Iao Valley

Updated on:
January 19, 2022

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Iao Valley

The Park in the Center of West Maui

Iao Valley is a lush, green, beautiful state park in the center of the West Maui Mountains.  The famous Iao Needle is in this park.

When you are in Iao Valley, you are surrounded by steep green mountains 3000 to 5700 feet high.  If it has rained recently, there are sometimes very long narrow waterfalls coming down the mountains.  Here you can see the natural beauty of Maui, away from any hotels or condos or other buildings, and without having to drive the difficult Road to Hana.  There are walking trails and stairs up one of the central hills, and down to the stream at the valley floor.  From the top of the path, you can see all the way to the airport on the other side of Kahului.  The highlight of the park is the 2250-foot-tall Iao Needle, a rock formation that is really the vertical edge of an eroded ridge.

In September 2016, heavy rains caused flooding that damaged some of the walking trails and entrance road, requiring the park to be closed for over a year for repairs.  It re-opened in November 2017.

How To Get To Iao Valley

To get to Iao Valley, you have to enter from the town of Wailuku, in the northwest corner of Maui’s central valley.  Start in the middle of downtown Wailuku, at the corner of Highway 32 (Kaahumanu Road) and Highway 30 (High Street).  Turn west from that traffic signal, then bear right at the fork, and you will be on Highway 320 (Iao Valley Road), which ends in the parking lot of this state park (small fee for parking).  Bring an umbrella, since it is often raining here.  Wear insect repellant, because there are mosquitoes, especially by the lower trail that goes along the stream.

On your way back into town from Iao Valley, you can stop at Kepaniwai Heritage Park.

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Iao Valley and the Iao Needle

Iao Valley

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