Kukui Trail and Waimea Canyon

Waimea, Hawaii

0 out of 5 stars0 out of 5 stars0 out of 5 stars0 out of 5 stars0 out of 5 stars
0 Reviews
0 out of 5
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).

Kukui Trail and Waimea Canyon Professional Review and Guide

"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)."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Waimea
Distance: 5
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 4 to 6 hours
Season: Year-round
Local Contacts: Napali-Kona Forest Reserve
Local Maps: USGS Waimea Canyon
Driving Directions: Directions to Kukui Trail and Waimea Canyon

Recent Trail Reviews

There are no reviews for this trail.

Trail Photos

Activity Feed

May 2018