Waimea Canyon, Kauai

Waimea Canyon, Kauai

Know Before You Go, Shaka Guide's Waimea and Na Pali Driving Tour

Shaka Guide

waimea and na pali tour map

Start Planning!

You’re about to go on an awesome adventure to Waimea Canyon, the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, as well as the Na Pali coast overlook.

But first, there are a few things you should know about the tour before you get started. 

  • The tour begins just past Lawai outside of Poipu and goes all the way to Kalalau Lookout. Don’t worry, we will guide you back to Lawai the same way you came.
  • Parking at Waimea Canyon is $10 for non-residents and free for Hawaii residents. 
  • In addition to a parking fee, each non-resident visitor must pay a $5 entrance fee per person. 
  • Fees can be paid with credit card at any of the parking lot kiosks and are valid for both parks.
  • The only food stop in Koke’e State Park is Koke’e Lodge; otherwise, you’ll find options in Waimea Town and Hanapepe.

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What to Expect

To Get an Early Start

We recommend starting the tour before 9:00 a.m. We know it’s early, but this will give you plenty of time to get in all the hikes you’d like to explore in the park.

To Spend 6-8 Hours Exploring

This tour has a total of 19 stops. Not only will you explore the scenic viewpoints and hikes within Waimea Canyon State Park, you’ll also visit a local coffee farm, Waimea Town for some delicious eats, the quaint little town of Hanapepe and two swinging bridges!

To Be Active

You’ll visit a total of three hikes on today’s tour: Iliau Nature Loop, Canyon Trail, and Pihea Trail. Each is completely different.

The first is a short walk surrounded by local flora and fauna, the second takes you to a canyon lookout and to the top of a waterfall, and the third will reveal breathtaking views of the Na Pali Coastline.

waimea and na pali tour map

To Try Local Food

This tour doesn’t have many food stops, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to try some great local grinds like shave ice from JoJo’s.

Just plan on the food stops on the way back after you’ve worked up an appetite!

To Learn

This tour is really special because it takes you away from the beaches into one of the most unique terrains in Hawaii.

Now, don’t get us wrong, we love Kauai’s beaches, but this tour is for adventurers who want to explore another side of the islands.

Along the way you’ll learn about the region and its legends, ancient mythical people that once inhabited the land, and some of the native plants and animals that are unique to Hawaii.

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How much you spend truly depends on what you do along the tour route, but here’s a breakdown of some costs:

  • $10 per vehicle: Parking at Waimea Canyon State Park and Koke'e State Park 
  • $5 per person: Admission fee valid for both parks 
  • $15.00 per person: Lunch
  • $5.00 per person: Local snack, like shave ice or Kauai Coffee

Start Packing!

Here’s our packing list for this tour. It may seem a little long, but remember, what you bring depends on the activities you choose to do for the day. 

  • Sneakers 
  • Hiking Shoes (Pack a plastic bag for your shoes in case the trail is muddy)
  • Hiking Clothes 
  • Water Bottle 
  • Bug Spray 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Sun Glasses and/or Hat 
  • Snacks 
  • Cash/Credit Card 
  • Car Charger *Very Important*
  • Phone Mount 

Malama 'Aina

In Hawaiian the word malama means “to take care” and the word aina means “land.”

When you’re in Hawaii, we ask that you practice this and pick up your trash; respect the marine life, plants, and animals; and avoid spots that are unsafe.

Hawaii’s natural resources are precious, it’s up to all of us to help preserve these resources for generations by respecting the aina when you visit.

We hope that we’ve given you all the information you need to make the most of your day. Your vacation is extremely important to us so if you have any questions feel free to reach out at aloha@shakaguide.com.

Shaka Guide recognizes the use of diacritics in the Hawaiian language including the okina or glottal stop and the kahako or macron. In some instances, these have been omitted on our site to ensure the best online experience for our users since not all online platforms recognize these marks. We understand the importance of these diacritics to preserve the language and culture of Hawaii.

For more help planning your day check out our Waimea and Na Pali Driving Tour suggested itinerary.

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Waimea and Na Pali Driving Tour Itinerary

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Waimea Canyon Travel Guide

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