Blessed with a gurgling stream and spellbinding waterfalls, Iao Valley is an ideal spot to take pleasure in nature.
Japanese backyard in Iao Valley State Park on Maui, Hawaii
Maui is the second largest of the islands within the state of Hawaii, and its Iao Valley is undoubtedly one of many locations that evoke each a way of calm and maybe intimidation, as some see it as a haunted place. As per Hawaiian historian Samuel Kamakau, the stays of the royal kings had been buried right here, together with that of the King of Hawai’i Kapawa. Chief Kaka’e, Maui’s ruler within the late fifteenth century, is alleged to have designated the Iao Valley as an ali’i (royal) burial floor.
Curiously, in 1790, there was the bloody Battle of Kepaniwai (“the damming of the waters”), which happened within the valley, the place Kamehameha the Nice defeated Kalanikūpule and the Maui military. There have been many lifeless our bodies that blocked the Iao Stream.
Right this moment, Iao Valley is lauded as a cultural and religious website for the locals however principally as a nature escape for these in search of a reboot. The valley sprawls over about 6.2 acres of lush inexperienced land consisting of gurgling streams, verdant mountains, and dense rainforest. Aside from its historic significance, the valley is touted for its pure setting, which is why it was designated a Nationwide Pure Landmark in 1972.
Iao Valley State Monument, Iao Needle, Maui
The majestic Iao Needle in Maui.
One of many key options of the Iao Valley is Kuka’emoku, additionally known as the Iao Needle, which is a 1200-foot-high, green-mantled rock brought on by erosion. Up to now, Hawaiians got here right here to have a good time and honor the god of agriculture, Lono, through the Makahiki competition. The valley is protected by the god of sunshine, Kāne, who can also be seen because the supplier of life. He’s related to wai (freshwater), streams, and clouds. Whereas the Hawaiian god of the underworld, Kanaloa, is represented by the phallic-looking Iao Needle.
Those that are focused on Hawaiian mythology and spirituality can take into account visiting the 2 temples (heiau), notably Halekii and Pihana, tucked on a ridge close to the mouth of the valley-coursing Iao Stream.
Mountaineering The Iconic Iao Needle In Maui
A hiker crossing the stream in Iao Valley.
Whereas Maui is an ideal beach destination that will leave one in awe, there are additionally loads of thrilling activities, such as hiking the Iao Needle, which is right for these itching to discover. The majestic Iao Needle is Maui’s iconic landmark and overlooks the Iao Stream.
The family-friendly hike consists of 0.6 miles of strolling. The hike begins slightly additional to the park’s restrooms and interpretive indicators. Benefit from the crisp air and the breathtaking inexperienced foliage whereas crossing a bridge over the stream. Through the summer time, hikers can calm down from the warmth by swimming within the cool stream, which makes for an awesome cease.
After that, climb to the lookout level fitted with a small shelter, the place one can calm down. That is the second to understand rejuvenating nature and take within the stunning surroundings. Arriving on the lookout is a reward for hikers chasing spectacular views of the valley.
Youngsters can take a leisurely rainforest stroll and go to the interactive displays on the Hawaii Nature Middle. On the way in which again, one may also relish the wild guavas on the mountain climbing path. There’s a cafe on the website, the place guests can take pleasure in some chilled refreshments.
It is very important know that Iao Valley is the second-wettest area of Hawaii, simply after Mt. Waialeale on Kauai. It receives greater than 400 inches of rain yearly, which implies it is strongly recommended to verify the climate earlier than mountain climbing right here.
- Elevation: 200 ft
- Size: 0.6 mile
- Length: 2 hours
- Customer’s Middle opening hours: 7:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. (each day)
- Entrance price for non-residents: $5 (youngsters go to without cost).
- Don’ts: Mountain biking will not be allowed, and pets are prohibited within the valley.
- Route: Take Freeway 32 in direction of the top of Iao Valley Highway.
The Iao Valley State Monument is presently closed till April 15, 2023, for the slope stabilization mission and car parking zone enhancements.
Flash floods are widespread in Maui, so be certain to verify the climate earlier than visiting the attraction.
Kepaniwai Park and Heritage Gardens
Chinese language pavilion on the Kepaniwai Heritage Park in Iao Valley, Maui.
One other attraction proper within the Iao Valley is the Kepaniwai Park’s Heritage Gardens, which was established in 1952 to commemorate the various heritage of immigrants coming from China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and Portugal to the island. The attraction is situated adjoining to the Wailuku Stream and is decked out with fascinating buildings such because the England-style Saltbox, historic dwellings of the immigrants, and a Portuguese-style villa with gardens. There’s additionally a Japanese tea home and a Chinese language moon gate.
The Hawaii Nature Middle, nestled simply exterior the gardens, has a museum and a bit devoted to conservation that youngsters can study.
- Services: picnic pavilions, barbecue grills, and restrooms.