One of the many things that we really wanted to do in Maui was go hiking.
I thought it would be a challenge because we are not exactly expert hikers but more casual walkers. I was especially skeptical about finding a kid-friendly hike that we can take our two kids along to. After a little research, we quickly found that there are a lot of places to hike on the island that are fairly short and easy which makes for a great first time hike with my kids.
The Iao Valley State Park is located in West Maui. This is a popular tourist destination and there was a long line to get inside the parking lot the day we went. They charge $5 parking for non-locals and the parking lot is fairly small but we scored a spot just as we were pulling in. The park itself is open from 7am to 7pm.
It took roughly 45 minutes to drive from our resort in Lahaina. The road to Iao Valley State Park will go through a couple of neighborhoods and at the end, Iao Valley Rd will be the entrance to the park.
Iao Valley State Park is where the famous landmark, Iao Needle is located. The area is full of lush greenery which is actually a rainforest. From the parking lot you can see a tall waterfall but during our visit at the end of May and early June it was dried up.
From the parking lot there will be a designated trail to the observation deck. You’ll cross a short and narrow bridge where a river passes beneath it. There are warning signs to discourage you from straying off the path but clearly people disobey. It is possible to take a dip in the water and there were no officials stopping anyone.
Follow the official trail which leads to the observation deck for a beautiful view of Iao Needle. It’s a very easy hike, even for inexperienced hikers such as ourselves.
Keep following along the path and you will find yourselves walking alongside one of the rivers. The water looked crisp and clear so we got our feet wet. As you can see, my husband has the baby on a Baby Bjorn which made our hike much easier. Although, not ideal for a long and strenuous hike, the Baby Bjorn was suitable for this short hike.
If you are ever in Maui, be sure to pay a visit to the Iao Valley State Park. The pictures do not do it justice. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking and makes you appreciate Mother Nature that much more.