Amazing Scenery of the Garden Island
There is a wide variety of absolutely astounding scenery on Kauai from the verdant, waterfall-lined cliffs and pristine beaches of the north shore to the famed Na Pali Coast and Waimea Canyon. Here are some of the very best views on the Garden Island of Kauai.
Waimea Canyon– See it from one of the overlooks along the route to the top, which follows the rim of the canyon, or get a spectacular view from a helicopter tour. A moderate hike leads from the top of Waimea Canyon
down to a nice waterfall which also provides great views of the canyon. Stop by the Kokee Natural History Museum before your hike to get more information about the area.
Na Pali Coast – The renowned Na Pali coastline is located on Kauai’s western shore in a remote area accessible only by the 11-mile (one way) Kalalau Trail. You can also get a great view of the Na Pali by taking a boat or a helicopter tour. Boat tours often see Hawaiian spinner dolphins and stop for snorkeling adventures.
Sections of the Na Pali can be seen from lookout points in Koke’e State Park as well as hikes there along the coastal bluffs. The northern section of the Na Pali coast can be seen by hiking the first two miles of the Kalalau Trail on a day hike to Hanakapiai Valley. The trail begins at the end of the road on the north shore.
Kilauea Lighthouse Bluff – From the Kilauea Lighthouse, which sits on the northernmost point in the main Hawaiian Islands, you get a great view of the north shore coastline and the blue Pacific beyond. Look for dolphins swimming offshore, and breaching humpback whales in the wintertime. Hawaiian monk seals are also often seen in this area along with an abundance seabirds that nest within the protected areas of the Kilauea Point Wildlife Refuge.
North Shore – Great views are everywhere along the north shore. From Princeville to Haena and Ke’e Beach you will be stunned by the beauty that surrounds you. Watch the sunset from the outdoor balcony at the St. Regis in Princeville as you enjoy a cocktail or walk out onto Hanalei Pier to take in the splendid scene of a crimson sky with “Bali Hai” (Makana Mountain) in the distance. Farther west are the splendid beaches of Lumahai, Makua (Tunnels) and Ke’e Beach all scenic wonders including expansive views of the lush and green north shore mountains with waterfalls cascading from the peaks.
Kilohana Lookout – This hike is not for the timid. It begins at the end of the road in Kokee State Park atop Waimea Canyon. To reach the lookout point follow the Pihea Trail through the famed Alakai Swamp. The trail begins at another impressive lookout point which sits atop Kalalau Valley on the Na Pali Coast, a stunning vista of furrowed cliffs rising steeply up from the sea.
As Pihea Trail leads you over a boardwalk through the dense growth of a high-elevation rainforest – keep an eye out for the colorful and rare native Hawaiian forest such as the iiwi and the elepaio, as this forest is one of their last viable habitats. When you reach the Kilohana Lookout the reward is a spectacular view over the north shore valleys of Wainiha and Lumahai to the blue crescent of Hanalei Bay and the Kilauea Lighthouse beyond. Stay safe on by following Kauai safety tips for the ocean as well as the land.
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