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Archive for the ‘Iao Valley State Park, Maui’ Category

During our 2009 trip we made a stop at the Iao Valley State Park. We had been keeping an eye on the mountains where the valley is located, but it seemed to always be cloudy out there. We wanted a nice clear day for taking photos.

The day we finally decided to go to the Iao Valley, the weather was great in sunny South Maui, so we figured it was worth a shot. But it definitely was not as nice once we got to the Iao Valley. It was actually raining pretty hard. Although we certainly did not mind, as it cooled us down nicely compared to the usual Hawaiian heat.

Once you get to the parking area, you begin walking up towards the Iao Needle. There is a nature center and heritage gardens to check out along the way:
Iao Needle, Maui

But we wanted to see the Iao Needle from the viewpoint at the top, so we continued up the trail without stopping to explore. There are a number of lookouts above the stream along the way. There are quite a few stairs to climb to get to the top. I  think it took us about five or ten minutes.  We thought it was worth checking out, although we didn’t get very many photos due to the rain.

Iao Needle, MauiOverall we were probably only there for half an hour or so. But by the time we got back down we were quite wet. So we weren’t really into taking our time through the heritage area. Perhaps on our next trip we will spend some more time there and have a closer look.

We did enjoy the drive to the Iao Valley State Park, as it wasn’t raining until we got close to the park. And on a clear day I would imagine the view looking back to Kahului would be quite good. The small town of Wailuku is also on the way. There were quite a few old stone churches and other buildings to look at, and it seemed like a neat little town.

We also stopped at the Maui Tropical Plantation on the way back for a quick look around, but didn’t feel like going on the tour. We read in the Maui Revealed Guidebook that it is a classic tourist trap. But being tourists it seemed like a good place to check out. My aunt and uncle went there during our wedding trip and really enjoyed it. Perhaps on our next trip we will check it out and be able to write a post about it.

All in all we were happy decided to go to the Iao Valley. Next time though we might go earlier in the morning to try and beat the weather. It always seems to get cloudier as the day goes on, and the weather seems to vary quite a bit from one part of the island to the next.

I mentioned above that it was much nicer in South Maui the day we went to check out the Iao Needle. It is hard to believe that this photo was taken on the same day at Secret Cove, only three hours before the two photos posted above. The weather certainly does vary from one part of the island to the next…
Secret Cove, Maui

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