Monday, February 14, 2011
Kauai, Hawaii- Waimea Canyon State Park
Kauai is an island of discovery, from the soaring cliffs of the Napali Coast to the vast chasms of Waimea Canyon. Kauai embraces the senses like no other destination as we discovered 50-miles of heavenly beaches. Along the southern route, we also found our way to Waimea Canyon State Park and the exquisite canyon, described by Mark Twain as "the Grand Canyon of the Pacific.".
Waimea Canyon is the largest canyon in the Pacific and truly a dramatic sight to behold. The canyon measures 10 miles long, 1 mile wide, and more than 3,500-feet deep. It was carved thousands of years ago by rivers and floods that flowed from Mount Waialeale's summit. The lines in the canyon walls depict different volcanic eruptions and lava flows that have occurred over the centuries. Even though smaller than the Grand Canyon of Arizona, Waimea Canyon rivals the beauty. Numerous lookouts and hikes offer terrific views of every aspect of this natural wonder. The canyon is protected by the Koke'e State Park which encompasses 4,345 acres of land and has 45 miles of trails that run through the canyon and the nearby Alakai Swamp.
What struck me beside the amazing visual beauty was the absolute stillness of the area. It was very quiet- no rushing water, loud birds, or hordes of people. The landscape is so breath-taking, mesmerizing and silent, it transports you to another place. I have rarely been anywhere like it. It brought tears to my eyes; it felt like holy ground.
Photographs: From the top: Waimea Canyon, closeup of the walls of the canyon, Looking down from another area approaching the canyon