Iao Valley State Park
ElevationAscent: 90' 27 m
Descent: -90' -27 m
High: 1,029' 314 m
Low: 953' 291 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (4°)
Max Grade: 27% (15°)
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“A short scenic tour of the historic Iao Needle, waterfalls, and a lovely stream.”— Megan W
From the parking lot, head uphill past the restrooms. Soon you'll cross a bridge and be presented with some of the best views of Iao Needle. Wait your turn to take the obligatory photo. Continue along the trail, taking the right-hand fork towards the Iao Overlook. A series of mini-steps twist uphill to a small viewing shelter and some interpretive signs which explain the fascinating history of this valley. Retrace your (tiny) steps back to the trail split but instead of going back to the parking lot, keep right and go down the (normal sized) stairs into the jungle and towards the rushing stream.
The trail reaches stream level and cruises under thick tropical foliage. This pleasant area has rock outcrops if you'd like to linger. There are also places where you can gingerly pick your way down to the water itself. Back on the trail, follow the handrails and steps uphill for a short ways along the thrashing Kinihapai Stream. The valleys forming the headwaters of these streams are the second wettest in Maui! Rejoin the trail at the western end of the bridge and then head back to the parking lot to complete this worthwhile loop.
If you're curious: Another (extra credit) short path winds through a garden of native Hawaiian plants below the bridge on the way back to the parking lot.
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Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna
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Land Manager: Hawaii - Department of Land and Natural Resources