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Iao Valley, Wailuku

#3 of 32 in Nature in Maui
State Park · Nature / Park
In a tropical valley with its own tropical microclimate, Iao Valley attracts visitors with its spire-shaped Needle. Take a walk through the botanical garden to overlook the Needle, a 370 m (1200 ft) tall lava remnant. The valley itself was once a burial ground for rulers, and the monument was used as a sacrificial altar. One of the bloodiest battles of Hawaii also occurred at this spot. For these reasons, hiking through the area is not permitted. Instead, follow the paved paths and read the info boards. Put Iao Valley into our Wailuku trip planner to see other points of interest to visit during your vacation in Wailuku.
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Iao Valley reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
2,137 reviews
  • Beautiful views. Easy short "hike" (on paved paths) up to the scenic valley views as well as down to the river. Fairly crowded (even during COVID-times) on our weekday visit, but that's mainly due to....  more »
  • Great intro to hiking trails. Lovely valley with great history. We came early, parked before 9. We had an easy hike. Pack a bathing suit for a quick swim in the river.  more »
  • This was a great way to start our trip. After leaving the airport this was our first hike of the trip. It is about a 5 minute walk from the parking lot to the observation hut and there are views all around. Another 5 minutes down to the river gives you an opportunity to get your feet wet in the cool fresh mountain water. Do not drink any natural flow of water as there is a lot of bacteria that could make for a miserable stomach. But definitely get your feet in there and maybe stack some rocks. When we did this, we knew we had actually arrived in Hawaii. Note that the parking lot is $10 per car and there is a $5 per person charge to enter the trails.
  • Beautiful place that has a lot of historic significance. There's good signage to give you the history. Hawaii does such a nice job of having clean and casual parks everywhere you look. I'm so impressed. FYI, there are a lot of steps here if you choose to hike up to the Needle viewpoint, or down to the river below.

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