Iao Valley State Park
Rising 1200 feet above the valley floor, the Iao Needle is the center of attention at Iao Valley State Park, located 3 miles (5 kilometres) west of Wailuku. This iconic green rock overlooks a dense rainforest and Iao Stream and is one of Maui’s most recognizable landmarks. Not only is Iao Valley scenic, it’s the site of one of Maui’s most historic battles where King Kamehameha fought against the Maui army in 1790.
Puʻu Kukui summit receives an average 386 inches (9.8 m) of rainfall per year, making it the state's second wettest location after Mount Waiʻaleʻale. Because of its natural beauty and historical significance, it has become a popular tourist location. It was designated a National Landmark in 1972.
You can take a paved path, with rails for hanging onto, from the parking lot to the ridge-top lookout that provides incredible views of the valley. The needle is sometimes covered in clouds, so an early start is recommended for the best view. Families can also take a rainforest walk or explore interactive exhibits at the Hawaii Nature Center, which is also located within Iao Valley. Restroom facilities are available.
This is a great family friendly activity when visiting Maui. Plan on spending at least 30 minutes here but of course you can stay as long as you like. There is a $5.00 per car charge for non-Hawaii residents to get into the park.