The largest of the five national parks in Hawaii is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It covers 130,888 hectares (323,431 acres) on the island of Hawaii. It contains the active volcanoes of Mauna Loa and Kilauea. Haleakala National Park, on the island of Maui, includes Haleakala, a volcano that last erupted around 1790 and has a huge summit depression, sometimes incorrectly referred to as a volcanic crater. Geologists refer to this massive basin as an eroded coalescence of two valley systems. Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park on the island of Hawaii is the site of an ancient Hawaiian sacred place of refuge for islanders who broke taboos and for defeated warriors in time of war. Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, also on Hawaii, preserves native culture at the site of a Hawaiian settlement important before the arrival of Europeans. The famous leper colony on Molokai is the site of the Kalaupapa National Historical Park. The Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site, on Hawaii Island, contains the ruins of the “temple on the hill of the whale” (a translation of the park’s name), built by King Kamehameha I.
The USS Arizona Memorial on Oahu straddles the remains of the battleship sunk during the December 7, 1941, attack by Japan on Pearl Harbor and which became a symbol of United States resolve during the ensuing war. In June 2006 President George W. Bush established the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument. The new marine conservation area is about 160 km (about 100 mi) wide, 1,930 km (1,200 mi) long, and covers nearly 362,600 sq km (140,000 sq mi) of tropical ocean with coral reefs and uninhabited islands.
Home to thousands of species of animals, including the endangered monk seal, the national monument is the largest such marine conservation area in the world and will be open by permit to scientific research. Some tourism may be allowed on the Midway Islands, which lie at the western end of the archipelago.
Iao Valley State Park on Maui is located in a large, beautiful valley. Rising 600 m (2,000 ft) from the valley floor is an isolated point of volcanic rock, referred to today as the Iao “Needle”. On Oahu a magnificent view of Honolulu can be seen from Puu Ualakaa State Park. In Keaiwa Heiau State Park, also on Oahu, is preserved an ancient Hawaiian heiau, or place of worship. On the island of Kauai are Wailua River State Park, which contains a fern-shaded grotto, and Kokee State Park, which lies in an area of upland rain forest. Na Pali Coast State Park, also on Kauai, is an area of spectacular cliffs and valleys and is accessible only from sea. Also on Kauai is Waimea Canyon State Park. The Waimea Canyon has been compared with the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River. Palaau State Park on Molokai overlooks the leper settlement of Kalaupapa. "Hawaii" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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