Iao Valley, an ancient sacred site and spiritual center, sits in a rich green chasm in the West Maui Mountains above the town of Wailuku. The six-acre state park is home of Kukaemoku, commonly referred to as the Iao Needle, a moss-covered 2,250-foot basalt mantle that sharply rises 1,200 feet from the valley floor. The Iao Needle Overlook is a roofed pavilion with benches overlooking Wailuku, the Iao Valley, Iao Needle and the precipitous steep valley walls.
A paved nature trail curves through a tropical botanic garden that borders the banks of the Iao Stream. The gardens are landscaped with native and introduced plants. Hike up the paved path past the restrooms towards the bridge crossing over a tributary of Iao Stream. Before crossing, take the interpretive nature trail to the left, descending into the botanical garden. Follow the paved path, exploring the gardens and ponds. The trail loops at the southern end along Iao Stream.
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