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  • Address: Kaumualii Hwy, Waimea, Hawaii 96796, USA

Kauai ATTRACTIONS See all

Russian Fort Elizabeth State Historical Park Tours

Evidence of a little-remembered attempt by Russians to gain a foothold in Hawaii between 1815 and 1817 can still be found in the remnants of an old fort alongside the mouth of the Waimea River. Though today the site is little more than jumbled red rock walls hinting at its former layout, an irregular octagon guarding entrance into Kauai via the waterway, it once was the site of grand plans to use Kauai as a permanent provisioning and trading station for the state-sponsored Russian American Company. With outer rock walls constructed from ancient heiau (Hawaiian temples), the fort once included residences, a chapel, gardens, a trading center and the main fort building. Visitors can explore what’s left via a self-guided interpretive tour following signage with drawings of how the area once appeared.

Here, Dr. Georg Anton Schäffer, sent to retrieve lost cargo from a wrecked Russian American Company ship, overstepped the orders of his mission. Schäffer instead built the fort complex, befriended Kauai’s chief, set him against the newly instated Hawaiian King Kamehameha and secured a sandalwood monopoly for the company. When Mother Russia learned of Schäffer’s actions, however, she disapproved. Russia didn’t want to become embroiled in the already complicated politics of the islands; they just wanted their cargo back. So, Russia summoned Dr. Schäffer home, leaving the fort to be claimed by the Hawaiians, and, later, after the dismantling in 1864, the elements.

Practical Info

The remains of the fort—within the larger Russian Fort Elizabeth State Historical Park—are located off Kaumualii Highway (named for Kauai’s last king and the man Dr. Schäffer befriended) on the river’s eastern bank about a mile south of Waimea proper. The site has a small parking lot and is open daily during daylight hours. If visiting during peak sun, bring sunscreen and a hat; the area is exposed with little shade.

Tours & Tickets

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Kauai: Waimea Canyon and Fern Grotto Kauai, Kauai, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Kauai: Waimea Canyon and Fern Grotto Kauai

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 23 Reviews

Explore some of Kauai’s most beautiful spots which will demonstrate why this island is known as “The Garden Isle.” During your all-day tour, the lush ...  Read more

Location: Lihue, Hawaii
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $120.00
Kauai: Waimea Canyon Tour, Kauai, Nature & Wildlife
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Kauai: Waimea Canyon Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 10 Reviews

Discover the natural beauty and experience one of the best views of the western coast of Kauai. This tour takes you right up to the rim of one of the most ...  Read more

Location: Lihue, Hawaii
Duration: 7 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $75.00
Private Tour: Waimea Canyon, Wailua Falls, Kauai Coffee Company and Spouting Horn, Kauai, Nature & ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Private Tour: Waimea Canyon, Wailua Falls, Kauai Coffee Company and Spouting Horn

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 26 Reviews

On your private tour of Kauai, you'll see the magnificent Waimea Canyon and places the big bus tours can't take you to. You'll enjoy great photo ops of Waipo'o ...  Read more

Location: Kauai, Hawaii
Duration: 7 to 8 hrs

From USD $135.20
Private Tour: Kauai Sightseeing Adventure with Picnic Lunch, Kauai, Private Sightseeing Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Private Tour: Kauai Sightseeing Adventure with Picnic Lunch

4.5 star rating: Recommended 6 Reviews

See the best of Kauai on this private tour! Choose to see the East and North shores or the West and South shores and explore cities like Princeville, Kapaa, ...  Read more

Location: Kauai, Hawaii
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $233.99
Oahu to Kauai Day Trip: Waimea Canyon and Fern Grotto, Oahu, Private Sightseeing Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 3

Oahu to Kauai Day Trip: Waimea Canyon and Fern Grotto

4.5 star rating: Recommended 4 Reviews

Island hop from Oahu take a visit to some of Kauai’s most beautiful spots and discover why this island is Kauai is called “The Garden Isle.” On this full-day ...  Read more

Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $485.00
Kauai Day Trip: Waimea Canyon, Wailua River from Oahu, Oahu, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Kauai Day Trip: Waimea Canyon, Wailua River from Oahu

4 star rating: Recommended 38 Reviews

Fly from Oahu to Kauai to explore the lush island's natural beauty, including Kauai’s famously scenic Waimea Canyon, nicknamed ‘Grand Canyon of the Pacific.’ ...  Read more

Location: Waikiki, Oahu
Duration: 15 hours (approx.)

From USD $486.65

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