A curtain of clouds drapes over Maui’s Iao Valley hiding the steep green tops of this historic range. The Iao Valley receives hundreds of inches of rain each year, which has carved steep cliffs of lush tropical plants into the lava rock hills.
This easy access to water and protection from intruders given by the valley walls made this a great location in historic Hawaii. It was at this spot that the Battle of Kepaniwai took place, claiming the lives of many as King Kamehameha I battled with Kalanikupule to unify the Hawaiian island chain. In the end, Kalanikupule held off Kamehameha’s 1200 warriors.
Today it is better known for a large phallic rock standing tall near the middle of the valley. There is a nice public park with cultural interpretations at the end of the road leading into the valley.