Hike through Iao Valley to Kūkaemoku (The Needle)

0.4 miles 300 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

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.

Read More

Tags

Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

taking a dip in the stream is a must!

gorgeous greenery and a lovely stream-side trail that takes you through the valley. must take a dip in the stream at multiple points where it begins to pool. COME IN THE EARLY MORNING because otherwise parking is a nightmare and the trails get crowded

Meh...

Granted, it was cloudy when we visited the needle. Nevertheless, there are definitely better things to see and do on Maui. Half an hour is enough time spent here. FYI: $5 entrance fee and the gate closes at 6pm.

Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

over 4 years 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.

Stay Nearby

Wailuku, Hawaii

Island Sands Condo: Water Views & Oceanfront Pool

•• Beginning October 14, 2020, visitors arriving in Hawaii must either (1) present a negative COVID-19 test result, completed in the previous 72 hours, or (2) self-quarantine for two weeks. Please ...

From $189/night

Lahaina, Hawaii

Ocean View Getaway With Pool Walk To The Beach

•• Beginning October 14, 2020, visitors arriving in Hawaii must either (1) present a negative COVID-19 test result, completed in the previous 72 hours, or (2) self-quarantine for two weeks. Please ...

From $286/night

Lahaina, Hawaii

Ocean View All Suite W/ 3 Pools & Beach Club

•• Beginning October 14, 2020, visitors arriving in Hawaii must either (1) present a negative COVID-19 test result, completed in the previous 72 hours, or (2) self-quarantine for two weeks. Please ...

From $339/night

Kihei, Hawaii

Oceanfront Retreat With Lanai & Pool Near Dining

•• Beginning October 14, 2020, visitors arriving in Hawaii must either (1) present a negative COVID-19 test result, completed in the previous 72 hours, or (2) self-quarantine for two weeks. Please ...

From $114/night

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike the Waihe'e Ridge Trail

    Waihe'e Ridge is a great hike for those looking for a hike to see waterfalls or to get a little exercise in. The trail is dog-friendly, but dogs must be kept on leash. Keep in mind there could be wet weather on the hike, so bring any necessary ite...

    4 miles 1500 ft gain

  • Hike the Lahaina Pali Trail from the Ukumehame (West) Trailhead

    It can be difficult to spot the trailhead and parking lot, but look for an opening in a pack of trees off of Highway 30. If you are traveling with one car, make sure to come back down the same way from the crest. If you have another car with you, ...

  • Beach Day at Kaanapali Beach

    Kaanapali Beach is about a 45-minute drive from Kahului Airport, and only two miles from Lahaina.  Nearly all of the seaside resorts here back right up to the beach, making it an ideal place to stay if beach time is your top priority.  If you are ...

  • Explore the Nakalele Blowhole

    Getting to the Nakalele Blowhole is not too difficult. Use the Google Maps location on here to drive to the spot listed. There will be a dirt parking lot.Warning: If you are coming from Kahului, do not take the Kahekili Highway (Hwy 340) unless yo...

    0.3 miles -300 ft gain