Waimea Canyon, Hawaii's Grand Canyon of the Pacific

Waimea Canyon panorama, Grand Canyon of the Pacific

I ran ran up to the rim at Waimea Canyon Lookout and tore off my sunglasses, exclaiming, "It's Impossible, it's too red to be real!" The multi-armed canyon below is like an over-amped Grand Canyon, made over with a distinctly tropic palate. There are flocks of speck-like white birds wheeling in the canyon depths far below your feet. This gorgeous red dirt has literally created a local phenomenon of a business on Kauai, which is headquartered less than 15 miles from this spot. They produce gorgeous t-shirts dyed with the essence of the red dirt you see in this picture.....Check out "Red Dirt Shirts" at this link.

The panorama of the nearly 3,500 ft deep canyon begins on the left looking almost due north. In the right center of the image, one of 5,148 ft Mt. Wai'ale'ale's perpetual rain storms moves down a canyon from the Alaka'i Swamp. Up there, only 11 miles away, it rains 500 inches per year, down in the canyon bottom less than 25 inches. Where we stand here, it is warm and dry, scrubby trees and red soil lending a desert feel to the land.

(click the scroll bar on the bottom of your page to move the image to the right).....................The panorama ends on the right looking southeast at the Pacific Ocean over 3,000 ft below-- down there near the mouth of the Waimea River is where Captain Cook first "found" the Hawaiian Islands in 1778.

Page last reviewed 2/24/2017

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