Waimea Canyon
Waimea Canyon

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Locator Map: A white rectangle denotes a large area in the central western part of the island of Kauai.
We took half a day to visit the canyon. At 11 miles long, 3500 feet deep, and a mile across, it's just a bit smaller than the Grand Canyon. It runs north to south, beginning inside the white square you see on the map and continuing almost to the shore, though the lower parts aren't very remarkable. I probably took too many pictures, but I was very impressed by the beauty of the place.

Chickens are wild on Kauai (see bottom). They've been wild for hundreds of years and are a protected species. The tour guide at Grove Farms said that there are a lot more of them now than there used to be because after a big hurricane that hit in 1994, people's domesticated chickens got loose and many of them were never rounded up.

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Maria, in orange shirt and blue denim skirt, and Bella, sniffing the foliage, stand amongst scrub plants before low mounds of red earth and a dead tree near Waimea Canyon Overlook
This was taken at the parking lot of the Waimea Canyon Overlook.
The red dirt is characteristic of the island of Kauai.

Lower Waimea Canyon: Mist-shrouded green mountains with patches of red rock here and there.
The lower end of the canyon as seen from the Waimea Canyon Road.

Dark red and gray craggy mountains, slathered here and there with green vegetation, stretch out below a flat horizon under a cloudy sky.
One of many views from the Waimea Canyon Overlook. That's a bit of guard fence
in the lower left corner.

A red earth slope and black lava outcroppings in the foreground emphasize the depth of the drop into the canyon, beyond which lush vegetation mostly covers the red mountains.
Also from Waimea Canyon Overlook.

Horizontal layers in shades of red run across multiple triangular peaks zig-zagging into the distance; green vegetation climbs the lower parts of these canyon walls.
Also from Waimea Canyon Overlook. Here is where the canyon most resembles the
Grand Canyon.

Straight ahead a massive wall rises up in thin horizontal layers of pink, red, and grey, surmounted by thick forest with low mountains beyond.
Also Waimea Canyon Overlook.

Before a thinly forested red peak, puffy grey hills slope down from the left, then suddenly drop off to a vertial wall; the red layers of the canyon walls stretch out in the distance.
This is as far left (north) as you can see from the Waimea Canyon Overlook.

Haze-muted red layered mountains slope downward from left and right, forming a series of V-shaped gorges marching in zigzag order off into the distance.
More from Waimea Canyon Overlook.

Looking down on, and beyond, a nearly razor-thin greenish gray outcropping, the red stone seems to flow downward like thick syrup under a heavy green garnish of trees and bushes.
Also Waimea Canyon Overlook.

Under a heavy leaden gray sky, a rumpled blanket of red peaks tufted with rough green vegetation stands before distant dark brown and grey canyon walls.
Also at Waimea Canyon Overlook. The Hawaiian Islands contain many "micro
climates" that cover just a few square miles. This view, looking southeast, takes in
the rainy area we passed through on the way up the Canyon road. Further north, and
higher up, it was cooler, sunnier, and drier.

A wide jagged gully spills out and down from the forested canyon rim in jumbled frozen waves of many shades of gray, red, and green.
Looking due east from Waimea Canyon Overlook.

Red and grey rock, with trees and shrubs here and there like the spotty fur on a mangy dog, slope down in rough Vs to a tiny grey stream below.
Also from Waimea Canyon Overlook. Unlike the Grand Canyon, there is no room
for people to live along the riverbanks here.

Dappled in shadow and misty light, craggy green-skirted red peaks rise up here and there from forested depths.
Also Waimea Canyon Overlook. This was one of many pictures that I retouched to
remove bits of guard fence from the foreground.

A slanted peak, mossy green under shade at left, smooth orange and tan in sun at right, looms close with forested red slopes beyond.
This is a close-up of the outcropping seen in the previous picture above.

A rough blanket of red sandy rock leads toward a row of grey=banded hills splashed with rusty orange and topped with vegetation.
There were different levels at the Waimea Canyon Overlook, linked by concrete
ramps and stairs. Some of these photos show the same views taken from the
different heights.

Beyond a rough dark red and green outcropping deep in shadow, folded green hills stretch out to the foggy horizon under a low gray sky.
Another view looking southeast from Waimea Canyon Overlook.

A sheer cliff face, some of its horizontal layers of red rock exposed, the rest covered by vegetation, runs outward from the left and drops off;  beyond it rough red and green hills fade into misty blue.
This was taken from another, less elaborate overlook near the top of the canyon.

A dark red ridge of craggy hills rises to the right, at its feet a creek runs through green forest, all obscured by mist and fog.
Another view from the second overlook.

Beyond and below a set of rough crags coated here and there with a thin skin of green moss, a tiny, distant brown stream winds between steep wooded banks.
Also at Waimea Canyon Lookout.

Dimly seen at the bottom of a narrow, steep valley, a brown stream zigzags from top left, through wooded banks and over rapids, before being hidden by red, shrub-dotted hills.
I think those are rapids down there.

Against a distant gray, horizontally banded sheer rock face, a dim grey line runs diagonally from the center down toward the right.
Although you can't really make it out here, water could be seen splashing down over
the dark grey horizontal band of rock at the center of this picture.

Between two rough triangles of red rock, two distant thin white waterfalls, one just above the other, tumble down amongst dark green foliage.
Two waterfalls are clearly seen in this view.

Three wild roosters, bearing bright plumage in orange and blue, splashed with white and violet, and one pastel purple hen, preen and peck on red dirt studded with green plants.
These chickens were all over the parking lot at the Waimea Canyon Overlook;
this strip of ground borders the lot.

A brightly-colored wild hen, with rusty orange head, red body and blue tail, walks away from us on grey pavement.
Chicken in the parking lot, picking up bugs.

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