Waimea Canyon & Kōke'e State Park

Waimea Canyon & Kōke'e State Park

Level: Easy

Waimea Canyon & Kōkeʻe State Parks

$480 Private Driving Tour (Flat rate for up to 4 guest / $95 for each additional guests)

Explore Multiple Viewpoints on this Hawaii Hiking Tour


For the brave few looking for it all, this is the Kauaʻi hiking tour for you! Hike as much or as little as you want. There are many days’ worth of roads and trails to explore, enough options to create the perfect adventure!

This Hawaiian adventure through Waimea and Kōkeʻe State Parks offers up the very best Kauaʻi has to offer. Challenging hikes and/or secluded locations and plenty of tropical island scenery await your every turn.

Let your comfortable coach drive you through the vast farmland and rolling hills of Western Kauaʻi. We will pass through the agricultural towns of Hanapēpē and Waimea, once important hubs in the burgeoning sugar industry which began on Kauaʻi in 1835, ending in 2010.

As recently as the 1980s, Hawai’i was using some 220,000 acres of farmland to produce 1.1 million tons of sugar annually. Fields of cane stretched as far as the eye can see, “mauka to makai” (from the mountains to the sea).

Our driving route takes us up the only road to cross the island, starting at sea level in Waimea Town, winding our way along the rim of Waimea Canyon, as we head north. The road abruptly ends at two stunning lookouts, with epic views of the world-famous Nā Pali Coast from over 4,000 feet above!

Along the way, we’ll stop at the best official and “unofficial” overlooks. There we will have our first opportunity to step into the crisp mountain to behold rainbow-colored canyon walls and the 800-foot Waipo’o Falls. The broad spectrum of vibrant reds and greens combine with swirling clouds to create an otherworldly ambiance that’s unlike any hike you’ve experienced.

Inside the park(s) is where your guide gets a chance to really show their stuff; you’ll be extra grateful you chose Kauaʻi Hiking Tours! We will give you a detailed set of adventure options reflective of your group’s unique interests.

Options range from long challenging hikes, worth every ounce of effort spent, to exploring the extensive network of scenic 4×4 roads that provide access to shorter trails in seldom seen corners of the park(s).

This five hour driving tour of Waimea Canyon and Kōkeʻe State Parks will stop at all of the best official and "unofficial" overlooks of vibrant Waimea Canyon and the Nā Pali Coast. Note: This is NOT a hiking tour - due to less time being allotted we will only offer a couple options for very short hikes, .25 - .5 miles RT each, on relatively even terrain. This will allow you to leisurely enjoy the exquisite backdrops that make visiting these areas a must for anyone looking to enjoy Kauai's natural beauty.

Our driving route takes us East to West from “Sunny Po’ipu”, through the agriculture turned ”art town” of Hanapēpē, to Waimea, believed to be one of the first areas settled by Polynesian explorers. From sea level in Waimea we will cross the island’s interior, South - North, winding steadily up along the rim of Waimea Canyon, and culminating with stunning viewpoints of the world famous Nā Pali Coast on Kauai's North Shore, at an elevation of over 4,000 ft (1220 m).

Along the way we’ll stop at the choicest canyon overlooks (there are many to choose from) where, upon exiting the vehicle for the first time, you will feel a blast of cool mountain air. Behold rainbow-colored canyon walls, 800-foot Waipo'o Falls and thick island vegetation. If you’re feeling up for “stretching your legs”, your guide will select the best trail(s) to explore, based on the local weather and your group’s interests.

Guided tour of Koke'e and Waimea Canyon State Parks
Sweeping views of 800-foot Waipo'o Falls, Waimea Canyon and the world famous Na Pali Coast
Travel the only road that crosses the entire island, from "Waimea Town" on the South Shore to a bird's eye view of the Na Pali Coast on the North Shore
Know Before You Go
You must be able to walk on unpaved, uneven, and possibly muddy terrain
High elevation brings cooler temperatures. You should wear layered clothing and closed-toe shoes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why hire a guide?

