There are many beautiful places to visit in Maui, including the Iao Valley State Monument – one
of the island’s most famous state parks.
Have you planned your trip to Maui last minute?
When planning a last-minute trip to Maui, you’ll want to book your lodging and tours in advance. Here are some of our top picks on the island!
Activities and tours on Maui you should not miss:
- Best-selling sunset cruise from Lahaina, Maui
- Watch dolphins and whales from Lahaina (travels to Lanai!)
- Day trip to Lahaina for whale watching (best seller!)
- Day trip to Lanai snorkeling
- With Deli Lunch at Turtle Town and Molokini (best Kihei tour!)
There are several places to stay on the South Shore (Kihei/Wailea/Makena):
- The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea (ultimate luxury resort!)
- Maui Mana Kai
- Wailea Resort at Andaz Maui
- A Waldorf Astoria Resort & Hotel on Wailea, Hawaii
There are several places to stay on the West Side of the island (Lahaina/Kaanapali/Kapalua):
- The Old Lahaina House has a pool and is within easy walking distance of the beach!
- Resort Napili Surf Beach
- Pioneer Inn Best Western
- Maui’s Kulani Hotel
The Iao Valley State Monument
One of Hawaii’s most famous landmarks, the iconic Iao Needle rock, can be seen in the Iao Valley State Monument, located in the central part of Maui Island.
Iao Valley is not only an amazing and well-known Maui landmark, but it also has an interesting history.
The Battle of Kepaniwai took place in Iao Valley in 1790, where King Kamehameha I won, changing the history of Hawaii forever.
Here is how you can get to the Iao Valley State Monument
A three-mile drive from Wailuku takes you to Iao Valley State Monument. The distance between Kahului and Honolulu is approximately five miles.
The Iao Valley State Monument is visible from Kahului via the highway. If you rent a bike, you can cycle on the highway instead of taking a taxi.
The cost of this taxi will be approximately $30. You will have to pay around $15 from Wailuku.
The most popular option for visitors is to rent a car and drive around Maui (including the famous Road to Hana). They are able to explore anywhere and everywhere they want because of this freedom.
Our recommendation is to rent a car from Kahului and take the highway that connects Wailuku to Kahului. You will finally reach the end if you follow your GPS (it’s actually a straight shot).
The best way to experience the beauty and history of Hawaii is to take a tour of the Iao Valley State Monument. Make your visit even more memorable with your guide’s story about the valley!
The most popular hikes at Iao Valley State Monument
There is a famous hiking trail at Iao Valley State Monument called the Ethnobotanical Loop and Needle Lookout Trail. 0.6 miles is all it takes to complete this Maui hike.
There is an amazing view of the Iao Needle from the paved walking trail, which then passes through an ethnobotanical garden before continuing to the lookout point.
The best things to do at Iao Valley State Monument
There is a steep rock formation surrounded by cliffs and a forest in the Iao Valley State Monument that rises 1200 feet high (or 690 meters).
During hot Hawaiian days, visitors can also swim in the Iao Stream, making this a great place to stop during the hike.
There is, however, no need to worry if there is a flash flood warning in the area since Maui is prone to flash flooding.
Hawaiians brought the “canoe plants” with them (by canoes). It’s a great way to learn about the island’s history and see a part of it in the botanical garden.
The tropical fruit there is a must-try when visiting this area! Whether you’re looking for mountain apple trees or guava fruit, don’t miss them!
Take a guided tour at the Hawaii Nature Center, located at 875 Iao Valley Road, where you can find the Hawaii Nature Center. The purpose of this is to provide you with the chance to learn more about the history of the ecology of Iao Valley.
Furthermore, you can enjoy some refreshingly cool drinks at the cafe.
The Visitor’s Guide for Iao Valley State Monument
- 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., every day
- Residents enter free of charge
- The non-resident fee is $5.
- Fees for toddlers: None
Iao Valley State Monument: Have you ever been there? Comment below with your thoughts and tips! Thank you!