The Iao Valley is a magical and mystical place, full of legend and tragedy. Share your favorite moments and experiences visiting this Maui treasure.

Location: Central Maui

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8 Responses to “Iao Valley State Park”

  1. Sheila
    7 July 2009 at 9:12 pm #

    I remember the first time is saw the Iao Valley I was absolutely amazed at how vertical it was. I even said to a total stranger, “Wow! I’ve never seen anything like it.”

  2. Kris
    7 July 2009 at 9:37 pm #

    Our first encounter with the Iao Valley was back in ’06 via a Blue Hawaiian helicopter tour. As amazing as floating through this valley was, it wasn’t until earlier this year when we actually drove out ourselves and truly experienced the majesty that awaits.

    It’s almost a little hard to explain, but once you get out of the car and take that first deep breath of the crisp air, you get that feeling that there’s something exceptional all around you. Of course, everyone stops on the walking bridge to take photos of the Iao Needle, but it was further along the walking trails that really captured our hearts, and our imaginations.

    I couldn’t help but feel like there was something drawing us further into the woods as we walked the path closer to the stream. We came to a point on the trail where it bends around and goes back along the water, but we compelled to press ahead into the trees. It wasn’t the normal path, but it was worn enough to know that many had trekked here before us.

    The further we explored, and the further away from everyone else, the more of an undescribable aura started to come our me. It was almost that “hair standing up on the back of your neck” feeling. Although I was all geeked out with my camera, cell phone, etc., we were seeing a part of Maui that likely looked exactly the same way as it did to the Hawaiians of a few centuries ago. There was just a connection to that past that I still relive today when I see these photos.

    There are quite a few places on Maui that ignite these types of feelings in me. The very top of Haleakala, the secluded beaches and sights passed Hana, and Iao Valley for sure. True magic.

  3. Kris
    7 July 2009 at 9:40 pm #

    @Shelia, I agree. It was something else to fly through decend into the valley via helicopter, but once you’re standing down at the base and looking at these giant mountain ranges on either side of you, it’s pretty overwhelming.

  4. Jalove
    8 July 2009 at 3:18 am #

    Aloha Kris,
    That trail that you were curious about is goes to the right ,kinda a HUGE tree there and the pave path continues on to the left. I will tell ya that if you veer right, it goes up about 15 minutes to a place i know as BIG ROCK.I have gone to that spot nearly all my life. Once up at big rock(because it is the same big rock that never moves even after all these years and it is huge enough to lay on and tan and jump in the river from). As you walk up there are tons of guava trees,ti leaves plants, and ginger plants. i would actually go there to get the yellow ginger cause it is so fragrant. After big rock , it can go so far in that you can actually come out through the other side that is olowalu. i have never done it, and have been told that it is so treacherous that some have never made it out(myth or not?) So i only go as far as big rock.
    Also, at the top of the stairs used to be a place called table land where we used to go for picnic, and once i went there at night and was so scared that i vow never to fo to iao at night ,at least in the deep mountains. LOL.
    I notice your photos are all of “the top” so as you exit the parking, there is a small pull off to the right that you can park and walk down 5 min to the river. it is very cleansing for me to dip in to this clean, river. surrounded by the safety of the lovey mother maui mountains . I choose to sun bathe on good days all natural. . And i really dont think the water is cold like everyone cannot handle. i can swim in it and feel soo rejuvenated . BTW no pics of the Kennedy profile?
    Thanks and when you and cindy come. lets take a dip up at Iao!
    a hui hou

  5. Kris
    8 July 2009 at 6:47 am #

    Aloha jalove.

    Mahalo for the great insight. All told, I think we were only there for about 90 minutes. Not nearly enough time, but more time than some of the people we saw there. Certainly a place we want to go back and explore for hours at a time. At least, during the daytime like you mentioned. :)


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