‘Īao Valley Monument reopening pushed back to August 2017
The state has pushed back the reopening of ʻĪao Valley State monument to early August of 2017 amid ongoing repairs and interim improvements. Earlier projections had indicated that the monument area that includes the portion of the valley above the Nature Center would reopen in mid-July.
The adjacent Kepaniwai Park operated by the County of Maui reopened in April. Park hours at Kepaniwai are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Located in Central Maui just west of Wailuku, Iao Valley State Park is a peaceful 4,000-acre, 10-mile long park is home to one of Maui’s most recognizable landmarks, the 1,200-foot Iao Needle. This iconic green-mantled rock outcropping overlooks Iao stream and is an ideal attraction for easy hiking and sightseeing.
Aside from its natural tropical beautiful, sacred Iao Valley has great historical significance. It was here in 1790 at the Battle of Kepaniwai that King Kamehameha clashed with Maui’s army in his quest to unite the islands. Even with Iao Needle serving as a lookout point, Kamehameha defeated Maui’s forces in a ferocious battle that ultimately changed the course of Hawaiian history.
There is a well-marked, paved pedestrian path leading from the parking lot to view Iao Needle, and the ridge-top lookout provides incredible views of the valley. The needle is sometimes covered in clouds, so an early start is your best bet for a good view. Families can also take a rainforest walk or explore interactive exhibits at the Hawaii Nature Center, which is also located within Iao Valley.
Be sure to visit when it reopens. The photo opps are endless!