By Hawaii.com Team

This largest community on Maui hosts both the Island’s airport and several malls and major stores. Serving as Maui’s retail center, it does have several attractions visitors and kama’aina find of interest, such as museums, arts centers and beach parks.

Just minutes away from the hustle and bustle of Kahului and Wailuku is ‘Iao Valley, or as Mark Twain called it, “The Yosemite of the Pacific.” When you get out of your car at the top of the long winding road you’ll be struck by the crisp mountain air, so different from the warm humidity you left just moments ago. It often rains in this valley, but forge ahead: the beauty of the park is apparent even in cloudy weather.

Stand at the foot of the famed ‘Iao Needle. This geological phenomenon is a 2,250-foot basaltic core that remained after water washed away the weaker stones surrounding it. In fact, what you see of the West Maui Mountains are the remnants of erosion over millions of years. Both sides of Maui began as domed shield volcanoes. The ruggedness of the West Maui’s shows their 1-million-year age, older than Haleakala.

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