It is an unbelievably beautiful day today, with hardly a cloud in the sky – a good day to head into Waimea Canyon.
As directed, we take Waimea Canyon road (rather than Koke’e Road), which is lovely and offers a few scenic vistas of its own.
A taste of what is to come.
Once we reach the park, there really aren’t any good overlooks until we reach the Waimea Canyon Lookout just past milepost 10. . . but wow, what a view!
Definitely worth the wait.
Further up the road (literally) I have a better view of Waipo’o falls from the Pu’u Ka Pele Lookout. Sweet.
There are also enticing views of the “forbidden” island of Ni’ihau. (“Forbidden” mostly because it is privately owned still today.)
We end up at the last overlook (Pu’u o Kila), which we skip in favor of a short trek along the rather intimidating Pihea Trail (rough terrain interrupted by large patches of slippery mud).
Along the way, the views of the Kalalau Valley are spectacular.
Although we don’t make it all the way to the end, we do pretty well and make it MOST of the way to the final lookout before the trail splits.
And a look back shows just how far we have come. (We started at the high point visible here.)
Back in the car, we make a stop at the Koke’e Visitor center, where we are accosted by one of Kauai’s many feral chickens. (Yes, really. Kauai is known for its population of wild chickens.)
From there it is back to the coast along the Koke’e Road, with its scenic vistas and eroding ranch land.
What an odd and enchanting island.