Commonly called Iao Needle, the traditional Hawaiian name for the 2,250 foot peak that dominates the valley is Kuka`emoku. This peak is known as the phallic stone of Kanaloa, Hawaiian god of the ocean.
During periods of warfare, the peak was used as a lookout by warriors. It was here that some Maui warriors retreated from the forces of Kamehameha I during the battle of Kepaniwai.
Kuka`emoku is an erosional remnant. It is at the end of a ridge comprised of a denser dike stone. The softer rock around the dike stone was eroded by streams and waterfalls.