At the end of a long, winding mountain lane, the road stops abruptly and you are rewarded with breathtaking views of a lush green valley and 4,000 foot cliffs dropping into the ocean. The Puu O Kila Lookout is the treasure found at the end of the 19-mile Waimea Canyon Road journey.
The Puu O Kila Lookout
The Puu O Kila lookout is the last stopping point on your journey through Waimea Canyon and Koke’e State Park before you retrace your drive for the return trip down the mountain. The lookout affords breathtaking panoramic views of the Na Pali cliffs and Kalalau Valley. Tour helicopters can often be seen buzzing through the valley below your lookout point. Vistas of the Alakai Swamp can also be appreciated, often shrouded in mist and stretching its way toward Mount Wai’ale’ale, the wettest spot on earth. This lookout is the starting point for the Pihea Trail, which exposes more scenic views of the Kalalau Valley and links to the Alaka’i Swamp Trail, a unique boardwalk path leading you through the highest swamp in the world.
It’s likely that the Puu O Kila lookout will be just one stopping point on your journey through the scenic Waimea Canyon and Koke’e State Park. The drive up Waimea Canyon Road is full of scenic pull-off spots with views over Waimea Canyon, known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Take your time up this winding road and be sure to use signals and pull completely onto the shoulder at roadside lookout points. Waimea Canyon has been carved by the Waimea River and offers spectacular views of its red, brown, and green cliffs, as well as 800-foot Waipo’o Falls across the valley. This area is a hiker’s paradise, packed with miles of scenic trails. If hiking isn’t your thing, the numerous scenic lookouts are still well worth the drive. Be sure to fill up on gas and snacks at or before the town of Waimea, as there are no gas stations and only one option for food (Koke’e Lodge) once you begin ascending the mountain.
We have rentals at nearly 30 properties on Kauai’s north, east, and south shores. Staying at one of our south coast properties will allow you to enjoy the sunny south side’s beaches while providing a good base for exploring the Puu O Kila and trails in Koke’e. Contact us at 866-922-5642 or [email protected] to make your vacation rental booking and to learn more about local activities.