Iao Valley State Park (pronounced “Yeow Valley!”) is a small park worth seeing not just for its physical beauty but its historic importance. While the Iao Valley is really situated in the heart of the eroded West Maui Volcano, it can only be approached from Central Maui. A several mile road winds its way up the Iao Valley from Wailuku, a lovely drive through lush rain-forest.
Iao Valley gets its name from the Iao Needle, a rock pinnacle stretching to 2250′ (just under 700 M) above sea level; it’s the subject of this week’s highlighted photo. The adjoining small Iao Stream gently tumbles down the Valley in no way betraying that it was here in 1790 that King Kamehameha fought a bloody battle to gain control of Maui in his effort to unify the Hawaiian Islands. Many warriors were killed, their bodies damming the creek and their blood causing it to flow red.
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