Kauaʻi offers myriad hikes to choose from, whether you’re a beginner hiker or a veteran backpacker (or choose one of our driving tours!). We offer tours that are off the beaten track — ones that you might not know about otherwise. We can take you to stunning vistas, pristine beaches, cold running streams, and so much more!

​How do you know which trail to choose? Will you be safe? Will the hike be too easy or too hard? Will it be crowded? Do you have all the equipment you need? Will you get lost?

We don’t want you to worry while you’re on vacation! Leave it to the expert guidance found only at Kaua’i Hiking Tours — we will keep you safe, on the trail, and prepared with the appropriate equipment. Our guides know Kaua’i intimately and are trained to handle first aid and other safety concerns common on local trails. Beyond that, our guides will enrich your experience by teaching you about local history, flora & fauna — and, of course, by picking the perfect trail for your private group. It’s our job and passion to make sure you have the best possible experience while on Kaua’i!

Why should I choose Kaua'i Hiking Tours?

Of all the major Hawaiian Islands, Kaua’i scores the highest for hiking. That means you have a ton of great options, and likely, not enough time to explore…

​We know there are many adventure tour companies to choose from on Kaua’i, but most don’t specialize in hiking. Here at Kaua’i Hiking Tours, that’s what we do–we hike! Our guides are local hiking phenoms, scouring the island in their free time to find the best hikes for you. We study up on our local history, nature, and wildlife, and we make sure our safety certifications are up to date. We’re one of the only hiking companies on Kaua’i that is a member of the Kaua’i Visitors Bureau and permitted by both the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and State of Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to lead tours on state land; and transport passengers in our vehicles. That means we are safe, always prepared, and take our work seriously. Relax, you’re on vacation. Leave the planning to us!

What makes Kaua'i Hiking Tours unique?

Ever an “island conscious” company, we keep in mind how our actions now will affect Kaua’i’s precious natural and cultural resources for years to come. We are one of only three Kauaʻi tour companies certified as a “Sustainable Tour Operator” through the Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawaiʻi’s stringent certification process.

What types of tours do you offer?

Not just hiking – in addition to day hikes (from beginner-advanced), we also offer several types of “hands-on” cultural tours, picturesque driving tours, all-inclusive multi-day tours, and other island adventure activities tours. Thereʻs something for everyone, from those who want to pack on the miles, to those that prefer a more laid-back experience, without missing out on any of the “epicness.”

Tours range in length from 2 – 10+ hours (or more, if you’re looking for an overnight tour). Tour times are from pick-up to drop-off. Most hiking tours include a driving tour and driving tours include the option to take a short hike. For more information, check out our Tours page.

What do your tours cost? Is a tip required?

We offer a wide range of custom tours with prices that range in cost from $60 – $195/person. Most private tours are priced per group of 4; however there is no minimum amount of people required for these tours.

Private groups with more than 4 people are charged an additional per person fee equal to, or less than, the per person price for that tour. We offer individual traveler discounts and/or will group you with other solo travelers when possible.

Tipping is encouraged, but not required. If you enjoyed your tour, say thank you to your guide with a tip. A customary tip for adventure tour guides is 15-20%.

Can you accommodate large private groups?

Yes, we offer large group tours! We understand how much pressure there can be to satisfy everyone, which is why we’re here to help you out. Perhaps you’re visiting the island with young children and grandparents, or there may be several families who all want to do a hike together. We can put together a hike that suits your group, and we can provide multiple hiking guides, if necessary.


Is transportation provided?

Yes, in most cases transportation is provided. On some occasions we will arrange for you to meet your guide at the trailhead. We can accommodate up to 4 people in most of our SUV-style vehicles, 14 in our Ford E-350 XLT van.

Where do we meet before the tour?

We meet at the trailhead or at a centralized location between where you are staying and where the tour will be. A Motor Carrier Certificate is required by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to transport passengers on public roads. Our certificate number is 3611-C and it is approved for both the 1 – 7 and 8 – 25 passenger classifications.


What equipment will I need?

