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Nov 27

Iao Valley State Park – Maui

Iao ValleyIao Valley is a six acre state park just west of the town of Wailuku.  It is home to one of the most famous landmarks in the Hawaiian islands, the Iao Needle.  The reason that the Iao Valley is so famous is because it is the site where King Kamahameha defeated his rivals on the island of Maui and finally unified all of Hawaii.  The battle was supposedly so bloody and so many people were killed that the dead had blocked up Iao Stream.  Today the park is beautifully set with the Iao Needle surrounded by the West Maui Mountains and all of it covered in lush vegetation.   
 Iao Valley State ParkThe parking here is five dollars if you park in the parking lot.  There were a lot of cars that just parked on road who walked up to the gates.  There were no signs that you could not park there but Karen and I thought it was better to go to the parking lot than to get a ticket for parking in a place you are not supposed to. 
Iao Needle 2You will be extremely lucky to find the park on a clear day.  This area of Maui gets over three hundred inches of rain a year, which explains why there is an abundance of foliage.  The park also has a couple of short trails that you can walk about on.  There is one that leads to a scenic viewpoint of the Iao Needle.  It requires a short climb up some stairs to reach.  The other goes along the stream down to small botanical garden that explains the plants that were brought by the Hawaiians when they settled the island. 
TaroThis park is a wonderful place to get a feeling for some of Hawaii’s history.  To stand on some of the same ground where King Kamahameha truly became the first king of Hawaii was pretty neat.  The Iao Valley State Park is another beautiful, peaceful place of Hawaiian soil that will take the average person about thirty minutes to an hour to go through.  Karen and I recommend going to this park if you are in the area or you want to get away from the beaches for a while.
Iao Needle

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