Iao Valley State Park and Trail
ʻĪao Valley State Monument, S High St, Wailuku, HI, USA
7:00am – 6:00pm Daily
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Iao Valley State Park features a .6 mile hike through a lush landscape and a sacred spot in Hawaii's history.
This is the site where the Battle of Kepaniwai occurred and where King Kamehameha's army conquered the Maui forces to unite the Hawaiian islands.
Upon arrival, you pay the fee to enter at the guard gate and park in the small lot. There is a minimal non-resident fee for entry and each car, so make sure to have a form of payment ready. Upon arrival, you will see the streams to Waimoku Falls against the parking lot and part of the trail you will eventually take.
The hike is only a little more than half a mile but provides some stunning sights. You will walk past streams, through lush forest grounds that allow you a look into what the landscape may have been like for native islanders, and with stunning views of the Iao Needle. You can end the hike with a climb of 133 steps to the top for views of Iao Valley and Wailuku. The hike itself is relatively easy as the majority is paved, and any unpaved parts are walker-worn terrain that you can easily follow.
We recommend heading down to the stream, putting your feet in it, and keeping an eye out for mongooses hiding in their terrain! We got to spot quite a few during this hike! This hike was easy for young kids to do, but we recommend having a carrier on hand for the youngest of the bunch in case they get tired, and water shoes that double as hiking boots for all so you can quickly go from water to land.
You're also fairly centrally located on the island, not too far from the airport or either Kihei or Paia areas to take a short 20-minute drive to grab a meal as picnic areas aren't available on site.