Wonder

Waipoo Falls

Waipoo Falls in Kauai
Waipoo Falls in Kauai / Garden State Hiker, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

WorldBlue  In short

Hawaii Islands have their own Grand Canyon – Waimea Canyon. Contrary to the real Grand Canyon, Waimea Canyon is adorned with an enormous waterfall – the 244 m tall Waipoo Falls.

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GPS coordinates
22.1046 N 159.6614 W
Location, address
Oceania, United States, Hawaii, western part of Kaua’i, in Waimea Canyon, Kokee State Park
Alternate names
Waipo Falls, Waipo’o Falls
Height
244 m (?)
Drops
2 (major drops, smaller ones not included)
Highest drop
183 m
Stream
Kokee Stream

Map of the site

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WorldYellow In detail

Waimea Canyon

Geological history of the western part of Kaua’i Island is very complex, but in short – the island has been shaped by massive volcanic eruptions since more than 5 million years ago. The central part of Kaua’i now receives lots of rain – it is one of the wettest places in the world. All this amount of water flows and the streams throughout the millions of years have shaped great canyons in the hard basalt.

The most impressive is Waimea Canyon to the west from Mount Wai’ale’ale. Mark Twain once nicknamed it the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. This canyon is some 16 km long and up to 900 m deep and has a characteristic orange-brown color of weathered basalt.

Waipoo Falls are blown sideways, Hawaii
Waipoo Falls are blown sideways / Robert Linsdell, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Waterfall

In many places Waimea Canyon is well accessible to tourists. From Highway 550, which goes along the western rim of the canyon, opens a grand view over the canyon and its prime landmark – Waipoo Falls. This is a beneficial difference from many other great waterfalls in Hawaii, which are very hard to access and see.

Most of the great waterfalls in Hawaii are surrounded by eternally green rainforest and mist. Waipoo Falls though are different: Waimea Canyon has comparatively dry climate with lucid air and the orange-brown rock contrasts with the lush green forest and white strip of falling water.

Amount of water in the falls is changing throughout the year and sometimes it is even dry.

Waterfall has got two main drops: the upper one is smaller, in between is steep, some 100 m long run and then follows the main, 183 m tall drop. Sometimes the wind blows the lower falls sideways.

References

  1. Waipoo Falls. World Waterfall Database. Accessed on September 5, 2016

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