Tucked within the old sugar cane fields of West Maui is a piece of preserved Hawaiiana. The Olowalu Petroglyphs, or Petroglyph Hill as some call it, is not too far from the Olowalu General Store. A dirt road will bring you directly to a slab of rock wall with over 100 petroglyphs. The petroglyphs are thought to tell the story of ancient Hawaiian legends and journeys. You can clearly see the carvings of human figures, animals, and sails. If visiting the Olowalu Petroglyphs, be sure to heed the signs by not defacing or damaging the area in anyway.
The surrounding area is home to a very bloody history. Simon Metcalfe, a British American surveyor, was one of the first American maritime fur traders to visit the Pacific Northwest coast. In 1790, Metcalfe landed the Eleanora in Olowalu and used the cannons on his ship to open fire on Hawaiian canoes in retaliation for a stolen boat and lost sailor. Over 100 Hawaiians were killed. Metcalfe would end up leaving the islands soon after, leaving behind two men who would become very influential to the changing political landscape in Hawaii. John Young, a crewman of Metcalfe, and Isaac Davis, became military advisers to King Kamehameha I. Davis would go on to become the second governor of Oahu as appointed by Kamehameha I. Young ruled as Governor of Hawaii Island from 1802 – 1812 and would be one of the few people to be at Kamehameha’s side when he died in 1819.
If you have some spare time, you might consider hiking beyond Petroglyph Hill. Two other trails branch off from Petroglyph Hill, including a 2.25 mile trail into Olowalu Valley and a 4.75 mile trail into Launiupoko Valley.