Iao Valley State Monument is steeped in Hawaiian history and lore. Located about three miles west of Wailuku at the end of winding Iao Valley Road, this park is known for its lush vegetation and crystal clear stream. The valley was the site of Kamehameha the Great’s notorious battle with Maui forces in 1790 that ended in his conquest of the island. It was said that Iao Stream ran red with the blood of fallen warriors.
The park features paved walkways and gardens. Towering through clouds and reaching to the heavens is Kukaemoku, the famous landmark Iao Needle. It rises 1,200 feet from the valley floor. One of the walkways leads up to a platform for viewing the needle and the valley out to Kahului Harbor. Signs provide a background on the area’s history. An ethnobotanical walk meanders down to the streambed. $5 per vehicle entry fee.
Iao Valley State Monument suffered severe damage due to a heavy storm in mid September and is closed indefinitely, however, nearby Hale Hoikeike (formerly known as Bailey House Museum) and Kaahumanu Church are open to visitors.