Iao Valley is one of those strange places on Maui where one minute you are sitting in an office building in Wailuku, and ten minutes later you can find yourself in this primitive looking tropical jungle. Iao is easy to get to, has a paved trail, and can be taken in during a lunch break.
From the top of the trail, you have great views of the needle and the stream. I like to stand there and imagine what it would have looked like during the Battle of Kepaniwai when the stream ran red with blood. It was a key battle that helped to unite the islands. Today, you don’t have to worry about wars in the valley, but you do need to be on the look-out for rising water. It rains all the time in this area, and even when it’s not raining right on the trail, it’s often raining up above where you stand. This can cause flash flooding. It was in this valley that I experienced a flash flood for the first time, and I’ll tell you, it was sudden and frightening. Keep an eye on the sky if you venture into Iao Valley!