Iao Valley State Park | Photo by Bernard Spragg. NZ / Wikimedia Commons;  CC-Zero

Iao Valley State Park | Photo by Bernard Spragg. NZ / Wikimedia Commons; CC-Zero

Iao Valley Travel Guide

Spencer Lowe

 Map of West Maui coastline tour showcasing scenic routes, landmarks, and attractions.

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 the Shaka Guides West Maui Coastline Driving Tour!

Iao Valley Weather

In general, Hawaii receives two seasons. However, temperatures in the Iao Valley vary significantly less than in 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. 

Scenic mountain road cutting through rocky terrain, surrounded by lush greenery.Iao Valley State Park | Photo by Joey Ly on Unsplash

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. 

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A plaque on a stone wall with a tree in the background.The plaque of The Battle of Iao Valley | Photo by drazz, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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. 

RELATED: The Ultimate Maui Travel Guide


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 lookout 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. 

A scenic view of Kauai, Hawaii with lush green landscapes and clear blue waters.Majestic view of Iao Valley | Photo by Rich Hay on Unsplash

Interested in visiting Maui? Check out all of our Maui Tours!

We hope that we’ve given you all the information you need to make the most of your day. Your vacation is extremely important to us so if you have any questions feel free to reach out at aloha@shakaguide.com.

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