Iao Valley State Park

Iao Valley State Park is a must-see natural attraction in West Maui, and it’s easily accessible for everyone. Located in central Maui, Iao Valley State Park is a 4,000-acre, 10-mile long park most known for the 1,200-foot Iao Needle. This historic and scenic park is family-friendly and features a paved trail that offers incredible views of the valley and the Iao Needle.

Iao Needle State Park

History of Iao Valley State Park

Iao Valley State Park was the site of the 1790 Battle of Kepaniwai, which was believed to have changed the course of Hawaii’s history. The battle was between the Hawaii Islands and Maui in what was one of the most brutal battles in the state’s history. The Iao Needle was used as a lookout point and protective hideout from oncoming forces. The National Natural Landmark was also the site of an ali’i, or Hawaiian royalty, burial ground.

Visiting Iao Valley State Park Today

Today visitors head to Iao Valley State Park to explore the rich, tropical landscape and view the towering peaks that army’s once used as protection.

The park is also known as the second wettest place in Hawaii, and potentially the world. The area receives an average of more than one inch of rain per day. When traveling to Iao Valley State Park, be sure to bring an umbrella or raincoat as exposure to wet conditions is likely.

The trail at Iao Valley State Park is fairly short but includes stairs, so be aware that there will be a slight climb. It’s just about 0.4 miles to get to the lookout point, which includes both a fantastic view of the Needle and the valley around it. The trail can get crowded and sometimes the Needle is covered by the clouds, so getting here early is best.

Begin planning your Maui vacation today. With so many natural, historical, and cultural attractions in Maui, you’ll never find yourself with a shortage of things to do. Our West Maui vacation rentals are the perfect place to unwind and relax after a long day of exploration. Browse our properties today.