Iao Valley State Park
- Type: Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing
- Time to Spend: 2 hours to Half Day
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Scores of tourists say that their experience here was a Maui highlight. As you walk along the moss-colored floor of the Iao Valley toward the iconic Iao Needle, you'll see what all the fuss is about. Hiking trails offer varying degrees of difficulty, so be sure to pick the right one for you. The easiest is a paved 0.6 mile trail. Nearly every route will bring you to some incredible vantage points of the island.
The valley is also steeped in history. The rocky terrain was a battleground in the 18th century battlegrounds and is the final resting place of many Hawaiian kings. That's more reason to respect the land and to stay on trails. At only 10-miles long, the valley is worth about half a day's exploration on foot, a little less in a car. You'll probably spend most of your time in search of the famous Iao Needle. Rising 1,200 feet, this green-hued rock looks most majestic on clear days. Bring plenty of water for your hike. Although the park has restrooms, there is no drinking water or other refreshment offered on the grounds.
The Iao Valley State Park is open every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. You'll find it easily off of Highway 32 in central Maui. There is a $5 parking fee. Visit the park's official website for more pointers on visiting.