Waimea Canyon River Trail is a 10.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Wainiha, Kauai, Hawaii that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Length10.4 miElevation gain3,795 ftRoute typeOut & back
BackpackingCampingHikingNature tripsBird watchingRiverViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlifeBugsMuddyOver grownRockyNo dogs
Description
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Beautiful hike down from Kokoe Road into Waimea Canyon. Very steep for the first 2 miles but then relatively flat once you reach the river. Great sight seeing on the way into the canyon. Bring plenty of water as it is very hot in the summer. Recommend getting a camping permit a few weeks in advance as they tend to go quickly during camping season.

Weather
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Daylight
Reviews (23)
Photos (222)
Activities (25)
Completed (61)
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Jeremy Rice
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HikingGreat!
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Daniel Mitchell
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Hiking

This is a great trail with fantastic views. This is a nice escape from all of the people you will likely find in so many locations on Kauai.

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Julie Wright
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Hiking

Water to high to cross over

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Monique Botts
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HikingBugsOver grownRocky
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Larry Wheeler
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Hiking

Loved the views. Biked down Waimea canyon too.

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Jael Charlie
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Hiking

Lovely trail; would definitely do it again. Great if you want to get away from people. Didn’t meet a single person for the two days (past the first campsite). Trail is in good condition but do bring a map or something as you should stay on the east side of the river after the third crossing. That’s the only point where you could potentially get lost or take the wrong way since it might look like the trail wants you to do another crossing. River crossing can be done hopping from stone to stone as long as it hasn’t been raining. Lovely water pools for swimming and nice campsite once you reach the end of the trail (need to get a permit for camping on any of the sites).

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Simon Guérard
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Hiking

See kukui trail for the starts. But once you reach the river and go north, that's where the trouble starts. First, you'll need to have river crossing shoes (you can't just hop from rock to rock). I think 4 river crossing (x2 if you come back). ALSO, at one point after the second campground, you end up in a very dense jungle. There MIGHT be another way, another trail, I don't know. But there were signs that it was there (including an actual sign saying this was the trail, and you could kind of see that this was the way of lesser resistance, but still, it was very hard). It was dense foliage, walking at much slower pace than 0.5 mile/hour, and the foliage would cut you along the way. I had rash all over my forearms and legs for about a week... Maybe wear long sleeves? Anyhow, be prepared, or find a better route!

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Liam Dillow
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First to Review

Not recommended, especially in winter! Car thieves are prevalent and will break into your car- our window was smashed and everything was stolen. If it rains then the river crossings turn into raging torrents that will either prevent you from continuing or will trap you from being able to return until the waters recede, typically after twelve hours (happened to us). Half a mile of this trail was solid overgrowth of plants shoulder-high with burrs that completely scratched up our legs and arms. The waterfall is nothing special, maybe a five foot drop. On the plus side, we did see beautiful views, wild boars, and many plants including coffee trees, citrus and banana. It just wasn’t worth losing everything that was in our car!

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Jenny Schuch
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Hiking
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Felix Ejeckam
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Hiking
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James Moore
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Hiking
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Thomas Barek
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Hiking
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Heather Nealon
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Hiking
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Joe Boyer
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Hiking
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Erin Gillespie
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Hiking
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Nathalie Bedard
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Backpacking
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Brian .
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Hiking
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Shelly G
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Hiking
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Brian Keen
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Hiking
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Raul Perez
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Hiking
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James Arcieri
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Beglinger Markus
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Hiking
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Scott Sellers
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Hiking
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