Maui is well known for so many destinations and attractions, bringing visitors from around the world to the shores of one of the best islands around. Sites like the Road to Hana and Haleakala are the most famous, and for good reason. The amazing scenery, history, and sites help to make the island the amazing place that it is, and these are just some of the great Maui sightseeing you’ll find on the island. One of t Maui’s most isolated and unexplored areas is found in the lush Iao Valley, and this site is a must for any trip.
Many of Maui’s most incredible sites are found off of the beaten path, hidden to the naked eye, but easy to find if you’re looking hard enough. The Iao Valley is a dense rainforest found on West Maui, a lush valley that is filled with important cultural sites, natural formations, endemic plants, and gardens that make this a popular destination to visit.
The most famous feature of the valley is the Iao Needle, an iconic site that has become a landmark for the valley. Rising more than 2,000 feet above sea level, and more than 1,200 feet above the valley floor, the needle is the remnants of lava that has become covered with lush vegetation throughout the years. Most visitors take the short trail, weather permitting, to view the Iao Valley Needle and have great views of the surrounding valley. Perhaps most incredibly, the Iao Valley receives nearly 400 inches of rain per year, making it the second wettest place in Hawaii, and because of the amount of rainfall and the landscapes of towering mountains, stunning waterfalls have formed and create a spectacle unlike any other.
In Hawaiian history, the Iao Valley’s use dates back to the earliest days of the Hawaiian Islands, and was designated as a burial ground for the ali’I (royalty) of Maui in the 15th century. The valley was the site of the Battle of Kepaniwai during the unification of the islands, and following the defeat of Maui’s army, the Iao Stream was blocked by dead warriors, running red, and the site of the battle was renamed to depict the events that took place: Kepaniwai – the damning of the waters.
Make the Iao Valley a stop during your trip to Maui. The natural beauty and the history make this an incredible destination in Hawaii and will undoubtedly be one of your favorite places you visit during your visit. Make a fun day of sightseeing to the Iao Valley, followed by an evening at a thrilling Maui luau for the perfect day!
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