On the southwest side of Hawaii's island of Kauai, Waimea Canyon's deep gorge contrasts sharply with the lush green north shore coast and the adjoining rainforest of Koke'e State Park. This magnificent canyon is 14 mi (23 km) long, 1 mi (1.6 km) wide, and more than 3,600 ft (1,097 m) deep. Sometimes called the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific", the canyon is unique among Hawaii's natural features – offering views of vivid red earth (lava), bare ridges and deep shadows. Waimea Canyon was created as the Waimea River, aided by prodigious annual rainfall, deeply cut into the island’s extensive lava and basalt fields. The cataclysmic collapse of the central volcano that formed Kauai, some 10 million years ago, also played a role in forming the canyon.
Image credit: Marissa Jones