Alohacash $20 Maui – Iao Valley

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Deep in the West Maui Mountains lies the beautiful and tranquil Iao Valley. It has a long history of Hawaiian lore and tradition – it is said that Maui’s ruler Kakaʻe, in the late 15th century, designated ʻĪao Valley as an aliʻi (royal) burial ground. To this day the valley is respected as sacred. The valley boasts a geologic remnant called the Iao Needle, or Kuka’emoku in Hawaiian, that was used as a lookout during battle in ancient times.

“ʻĪao Valley (Hawaiian: ʻĪ-ao: “cloud supreme”, pronounced similar to “EE-ow”) is a lush, stream-cut valley in West Maui, Hawaii, located 3 miles west of Wailuku. Because of its natural beauty and historical significance, it has become a popular tourist location. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1972. The state park is located on 6.2 acres at the end of ʻĪao Valley Road (Highway 32). The ʻĪao Needle is a famous landmark in the state park, a vegetation-covered lava remnant rising 1,200 feet from the valley floor, or 2,250 feet when measured from sea level. The “needle” itself is an illusion, and is in reality a sharp ridge that gives the appearance of being a spire when viewed end-on. The needle is an extension of, and surrounded by the cliffs of the West Maui Mountains, an extinct volcano. ”

– Wikipedia

Today Iao Valley is a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike. Often on warm summer days you will see families picknicking and cooling off in the clear waters of the stream as it meanders through the lush valley. Despite it’s appeal as a tourist destination, the valley holds a sacred place in Hawaii’s history and hearts. Gracing the $20 denomination of Alohacash dedicated to the Island of Maui, the other side depicting a wise and beautiful Tutu (Grandmother) of the Islands.