Visiting Iao Valley


The state park is located at the end of Iao Valley Road (Highway 32) near Wailuku. The Iao Needle (Kūkaemoku), is a luscious green, lava remnant, 1,200 feet tall from the valley floor or 2,250 feet above sea level. The needle is an extension of and surrounded by the cliffs of the West Maui Mountains an extinct volcano. There is a short trail (Iao Needle Lookout Trail and Ethnobotanical Loop) to a overlook.


Iao Valley is most famously remembered as the location of the Battle of Kepaniwai in 1790. In an effort to unite the Hawaiian Islands, Kamehameha landed his war fleet on the shores of North Maui while Maui's Chief, Kahekili, was away on the island of Oahu.