Hike through Iao Valley to Kūkaemoku (The Needle)

Iao Valley SP Parking Area

Iao Valley offers jaw-dropping views of one of Maui's most famous geographical features, Kūkaemoku (The Needle), as well as light hiking. It's also conveniently located a mere 20 minutes from the Kahului Airport.

This is a very simple hike for people of all ages, and a great way to see the beautiful Maui rainforest. It is one of the more popular hikes on the island of Maui due to its short length and high accessibility. Kūkaemoku (known as The Needle), which is the pointy rock formation as shown in the photos, is best observed from this short hike. Start at the parking lot and follow the trail over a few bridges and up the hill for about a quarter mile. Once you're at the top, you will come to a small hut which serves as an observation area to Kūkaemoku. This is the end of the hike. Be aware that it does lightly rain quite often. The bathroom building has been out of service for years, but there are porta-potties at the parking lot.

Pack List

  • $5.00 Entrance Fee
  • Light Raincoat or Umbrella
  • Camera
  • Hiking Boots if You Decide to do the "Secret Trail"
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RT Distance 0.4 Miles
Elevation Gain 300 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Meh...

Granted, it was cloudy when we visited the needle. But nevertheless there are definitely much better things to see and do in Maui. It's beautiful there – half an hour is enough time to spend there though. FYI: $5 entrance to the parking and the gate closes at 6pm.

Don't Forget the Bug Spray!

Iao Valley is the perfect place to visit if you want beautiful views but don't have enough time to commit to a long hike. Also, if you visit Iao Valley after a strong rainstorm you will be treated to spectacular waterfalls pouring over the valley walls in all directions! Last thing - don't forget to bring bug spray! Not having bug spray cut my time here short.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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