Kukui Trail and Waimea Canyon Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"Waimea Canyon, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” is more than 13 miles long and over 2,500 feet deep, depending on where you take your measurements. The scale is smaller than that of the Grand Canyon, of course, but the nearly vertical red-dirt cliffs really do resemble those of the mainland’s southwest canyon country. This hike takes you from the rim to the river in only 2.5 miles on very steep, seriously eroded trail that can be treacherous when rainy and wet and cruelly hot when the sun is out. Still, for physically fit hikers, this one is worth the sweat and the mud. The Waimea River at the bottom forms cool and pleasant pools where you can have a dip, and if you want to stay longer, you can spend the night at Wiliwili Camp.
Climb up the bank to a bench beneath a shady tree, turn right (east), and skirt the Iliau Nature Loop and its rare, endemic, upside-down mop forest. At the signed junction with the Kukui Trail keep right (east), and just a few yards beyond find a grassy area with covered picnic tables. The trail has been marked with posts every 0.25 mile, though some of these have disappeared. Other signs will remind you (again and again) that hunting is permitted here (to control the flourishing population of goats)."