Top 5 Hiking And Trekking Spots In Waimea Canyon, Hawaii

hiking in waimea canyon
Sin Yee
Sin Yee 
| 4 min read

Hawaii is a dream holiday destination for beach lovers. Imagine immersing yourself under the beautiful blue skies, swimming in the clear waters and having the time of your life. Aside from it being a charming island, nature had also blessed Hawaii with some scenic trails that allow you to have a close-up view of Waimea Canyon, also known as Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Yes, it is that grand and you should totally see the panoramic views of the canyon with your own eyes. Read on if you are planning a trip to Hawaii and want to know more about those breathtaking views. Here are the top hiking and trekking spots in Waimea Canyon, Hawaii.

1. Waimea Canyon Trail

Waimea Canyon from the Kukui Trail (Kauai, Hawaii)
Source: Photo by user Clement Faydi used under CC BY 2.0

Waimea Canyon Trail is part of Waimea Canyon State Park in Waimea, Hawaii. The park is most famous for the beautiful and scenic views of Waimea Canyon and Waipo’o Falls. Although there are quite a number of trails that you could go on to explore the park, Waimea Canyon Trail is still the most common and popular spot for most hikers. Halfway down the trail, you will get a magnificent view of Waipo’o Falls. A lot of hikers also chose a picnic session halfway through the trail, taking rest while enjoying the beautiful view of the canyon. The trail is about 3.4 mi (5.5 km) two-ways and it is going take you about two to three hours to complete. Remember to give the weather forecast a check before starting on your journey. This is a moderate trail with steeper inclines so gets slippery after a rain. Definitely not a recommended activity during the rainy days.

Waimea Canyon Trail

Address: 779 Kokee Rd, Waimea, HI 96796, United States

Website: Waimea Canyon Trail

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2. Black Pipe Trail Loop

The Canyon Trail-Black Pipe Trail Loop Waimea Canyon (the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” - Will Pettes

Posted by Kasey Baynton on Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Black Pipe Trail Loop is a 3.8 km (2.4 mi) looped trekking spot within the Koke’s State Park. It is also linked to Waimea Canyon State Park, so a lot of hikers choose to explore Waimea Canyon Trail first, then go back via Black Pipe Trail Loop because this route takes you to Koa forest. It is definitely going to offer you a fantastic view. The trail got its name because of the prominent black wooden pipe that hikers must cross when they are taking the trail. Certain parts of the trail is muddy and has some steep inclines so it is the best to wear proper trekking shoes and only do the hike when the weather is good.

Black Pipe Trail Loop

Address: 779 Kokee Rd, Waimea, HI 96796, United States

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3. Iliau Nature Loop & Kukui Trail

Kukui Trail in Waimea Canyon (Kauai, Hawaii)
Source: Photo by user Clement Faydi used under CC BY 2.0

Like what its name suggests, Iliau Nature Loop is a 0.3 mi (0.5 km) hiking trail that is filled with lots of Iliau plant. If you don’t know what that is, it is a plant species related to the sunflower family but Iliau is native only to the region. After the loop, you can continue your hike down Kukui Trail. This 2.5-mile (4 km) steep path connects to the river and you will be hiking past lots of Kukui trees along the way, hence giving the trail its name. Some parts of the trail are very steep and slippery due to the loose dirt and sand so you are advised to be careful, and remember to gear up with proper trekking shoes.

Iliau Nature Loop & Kukui Trail

Address: Kokee Rd, Waimea, HI 96796, United States

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4. Cliff Trail Lookout

Cliff Trail Lookout is for the first-timers who want a shorter hike since the trail is only a tenth of a mile long and it can be completed in less than an hour. This trail also provides a shortcut for those who wants to get back to the starting point because it is connected to the Waipea Canyon Trail. Like the other trails, you will definitely get a phenomenal view of Waimea Canyon. However, you wouldn’t be able to get a glimpse of the Waipo’o Falls. Although the trail is flat and surfaces are mostly even, you should still get a pair of proper trekking shoes. Remember to check the weather forecast before you embark on the trail because it gets slippery during rains.

Cliff Trail Lookout

Address: Cliff Trail, Waimea, HI 96796, United States

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Nearby hiking trail

5. Koaie Canyon Trail

Na Pali Kalalau Trail waterfall Kauai, Hawaii
Source: Photo by user dronepicr used under CC BY 2.0

If you are up for a longer hike, you really have to give Koaie Canyon Trail a go. This is a 6-mi (9.7 km) trail that leads you to the Koaie Stream right by Waimea Canyon and Kokee State Park. This route can be accessed via Kukui Trail and you get to see some wonderful sceneries of the gorgeous Waimea Canyon. There are a few swimming holes if you are longing for a swim in the fresh stream water but remember to be careful, especially after a rain because it could cause an influx of water. Up for an adventure? You can also choose to camp at one of the camping sites within the trail for a fee. You just have to register online for a permit.

Koaie Canyon Trail

Address: Waimea, HI 96796, United States

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Waimea Canyon is worth the hike

Are you ready to visit the magnificent Waimea Canyon? If your answer is yes, the best bet would to go on a hike at one of the trails we’ve recommended in this article. Aside from the beautiful views of the canyon, you also get closer to nature. While you are on the hike, remember to stop and admire the different species of wildlife that can be found along the trail. That sure is a wonderful experience, especially for those who live in the cities. However, safety still comes first! Make sure you are totally geared up and prepared before you go for an expedition into the wild.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Sin Yee is a small-business owner, freelance writer, and content creator. At Basic Theory, she specializes in crafting all-natural, synthetic-free skin and body care products. Beyond her business,...Read more

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