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Visit Iao Valley State Park and Discover the Iconic Iao Needle

For those wanting to experience the lush green of the West Maui mountains we definitely recommend a trip to the Iao Valley State Park.

The Iao Valley (pronounced EE-ow) is a beautiful stream-cut valley situated just 5 kilometres away from Wailuku in West Maui.

By accessing the state park you can follow the paved trails which take you across the Iao stream, through interesting Hawaiian plants and trees and up to a viewing platform in-front of the iconic Iao needle.

The State Park was closed for a while after it suffered some severe damage due to flooding in 2016 but it has recently been reopened again, so we decided to take a trip up there.

We hope you enjoy some of our photos from the beautiful Iao Valley State Park.

The beginning of the walkway up to the Iao needle. It is all paved and the walk is only about 0.6 miles.

Look up and you see the lush green of the West Maui mountains

Look down and you see the rushing Iao Stream

It’s so peaceful here!

There is a small botanical garden you can explore before you take the main path up to the needle. It has lots of varieties of plants and trees.

The first full view of the Iao needle on the way up! It is an impressive sight, rising 1200 ft high from the valley floor.

A very beautiful spot to sit and draw from

Continuing the walk up to the needle, there are beautiful views looking out across the valley

This is the parking lot, where the trail began.

The signs on the way up tell you interesting information about the Iao Valley. We’re nearly at the top.

This hut marks the top of the trail. From inside you can view the needle

The top of the Iao needle! Sometimes it can be covered in cloud, so make sure you pick a clear day or head up in the morning when there is less cloud cover.

The views are simply stunning

Right…time to head back down again!

We really enjoyed our time at the Iao Valley State Park. The trail is short and so you won’t spend much more than an hour here. However it is really beautiful and a great way to see another side to Maui.

Key Information

The park is open from 7:00 am  – 6:00 pm everyday. We went during the middle of the day so it was fairly busy. We would recommend going earlier in the morning.

Parking costs $5.00 per car for non-residents, and there is no entry fee for the park. Find out more about the park here.


Have you visited Iao Valley? Let us know in the comments section below. 

If you want to explore more of this area of Maui, check out our blog on the West Maui Circle Drive.

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2 thoughts on “Visit Iao Valley State Park and Discover the Iconic Iao Needle

  1. Alena says:

    I like your feed! The photos are amazing. Thanks for the inspiration. Iao stream is so relaxing! I haven’t been there yet but hope to. I found this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvN4vsKMLSE&t=3127s. The place is so peaceful. Thanks for the info. Keep up the good work!

    1. Jonathan says:

      That’s a looooong video! Thanks for sharing Alena. I hope you get to visit soon – it’s more than worth it. Aloha.

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