Saturday, October 15, 2011

Maui's Olowalu is Still a Safe Haven

View Olowalu, Maui in a larger map

In 1790, a defeated band of Maui warriors escaped slaughter at the hands of Kamehameha's invading forces by scrambling out of Iao Valley and taking a treacherous trail across the island to Olowalu Valley. Today, the trail is mostly overgrown, presenting a danger to hikers who take it.

Olowalu is now an escape for road-weary tourists who pull off the highway north of McGregor Point on the way to Lahaina. Inland are the Olowalu Petroglyphs (rock carvings) and the sketchy remains of the trail. And seaward is the tranquil Olowalu Landing (pictured), a charming oasis that was the site of one of Maui's earliest sugar mills, established in 1864. Remnants are scattered about a small tropical arboretum. The earthen wharf at the landing creates coves for snorkeling and kayaking. The wharf is an excellent viewing spot, not only of the valley looming inland, but also of whales and sea turtles who cruise by fairly close to shore.

See Maui Trailblazer, beginning on page 58, for the deets on Olowalu.