Visit Maui's Iao Needle

Iao Valley is one of Maui's most unique and beautiful natural attractions. Located in amidst the lush jungles of the West Maui Mountains above Wailuku, Iao's most distinctive feature is the "Needle," a geological anomaly that is impossible to miss.

Jutting 1200 feet up from the valley floor is a spike of land blanketed in green. Erosive forces have slowly carved away the land around this odd, massive point over the ages, leaving it to stand rebelliously alone amid the normal peaks and valleys of the mountains.

Iao Valley is full of little trails and gardens, with the Needle in plain sight, especially from the highest lookout, which can be reached after a short but steep walk. There is also a cheerful river running through the valley, which will undoubtedly be considered very small by mainland visitors. On a warm day, it can be refreshing to wade in and enjoy its cooling waters.

Just steps from the river are picnic tables and grills for those who want to BBQ their lunch. Some of the trails in Iao are short and easy, while others are long and strenuous, so those who enjoy a rigorous hike won't be disappointed, and neither will those who want a relaxing stroll.

Iao Valley is a favorite of both visitors and locals alike. There is no entry fee to the park or the parking lot, so that means you get to do some excellent sightseeing for free. If you like documenting your vacation with photos, don't forget your camera on this visit. You'll find endless opportunities for photographic creativity. Iao Valley is centrally located on Maui. You'll find it tucked in above Wailuku, which overlooks Kahului, where the airport is. If you are staying at one of our West Maui vacation rentals, it's a much shorter drive to Iao than to the dormant volcano of Haleakala or the jungles of Hana beyond.

Despite the fact that Iao is often shrouded in mist and cooling clouds, we still recommend sunscreen. Lastly, the only downside to Iao that we can think of is the mosquitoes, which you will encounter in several other places on Maui as well. So don't forget your mosquito repellant, or you may find them diminishing your fun.

As for where you are staying, check out both our Maui vacation rental homes and our Maui condo rentals. If you need any assistance, you'll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Mahalo!