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Waimea Canyon Tips (5)

A Facinating Russian Fort -- Who Knew?

Just outside of Waimea on Kaua'i's south shore are the ruins of an old Russian fort. While this place doesn't attract many tourists and there's not really much to see except lots of lava rocks laid out in a star pattern, the grounds would have a fascinating story to tell if they could only talk.
In 1810, the king of Kaua'i, Kaumualii, consented to a treaty of fealty with Kamehameha I, technically uniting the Hawaiian Islands for the first time under one ruler. But Kaumualii chafed under this fuedal bond and really longed for de jure independence (though he was practically autonomous anyway). In 1815, a egomaniacal German working for the Russia America company, Georg Shaeffer, landed in Kaua'i and saw a chance to use his ties to the Russian government to and Kaumualii's desires to meet his ambitions of power. The needs of the two men coincided and Shaeffer (without real authority) promised the protection of the Russian Czar in exchange for power and influence. Eventually, Schaeffer was hoping for Russian annexation of Hawaii, which would (he hoped) put him in prime contention for ruling all the islands.
As part of this scheme, Shaeffer oversaw the construction of a large fort at Waimea Bay, but before he was finished rumors of a Russian-American war started by American traders caused him to flee to Honolulu where he was captured and shipped off to Alaska. The fort remained unfinished behind him, though its still-substantial walls were knocked down in 1864 to prevent further rebellions on Kaua'i. Russia, busy with European affairs andbarely able to hang on to Alaska, never seriously considered conquering Hawaii, despite Shaeffer's schemes.
Kaumuali was eventually kidnapped by Kamehameha's successor and forced to marry the regent, ending and his chances for a realm of his own.

AKtravelers's Profile Photo
Dec 26, 2006

Get a great view of the "Forbidden Isle"

Here's a fantastic view from one of the newer lookout points in Waimea Canyon. This is a shot of Ni'ihau, also known as the "Forbidden Isle." You must be of 100% Hawaiian origin to live here. The other island on the right is Lahua. This was shot from about 3000 feet in elevation near sunset. What a view!!!

GlobalMatt's Profile Photo
Oct 03, 2006

Called "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific"

Waimea Canyon, 10 miles west of Poipu on Kauai, Hawaii, accessible in Waimea, is the beautiful canyon Mark Twain once called "the Grand Canyon of the Pacific." It has great views and spectacular hiking(and trail maps) from the summit at Kokee Park. On your hike, choose ocean views, canyon views, or jungle. They're all wonderful. A little rugged, but, depending on the hike, not too bad. Ask for advice at the General Store in Kokee.

There are two wonderful lookouts on the 30 minute drive up Waimea Canyon Road to Kokee.

jeadon's Profile Photo
Feb 19, 2004

The canyon is pretty awesome

The island is small and we went to the canyon several times during our trip. It took about 30 minutes drive from our resort to get there.

chattygirl7491's Profile Photo
Nov 07, 2015
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Kauai's back country

Kauai is my favorite island.
You can find nearly erverything: deep Waimea Canyon, dramatic Na'pali Coast, fantastic waterfalls, rainforest, beautiful beaches, Taro fields and native villages

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Sep 09, 2004
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"Paradise on Earth!"
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"Kauai: Isle of Golden Dreams"
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"Our Dream Vacation"
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"Kauai: Unspoiled beauty"
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Things To Do Near Kauai

Things to Do

Menehune Fish Pond

I have read about Menehune before we visited the Menehune fishpond. Actually, you can’t visit the fishpond because it’s private but you can see (and admire) it from the view point which is up the...
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Fern Grotto

Kayaking on the Waimea River with a destination of the Fern Grotto sounded like a peaceful, beautiful little trip. We rented boats from the Smiths. The woman we dealt with was pretty rude (she was...
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Brennecke Beach

This is adjacent to Poipu Beach. Unlike the more famous beach nearby, Brennecke is not for the faint hearted. Young children would be better off at Poipu. Depending on sea conditions, waves can get...
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Kilauea Lighthouse

So, I wasn't too thrilled to see this but my boyfriend thought I should. There are several birds you can view but none so close that you can get a good look. I thought it smelled bad - like urine....
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Anini Beach Park

I woke up early this morning w/ da hippie chick Prose.I decided to write of the sunrise w/ the colors of orange,red& tangerine all seen thru sky blue eyes & graying hair. How could I have consumed all...
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Hanalei Bay

Exiting the Princeville we stopped at the Hanalei Valley Overlook. Pic 1 shows a familiar image of Kauai because every book and postcard includes this one. It’s really beautiful to look down the...
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Getting to Kauai


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