My job allows me to visit a lot of Alaska on a yearly basis. I wanted to capture the trips in one location!

Iao Needle~ Maui


it was a beautiful day for viewing the needle


there are short trails around the park but NO hiking trails


sunshiny day

Each time we visit Maui we are in awe of the stunning, lush valleys that you can find on the island.  One of our favorites is the one that houses the Iao Needle.  It is easy to get to from any where on the island and only costs $5 / per vehicle to enter the park.  One of the bonuses of going to the needle si that you get to drive through historic Wailuku, one of my favorite communities on Maui.  It is a lush region with a lot of the island’s history.  The Iao Needle is 1,2oo feet tall and is a lush green rock outcropping that rises above a local river to an elevation of 2250 feet.


this is looking back towards Wailuku and the ocean. You can see how far up the valley we were

Kuka’emoku as it is known in Hawaiian is an “erosional remnant.  It is at the end of a ridge comprised of denser dike stone.  The softer rock around the dike stone was eroded by steams and waterfall” reads one of the informational signs at the site.  IMG_1599   IMG_1598

This area is beautiful and full of history in this area.  In 1790 there was the Battle of Kepaniwai.  The needle was a lookout point for King Kamehameha as he beat the Maui army; changing the course of history on Maui.

Last time we were here, the needle was in a fog/cloud as it gets a lot of weather changes in this area, but this visit was perfect, it helped that we went early.

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Pohaku Park (aka S-turns); Two Turtles Sunning Themselves

On all our visits to Maui we had not stopped at the Pohaku Park before (just down the hill from Maui Brewing Co Restaurant) but someone said I might be able to find some beach glass, so we went to fine it.  During the walk  I only found 3 smallllll pieces of beach glass but we had a better experience!

As we approached one end of the beach (it is broken into 2 parts in a way, divided by big lava rocks) we watched as a turtle walked out of the water and walked to the corner of the cement wall where he decided to nap.  We had to run back to the car for the cameras because we didn’t bring them on the glass search.  IMG_2731

We knew we had to keep a significant distance and we tried not to bother him.  IMG_1619

After pictures we decided to explore the other half of the beach and to our excitement there was another turtle that had beached himself to get some sun and rest.


this one was asleep quite quickly

Enjoy the pics, I know it was a great experience for us.   IMG_1626 IMG_1628    IMG_2740

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Maui’s Honolua Bay (snorkeling) and the Blow Hole; Fun plan for a day

no fin

poor turtle had only one front fin, but it didn’t seem to bother him


this is from above looking down on the cover; this is the view on the way BACK from the blow hole

On our ongoing trips to Maui we have discovered that a drive around the NW end of the island is a must.  We try to snorkel as much as we can while we are here and today’s snorkel was one of the best ever and it occurred in Half Moon Bay.  Turtles, moray eels, and all sorts of fish highlighted the day.  To get to this bay you simply drive NW out of Lahaina and go along the shore line, past the last of the resorts and housing areas.  About 4 miles later you will wind down into the base of a valley and see a parking space for about 10 cars, and typically there is a local selling fruit and drinks.  (We bought a yummy papaya from them)  The trail in is about a 5 minute walk through a beautiful rain forest canopy with chickens and roosters talking to you the entire way!

Getting into the water is more of the challenge here, there is no ‘easy entry’ as there is no sandy beach.  Once you make it in, head towards the right and after about 1/4 mile you will start to see the coral and the beautiful sea life!  Often there are boats with tours on them, and lots of folks snorkeling off these boats.  You can NOT go onto the rocks on the shores as it is a protected area.  They also ask you not to wear sunscreen because it damages the coral.  This is the turtle we saw while snorkeling here, sadly he was missing his front left fin?  Who knows why, but it didn’t seem to bother him!


blow hole


starting to blow

Once you are done snorkeling hop back in your car and continue to head away from Lahaina for about 5 more miles.  When you see mile marker 38 you will see a pull out  with about 5 car parking spaces, you DON”T want to stop here, you want to go another 1/2 mile to a bigger parking lot.  Park and head down the trail to see the blow hole.   The trail is rocky and can be slippery (wet or dry) so don’t do it in flip flops, instead wear hiking sandals or tennis shoes.

IMG_0328 - Version 2

my favorite spot on the island!

An added treat to being down at the bottom to view the blow hole is the opportunity to see my favorite site on the island, the natural Heart Shaped Rock that is cut out of the rock.  To find this rock, as you are standing looking at the blow hole, take a share look over your right shoulder and head that way.  You can’t see it from there Blow Hole, but if you head that way you should find it.


It was a great way to spend the day, and because it was Sunday we also stopped at the Art Under the Tree in Lahaina, which highlights local artists each Sunday.  To end the day we stopped at the Maui Brewing Company for some munchies.  Food was okay but the beer is yummy!

PS during the drive we saw a bunch of tents and such on a point, so we stopped to investigate.  It was a women’s surfing championship sponsored by Target?  Who knew!IMG_1609

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