ʻIao Valley State Monument
Visit to enjoy a relatively easy, 0.6-mile walk to see Kuka‘emoku (or “Iao Needle”), a rocky outcropping that rises 1,200 feet into the air and resembles a cathedral spire. Then enjoy the park’s botanical garden, where you can see examples of the plants cultivated by the region’s early settlers. To learn more about the area’s history, take a guided tour of West and Central Maui that includes a stop at the Iao Valley.
Things to Know Before You Go
Make sure to wear walking shoes and bring water and sunscreen with you.
The weather can change quickly on Maui, so bring layers, including a hat and a waterproof jacket.
Parking is free for locals, but there is a charge for visitors.
The trail is uneven at times and may not be suitable for people with limited mobility.
There are restrooms on site.
How to Get There
The Iao Valley park is located in West Maui, 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the town of Wailuku. To drive to the park from town, head west on Main Street, which becomes Iao Valley Road and heads directly to the park. The drive takes about 12 minutes. There is no public transportation to the park, so if you prefer not to drive, opt for a taxi or visit on a guided tour that includes transportation.
When to Get There
The park is open daily from morning through early evening. Maui is a popular destination all year round, but the spring and fall are perhaps the most pleasant times to visit as the weather is slightly cooler than in the summer and the crowds are smaller than during peak holiday travel seasons.
Other West Maui Sights
After enjoying a walk in the Iao Valley, head out to see some of West Maui’s other sights: You can spend a day in the charming town of Lahaina, which is full of stylish shops and restaurants, or go whale watching along the coast. For a day of fun and relaxation, head to the golden sands of Kapalua Bay beach, where you can read, swim, and snorkel to your heart’s content.