Waimea River (Kauai)

The Waimea River is the largest and the longest river on the island of Kauai in the U.S. state of Hawaii. At 35.7 km (22.2 mi) in length,[1] it is the 3rd longest rivers in the Hawaiian Islands, draining one sixth of the total area of the island.

Waimea River, Hawaii (5535233654).jpg
Waimea River (Kauai) is located in Hawaii
Waimea River (Kauai)
Location of mouth
CountryUnited States
Physical characteristics
SourceAlaka'i Swamp (confluence of the Waiahulu and Po'omau streams)
 • coordinates22°05′25″N 159°39′19″W / 22.09028°N 159.65528°W / 22.09028; -159.65528
 • location
Waimea, Kauai County, Hawaii
 • coordinates
21°57′17″N 159°39′35″W / 21.95472°N 159.65972°W / 21.95472; -159.65972Coordinates: 21°57′17″N 159°39′35″W / 21.95472°N 159.65972°W / 21.95472; -159.65972
Length35.7 km (22.2 mi)
Basin size227 km2 (88 sq mi)
Basin features
 • leftMakaweli River

It rises in a wet plateau of the island's central highlands, in the Alaka'i Swamp, the largest high-elevation swamp in the world. It flows south, passing through the spectacular 3,000-foot-deep (910 m) Waimea Canyon, known as the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific."

The valleys of the Waimea River and its tributary, the Makaweli River, were once heavily populated. It enters the Pacific Ocean at Waimea, near the 1778 landing place of Captain Cook on Kauai.


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed April 28, 2011

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