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'Iao Needle Professional Review and Guide
"Hike into the misty green forest at the western end of the island to one of Maui’s most famous landmarks. ’Iao Needle is a lava spire thrusting up out of the dense, damp foliage lining the walls of a gorge sacred to native Hawaiians. King Kamehameha won a major victory at this site on his way to uniting the Hawaiian Islands. This hike is best in the morning before clouds and rain fill the valley.Be sure to stop at the trailhead interpretive panels that explain the geologic and (sometimes bloody) human history of this sacred valley. The path begins at a showy red-orange flowered royal poinciana tree. You can choose any of a series of circular routes. The lowest one, the Lu’au Trail, is planted with species of plants brought to Hawai’i by the early Polynesians, including a terraced taro patch."
--Suzanne Swedo, Best Easy Day Hikes: Hawaii: Maui (Falcon Guides).
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