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"
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Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



0.4 Miles

Elev. Gain:

300 Feet



Easy Parking
Family Friendly

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How to Get There

5 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.

5 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.

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