Fodor's Expert Review Iao Valley State Monument
When Mark Twain saw this park, he dubbed it the Yosemite of the Pacific. Yosemite, it's not, but it is a lovely deep valley with the curious Iao Needle, a spire that rises more than 2,000 feet from the valley floor. You can walk from the parking lot across Iao Stream and explore the thick, jungle-like topography. This park has some lovely short strolls on paved paths, where you can stop and meditate by the edge of a stream or marvel at the native plants. Mist often rises if there has been raining, making it even more magical. Be aware that this area is prone to flash flooding; stay out of the water if it's been raining.