Woman hiking in Hawaiian forest

Visit This Historic Hawaii State Park For Jaw-Dropping Hikes

By Mina Elwell


With rocky cliffs covered in lush tropical greenery, 'Iao Valley State Park provides an incredible chance to connect with Maui's tropical forest, vibrant wildlife, and waterfalls.
In 1790, 'Iao Valley was the site of the horrific battle of Kepaniwai, meaning "dammed stream," because streams had been blocked by the number of fallen soldiers in their path.
The highlight is the over 2,200-foot-tall peak known as the 'Iao Needle, or Kūka'emoku. While hiking, you may also encounter the red 'I'iw bird or the Kamehameha butterfly.
There are several designated trails within 'Iao Valley State Park and even more in the surrounding area, providing incredible views of the mountains and valley.
Don’t miss the 'Iao Needle Lookout Trail and Ethnobotanical Loop. The trail lets you see the lush forest while clear streams lead you through beautiful tropical botanical gardens.
For something more challenging, try the Waihe'e Ridge Trail. While it's not technically within the park's boundaries, the 5.5-mile-long hike provides a stunning view of the valley.