Exploring the Waimea Canyon and Wailua River

While in Kauai, our adventures included hiking the Waimea Canyon and kayaking the Wailua River. Both were highlights of our trip and things I hope to do again.

100_9322 Thankfully I had done my research and knew about Waimea Canyon before leaving home. This is the reason I packed hiking boots for a Hawaiian vacation, causing some to laugh at me. The boots were a must.

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Our hike took us to the top of this waterfall. This photo was taken from an overlook.

100_9317Waimea Canyon is breathtakingly beautiful, with each roadside vistas more impressive than the last. Waimea Canyon State park is the largest canyon in the Pacific.

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The Kauai chickens are everywhere

Ten miles long and more than 3,500 feet deep, it is on the western side of the island and is only accessible from the 18 mile long Rt 550. The hiking is rugged. At times we questioned whether we had gone off trail; unlike many other state parks I have hiked, there are no guardrails.

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We started out journey at the boat launch

100_9578The geography of the Wailua River, on the east side of the island was completely different. We chose Wailua Kayak Adventures to guide us down the river and on a very muddy hike

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Yummy mangoes and chocolate to refuel
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We hiked through an ancient mango forest to get to the falls

through the rain forest to the Secret Falls, where we took a break and snacked on mangoes and chocolate! Our knowledgeable guide pointed out flowers and seeds and told us that the hibiscus100_9668 flower can forecast the weather. The flowers apparently bloom yellow and turn

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The 120-foot Secret Falls

red within 24 hours. If bad weather is approaching (also known as “big water”), the color changes much faster. A light rain started while we were heading back and the river had many red hibiscus blossoms floating.

 

Author: Kimberly Yavorski

Kimberly is a freelance writer who loves to learn about new things and then write about them. She is rarely caught outdoors without her camera. Links to her work can be found on her website www.kimberlyyavorski.com.

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