Hike through Iao Valley to Kūkaemoku (The Needle)

Hawaii Iao Valley SP Parking Area

Added by Brian Fulda

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"
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

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

Share

Activities:

Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

0.4 Miles

Elev. Gain:

300 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

7 months ago

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.

7 months ago

Added by Brian Fulda

Hi! I'm Brian, a photographer based in San Francisco that has an avid love for the outdoors, travel, hiking, redwoods, astronomy, guitar, and more.

More Adventures Nearby

Hike to the First Waterfall on the Ka'au Crater Trail

Hawaii / Ka'au Crater Trail

Directions: From Honolulu, head east on the H1 towards Hawai'i Kai and take the 6th Ave exit. Turn left onto 6th, right onto Waialae, and then left onto 10th.

Erik Holmes
5 Saves

Beach Day at Makua Beach

Hawaii / Makua Beach

Getting There:  From Honolulu, head west on the H1 and follow signs for Waianae. Continue as the H1 turn into Farrington highway and drive along the coast.

Erik Holmes
2 Saves

Explore the North Shore's Sunflower Fields

Hawaii / Waialua Sunflower Feilds

Note: The flowers bloom towards the end of the year and hence the fields are only open to the public from about November through December.

Erik Holmes
5 Saves