Iao Valley Travel Guide
If you’re looking for beautiful hikes, green rainforests, and dramatic ridges, Maui’s Iao Valley is a remarkable destination. If you’re a LOST fan, you may recognize some of the scenery as shooting locations for the hit show. There are several attractions in the valley, which we’ll cover here, but for more information about the Iao Valley’s history and importance check out Shaka Guides West Maui Coastal Driving Tour!
Iao Valley Weather
In general, Hawaii receives two seasons. However, temperatures in the Iao Valley vary significantly less than other regions of Hawaii. You can expect average highs year-round to sit between 71 and 75 degrees.
During the winter from November to March, you’ll see between six and eight days of rain per month. During the summer months from April to October, the Iao Valley gets between two to four days of rain per month.
Iao Valley State Park | Photo by Joey Ly
Iao Valley Hours, Cost, and Directions
Hours: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day
Price: Free entrance, $5 parking for non-residents, free parking for residents of Hawaii
Directions: To get to State Park in which the Iao Valley Needle State Monument is also located, head to Kahului. From town, take Highway 32 until it turns to Main Street. Take Main until the fork and keep right to stay on Iao Valley Road. The park is at the end of Iao Valley Road.
The plaque of The Battle of ʻĪao Valley | Photo by Drazz
Iao Valley State Park and Needle
Some of the most beautiful lands in the valley were formed into a state park and state monument which feature breathtaking hikes and views of this scenic region of Maui. The area is known for the massive needle formation jutting from the valley floor. This huge ridge is covered in dense tropical rainforest and surrounded by phenomenal hikes.
There’s a paved .06-mile loop that offers awesome views of the needle. It is rated as very easy.
There is also a second 10-mile trail. It is not officially maintained, but it’s extremely well worn and easy to navigate. Follow the stairs leading to the needle look-out from the parking lot. About halfway up the stairs, you should see a well-worn path--you’ll likely see other hikers crossing. This hike is rated moderate to difficult.
How Long to Spend in Iao Valley
There is a lookout adjacent to the parking lot, a short hike, and a very long hike in the valley. So, you can really customize how long you want to spend in the valley. The short hike shouldn’t take more than an hour. The longer hike has several locations with excellent views, so you can also turn around whenever you’ve had your fill. You’ll want to clear a whole day if you’re doing the entire hike.
Majestic view of ʻĪao Valley | Photo by Rich Hay