Okay, more for the hikers: The Grand Canyon of the Pacific – Waimea Canyon is the actual name, but this is a ten-mile long and 3,000 foot deep canyon that sits along the western cost of the island. The name means “reddish water” because of the soil and the way it erodes along the canyon walls. It is the result of the Waimea River that passes through the canyon and which is the result of the presence of Mt. Wai’ale’ale (a bit more on that below). You can enjoy this spot when you visit Waimea Canyon State Park and a drive along the edge. There are a lot of hiking trails and wilderness areas along the way, and at the farthest end is Koke’e State Park.
The road to the canyon has many scenic overlooks, and if you are lucky enough to enjoy a clear day, you can get a wonderful perspective of the canyon on one side and a clear view of the private island of Niihau on the other.
Mt. Wai’ale’ale – The wettest spot on the planet, it is technically a shield volcano. This means that it is the volcano that formed the island but which is missing a large portion, blown away during an eruption and from erosion over time.
This mountain is actually the second highest point of all of the Hawaiian Islands and it receives at least 451″ of rain every year.
If you take the trail to the top of the ridge (which is a “moderate” climb), you get to see the famous sign that indicates you are on the wettest spot on the planet. However, if you want to be sure you are in the truly wettest spot, you may need to hop over to Maui where the “Big Bog” actually received more rain than the mountain.