Without mountains there are no valleys. Some valleys in Hawaii are so steep that they only get a few hours of sunlight each day. They were practically impossible to live in. Most valleys are wet and protected, perfect conditions for growing trees like breadfruit or bananas or other valued plants in Hawaiian culture and medicine. Maui's nickname is "The Valley Isle."
Below are a few famous valleys with historic and cultural significance:
|Kalalau Valley on the island of Kauai. Wikipedia Creative Commons. Photo released into public domain by Gh5046.|
Kalalau Valley on the Island of Kauai is widely photographed and renowned for its beauty. Part of its charm is that the mists and clouds often hide it from view. The only way to get to the valley, other than by ocean or helicopter is to walk a challenging 11 mile path in the mountains. It was such a remote and hidden valley that during the 1800s, with the outbreak of leprosy in the islands, lepers fled to Kalalau valley to hide. They did not want to be taken away from their families to the leper colony on the island of Molokai.
Kalalau Valley is also famous for hippies since the 1970s. It is still known for its hippies and new age spiritual seekers who go there for vision quests and to get away from civilization.
On Oahu, there is the Valley of the Temples, with a beautiful and large Japanese temple. It’s a beautiful place for meditation and escaping the bustle of Honolulu.
|Valley of the Temples and Buddha statue, photo by Cristo Vlahos (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons|
On the Big Island, there is Waipio Valley, which has a beautiful vista and many taro fields. Nearly six miles deep, it is also called the Valley of the Kings and was a religious center and home to high chiefs. It was also the site of a devastating tsunami in 1946.
|The floor of Waipio Valley on the Big Island of Hawaii. |
Photo by AlaskaDave on Wikipedia Creative Commons.
On Maui, there is Ia’o Valley, where the Ia’o Needle overlooks. It’s a prominent geological formation and also the site of a bloody battle between the troops of King Kamehameha I and the chiefs of Maui. There is a legend that the needle formation is a lover turned to stone.
|Iao Valley with Iao Needle (the pointed geological formation). Photo by Mark Fickett in Wikipedia Creative Commons.|
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