Hawaii April 06, 2019
The 14-Mile Scenic Drive In Hawaii You Will Want To Take As Soon As You Can
Throughout the Hawaiian Islands, you will find unsurpassed natural beauty everywhere you go. While there are some wonders that can only be seen via strenuous hiking trails or crazy expensive helicopter tours, there are others that simply require a vehicle. Even though we can’t take a traditional road trip like our friends on the mainland, the Hawaiian Islands are home to several incredibly stunning scenic roads just waiting to be discovered. And while all of these drives are stunning in their own way, today, we’re taking a look at a 14-mile drive that is sure to leave you breathless.
Often referred to as the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific," Waimea Canyon is certainly a thing of immense beauty. Nearly 10 miles long, one mile wide, and more than 3,600 feet deep, the stunning Waimea Canyon is full of striking cliffs, incredible colors, and cascading waterfalls. It is perhaps Hawaii’s most unspoiled natural beauty, and the road that leads there is magnificent.
The 14-mile winding road that leads from Waimea town into the park to the Waimea Canyon Lookout and into Koke'e State Park tops our travel bucket list, and with views like this, it’s easy to see why.
Leaving Waimea, Highway 550 climbs more than 2,000 feet in elevation as it makes it way to the gorgeous Waimea Canyon. The road is steep and features quite a few curves along the way, but if you’re up for the challenge, the views are unreal.
The highway meanders adjacent to the canyon, and while you can simply admire the views from your window as you drive, you can also stop to soak in the natural splendor and snap a few photographs.
One of the most popular stops overlooks this small waterfall surrounded by Kauai’s signature red dirt. With a burnt sienna hue caused by the surrounding red dirt, this lovely little waterfall carved into Waimea Canyon’s iconic red dirt hills is truly a sight to behold — and will easily transport you to another world.
Highway 550 begins in Waimea and meanders past the rolling countryside for approximately six miles before merging with Koke’e Road. It’s another four miles to the Waimea Canyon Lookout, and even further into Koke'e State Park — but it's worth every single nerve-wracking mile.
Waimea Canyon Drive proves that it’s not all about the destination, but about the journey it takes to get there. Because while Waimea Canyon is certainly impressive, Highway 550 is deserving of a little recognition, too, at least in our humble opinion.
Have you ever driven the winding road to the Grand Canyon of the Pacific? Did you know that it’s considered to be
one of Hawaii’s most terrifying drives? Sound off in the comments below, then join our Hawaii Nature Lovers Facebook group to share the photos you’ve taken in Waimea Canyon.