Iao Valley State Park on Maui

Iao Valley State Park on Maui

Iao Valley is one of the most spectacular sites to see on Maui.

The Iao Valley( pronounced EEE-OW.) is a lush green area in a rain forest surrounded by spectacular steep cliffs that reach an elevation of over 5,000 feet.

You can enter into the heart of Maui’s oldest volcano that formed the steep cliffs of West Maui Mountains,( Puʻu Kukui) which has a caldera eroded down so much that you can drive on a road into the center of this extinct volcano at Iao Valley State Park.

This valley is rich in cultural and spiritual values and is the site of the battle of Kepaniwai where the forces of Kamehameha I conquered the Maui army in 1790.

It is one of the best places to get a glimpse into the second wettest valley in the world.

A beautiful spot to spend some time and get amazing pictures. Stroll down the path meandering through the park.

Climb the steps to View the Ioa Needle (Kukaemoku), a vegetation-covered lava remnant rising 1,200 feet (370 m) from the valley floor.

Cool off with a dip in the Iao stream and play in the tiny waterfalls.

Or take a hike.

Check with the park rangers for information on degree of difficulty, duration and trail closures.

There is a hands-on Museum at the entrance of the park that is fun for the kids.

On the road in just outside the park is The Kepaniwai Park Heritage Gardens which memorializes Maui's multicultural history. Scale models of buildings and gardens.

Iao Valley State Park is only a fifteen minute drive from Maui International Airport in Kahului. So it is conveniently located for tourists to see as a spectacular first view of Maui on their way from the airport -- or a spectacular last view of Maui on their way to the airport before flying home.

It is also only an hour's drive from the major resort areas of Kaanapali / Kapalua or Kihei / Wailea -- so it's a good daytime activity for visitors looking for something to do not too far from the resort areas (as opposed to a full day's drive to Hana, up to the top of Haleakala Volcano, or even to upcountry Maui on the lower slopes of Haleakala).This is one scenic wonder that is a relatively short drive from the resort areas on Maui and near the airport, so don't miss it.


Iao Valley State Park Website

Iao Valley on Hawaiiweb.com

Iao Valley Tours

Iao Valley Described by Mark Twain

Kepaniwai Park's Heritage Gardens near the entrance to Iao Valley.

Bailey House Museum, in Wailuku five minutes from Iao Valley.


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