Canyon sights in Kaua'i
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Of all Kaua'i's unique wonders, none can touch Waimea Canyon for utter grandeur. While one expects to find tropical beaches and gardens here, few expect a gargantuan chasm of ancient lava rock, 13 miles long and 2500ft deep to the riverbed (or 3700ft above sea level). Flowing through the canyon is the Waimea River, Kaua'i's longest, which is fed by three eastern tributaries that bring reddish-brown waters from the mountaintop bog, Alaka'i Swamp.
From afar, the view of the canyon tends to be hazy. The optimum viewing conditions are sunny days following heavy rain, when the lava layers turn deeper red and waterfalls cascade throughout the canyon.
Waimea Canyon was formed…
The most scenic of the lookout points along this stretch of Waimea Canyon Rd is Waimea Canyon Lookout, signposted 0.3 miles north of the 10-mile marker, at an elevation of 3400ft. The prominent canyon running in an easterly direction off Waimea is Koai'e Canyon, which is accessible to backcountry hikers. Conventional tour buses go no further than this lookout (but the state is planning to widen the road to Kalalau Lookout for buses).