Equipment needs depend on the tour you book. Within 24 hours of purchasing your hike, a trip-specific list of recommended equipment, aka “gear list,” will be included in your confirmation email. If you don’t have something on the gear list, don’t worry! Let your guide know, we will find a way to make it work (we have a stockpile of “lender gear”).

Your guide will carry a well-stocked first aid kit, extra sunscreen, extra water, and bug spray, and hike specific safety equipment as needed. Please keep in mind that the weather on Kaua’i is localized and changes often. Additionally, the temperature is generally about 15 degrees colder in Kōkeʻe and Waimea Canyon State Park(s) than on the coast. For this reason, we request that you heed the gear list and do your best to prepare accordingly.

What about food? Is it provided? What should I pack? Is there somewhere we can stop?

Every tour is different in this regard. Our shorter tours will be done before noon, so you will just need to pack water and some snacks. Typically we do not provide food due to the variety of unique dietary needs and food preferences. However, all of our tours include tasty snacks and/or seasonal local fruit. Our vehicles will have extra drinking water and coolers for guests to use. For most of our hikes, you will also have the option of pre-ordering “grindz” (food [Hawaiian pidgin English]) to go from an “ono” (delicious, tasty) local establishment. For hikes to Waimea Canyon & Koke’e State Park(s) you can call ahead and order food & drink to go from Little Fish Coffee (opens @ 6:30 am M – F, 8 am Weekends) in historic Hanapepe

What happens if the weather is bad?

Rain is the reason the garden isle is so lush, it often provides dynamic picture taking opportunities and blesses us with an ample supply of rainbows! Tours operate rain or shine, except in the most extreme cases. Keep in mind that just because it’s raining where you are, doesn’t mean it will be raining where your tour will be, and vice-versa. The good news: fun can be had regardless, there is still plenty to see and experience regardless of the islands mood! Additionally, rain showers are often localized and usually do not last long.

We encourage you to keep an open mind and a positive attitude regarding rain. Our guides are better than most at studying and predicting island weather but, alas, we are not full-on weather genies, yet. Rescheduling to another day is often a fool’s errand as the weather on this island is notoriously unpredictable. Leading up to your tour your guide will update you on the weather situation and tour possibilities. If your tour is in jeopardy of being cancelled, we will contact you as soon as possible. If we decide to cancel your tour (this is rare), you will have the option to reschedule for another day or be given a full refund.

What's the cancellation policy?

You may cancel up until 5 days before your tour starts. No cancellations, changes or refunds can be made within 5 days of your tour, but we will attempt to reschedule you if possible. Cancellations made more than 5 days before the start of the tour may be subject to a 10% service charge.

Fran A wrote a review
We did a fantastic day hike with Jeremiah in Koke’e State Park. He took into consideration exactly what it is was we were after — essentially a moderately strenuous hike with some great views — and made plans that suited our whims perfectly. We felt very well looked after the whole time. He’s extremely knowledgeable and really knows the lay of the land! Highly recommend!
Danielle D wrote a review
San Francisco, California
I had such a fun time with Kauai Hiking Tours that I ended up signing up for another hike as soon as I finished my first one. We explored Waimea Canyon and Kokee State Park on my first hike and then chased some waterfalls on the second hike. I'm already planning my return trip to Kauai and will be hitting them up to catch a few more trails :)

Jeremiah was very communicative and welcoming throughout the whole booking process, and he even checked in with me while he was traveling. Jenny, our guide, was top notch and made sure we all had an adventure. I'll give her a *ton* of credit for getting me to do a ridge hike and get me to (baby) cliff jump despite my fear of heights! I didn't think I'd get to explore Kokee State Park as much as I did due to my strong dislike of heights, and Jenny and Jeremiah convinced me that I totally could do it!

Kauai Hiking Tours is a fantastic company, and I highly recommend them to others. Since I was traveling solo, I booked a bunch of different activities, and these hikes were my favorite by far!
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It is a bit chilly so dress accordingly for the wind, hair in a bun, no hats and I would wear sunglasses to help with the wind blowing in your eyes.