Take a break from the ocean and explore some of Maui’s other stunning scenic areas. The ‘Iao Valley is home to lush dramatic mountains and vibrant plant life, and it’s no wonder why – receiving an average of over one inch of rain per day, this is the second wettest spot in the state of Hawaii.
Hike to the Iao State Monument
The main attraction found at Iao Valley State Monument is the monument known as Iao Needle. You may want to arrive early to secure a spot in the parking lot. After changing into some comfortable shoes, make your way to the 0.6-mile paved path. This well-maintained trail first takes you through a botanical garden modeled after what the valley looked like in pre-contact times, including a thatched roof hut (hale) and plants that were commonly used in that time period. Moving on, you’ll reach a footbridge and the option to head up or down. Heading up will bring you to the Iao Needle observation deck, where you can observe the area’s main attraction. The Iao Needle is a high, narrow peak created by erosion that stands alone at a vertical 1,200 feet above the ground. Surrounded by lush mountains and rolling clouds, this can be an enchanting view.
Heading back to the footbridge and taking the downwards route leads to a short nature trail that also provides access to a stream popular for local children to jump and play in.
Planning Your Excursion
The Iao Valley State Monument is situated on the grounds of Iao Valley State Park, located approximately 15 minutes west of Kahului. There is a $5 parking fee.
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