love to see as much Hawaii as possible. It really is full of beautiful views and hiking opportunities!

      • It’s a fantastic show. I just finished what is on Netflix 🙂

  • Hawaii just blows my mind in every way! I love that there is such beautiful beaches but also really good hiking opportunities. I love the beaches living in florida, but it is flat as a pancake here and i miss hiking 🙁

    • Hawaii is definitely anything but flat, and I wish that we’d had the opportunity to do more hiking. If I hadn’t promised Chris that this was going to be a relaxing vacation too, I probably would have done more hiking on this trip. The beauty of Hawaii really just blows me away!

  • Breathtaking views is right! Wow! I would love to visit Hawaii one of these days! It seems like a hikers paradise!

    • It really is! One of the reasons that I fell in love with Hawaii is because it really does have such a wide range of activities, and it’s not just laying on the beach like a lot of people think. I wish that we’d had more time to hike while we were there!

  • Jen

    The views are stunning and you can’t go wrong with hiking in a beautiful space like that!

  • Rebecca

    It’s not what I think of when I think Hawaii but it’s magnificent!!

    • Exactly! One of the reasons that I fell in love with Hawaii is because there was so much to do, it wasn’t all about just laying on the beach!

  • So beautiful, those views are amazing. That personalized lock made me giggle

    • I know! I couldn’t believe how amazing all of the views were, and I was so glad that we woke up early in order to see it! I didn’t even know that you could get a lock personalized!

  • Erin

    These pictures are SO gorgeous!! What amazing views! 🙂 That is cool that there are other lock bridges out there- how fun!

    • I know! I wish that I’d known before we left because we totally would have gotten one for us, especially since it was an anniversary trip. The views were absolutely breathtaking, and they’re definitely something I won’t forget!

  • good to know about the locks, maybe we’ll get one for our honeymoon!!

  • Living on Cloud Nine

    What a fun day of hiking! So cool about the lovers locks there too!! Truly amazing views, the best experience for sure!!

    • They really were spectacular views, and I’m so glad that we were able to experience it together. The hiking was a lot of fun, and I really wish that we’d had more time to hike some more!

  • Wow, Waimea Canyon looks absolutely stunning! Definitely adding it to my Kauai list!

    • You definitely need to go here when you make it to Kauai! Waimea Canyon is so stunning and it makes it apparent that I need to officially make it to the Grand Canyon since I’ve never been before!

  • WOW this is incredible! Definitely the Grand Canyon of the Pacific! What a gorgeous spot for a hike <3

    Green Fashionista

    • It really is spectacular, and after seeing it in person I know how it got it’s nickname! The only thing that I was bummed about was the fact that we didn’t have more time for hiking while we were there! We probably could have spent a full day there!

  • Ohhh, this is amazing! What an incredible hike 🙂 Just love those spectacular views!

    • Me too! I was so glad that we woke up early enough before all the crowds started to get there so we could take in all the views without a ton of people around. I wish that we’d had more time for hiking while we were there!

  • Oh yes, you have convinced me to visit this place! It is incredible and would like to hike around. Sometimes it takes a long time to reach certain natural places. It is like when you are visiting National Parks. The distance between sight is not huge but driving at 25 mph (I saw 10 mph signs in Sequoia) will take you forever. #WanderfulWednesday

    • Yes, I hope that you get to make it there soon! Kauai is just stunning with so many different types of landscapes to see and places to hike. And it totally makes sense that places with so much natural beauty would take a while to drive around, but it’s definitely not something that you think about. That’s crazy that there were 10MPH signs in Sequoia!

  • Biana Perez

    Well that looks like just about the most gorgeous hike to take!! Love that you guys were able to do it! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

  • Wowza! Waimea Canyon looks gorgeous (even though I’m afraid of heights). I love living vicariously though your Hawaii travel recaps until I make it there someday. Sounds like you guys got to experience some of the best parts of Hawaii other than just staying on the resort

    • We definitely tried to get out and about as much as we could while we were in Hawaii, but we definitely still had some time to relax as well. That’s a bummer that you’re afraid of heights, but I hope that you still make it there one day! It’s such a spectacular view and I know that you would fall in love with it!

  • Nadine

    Your pictures are so beautiful!!! It stinks you had to turned around on your hike but you still got in some good views!!!

    • Exactly! I wished that we’d had a few extra days so we could have gotten in even more hiking on our trip. Everything was just so beautiful!

  • Oh wow this is so gorgeous! I love the views, and I’m surprised that I’ve never even heard of this place! I am kind of dying to go to Hawaii now… XO – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

    • You totally need to get yourself to Hawaii! Not only is it beautiful, but there’s also so much to do on all of the different islands. I honestly had no idea that Waimea Canyon existed either until my parents visited the year before.

  • I will definitely have to remember this lock spot for our next Hawaii adventure! We got a beautiful lock from friends for our wedding and have been looking for the perfect place to put it 🙂 What a great hike!

    Meg, Borrowed Heaven

    • You definitely need to remember it for your trip to Kauai! I wished that I’d known about the lovers lock area because we totally would have brought a lock since we were on our 5 year anniversary. But since I missed out, I hope that means that other people won’t!

  • I can’t believe the landscapes in Hawaii – they seem to cover it all from volcanoes to beaches and even canyons! Incredible!

    • I think that’s what blew me away the most about Hawaii, how each individual island seemed to have such diverse landscapes. I also loved that it wasn’t just sitting on a beach either!

  • Laila Brandon

    This is so amazingly beautiful. Great photos!!

  • Great tips for Waimea Canyon! I love it there. I did the Awa’awapuhi Trail twice. It’s a hike down into the canyon and you get amazing views, but the way back is HARD since it’s all uphill and you are already tired for walking. The first time I went there, we couldn’t get to the top because the fog was so thick and we couldn’t see where we were driving But it’s definitely worth a trip!!

    • That had to be have been scary with all of the fog the first time that you were there! I’m pretty sure that Chris would have freaked out if that had happened while we were there since the road was pretty windy if I remember correctly. And I so wish that we’d had more time while we were on Kauai so that we could have done more hiking! The trails that go down to the bottom sound so incredible, and I know that we would have wanted to do one of those if we’d had more time!

  • Ahh, shame you didn’t have enough time, but the views are gorgeous!!

    • I guess that means that are hands are tied and we have to go back, right! I was bummed about missing the hiking, but the views were so incredible and totally worth the drive out there!