Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Other Grand Canyon ~ Waimea

4 million years ago, as the volcano that formed the island of Kauai was still erupting, part of the island collapsed and formed Waimea Canyon. Over the years, the sides have been eroded by the ebb and flow of the Waimea River, fed steadily by water from Mount Waialeale, one of the wettest spots on Earth. Ten miles long and 3,000 feet deep, the canyon floor is far removed from the tourism hustle and bustle of the Hawaiian coast.

Located on the west side of Kauai, the sound of the river rushing and the wind predominate. There are waterfalls and pools, some small gravelly beaches along the river, and colorful canyon walls that seem to rise forever. Day hiking is most common, and overnight camping not recommended for the faint of heart. That rustling you hear in the bushes nearby is likely to be a wild boar!

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