A fun Maui hike for kids is Iao Valley State park located just above Wailuku Town. The walking paths are easy to navigate and kid-friendly. I love exploring this beautiful place with Pania as there is so much Hawaiian history here. You can feel it in the air as you walk deeper into this stunning valley. Iao Valley has been closed for some time now due to an unfortunate flood last year. I have been looking forward to the day when it would open again as Iao Valley is a very easy hiking spot for kids.
Honestly, I hesitated to post about Iao Valley as I was heartbroken to see how much it had changed. We first visited the park a few months ago with my good friend from high-school. We were hoping to find the pools we use to adventure to but they were gone. Before the flood I kept meaning to visit this sacred place but life always got in the way. We did find a nice little spot and it was fun to reminisce about how we remembered it growing up.
Pania and I went back this weekend as the upper parking lot is now open. The lower parking lot has been open for awhile as the upper trails were washed away in the flood. She immediately wanted to explore the taro patches around the Maui formation. We then headed up to the bridge just as it started to rain. The weather has been very stormy leading up to and after the eclipse. I almost postponed our adventure but had been daydreaming of Iao Valley all week.
We took the steps up to view the striking Iao Needle and were both in awe of its beauty. There is a very nice covered area and we enjoyed some fruit in the nice cool air. We then headed to the trails closer to the water but they are not open at this time. It is much easier to access the water from the lower parking lot and so we headed down there. The water was flowing and the pools were a lot fuller than last time due to all the rain. I was happy to see that it was more reminiscent to how I remembered it growing up. It made me realize that you should never take things for granted and always cherish the places that mean the most to you.
Although it was humid the day we went I would suggest a light jacket as there is always a chance of rain. The paths are pretty clear but you might also want to bring closed toed shoes on wetter days. If you get a chance to visit Iao Valley State Park with your family let me know in the comments below. It is such a fun Maui hike for kids and I always look forward to our next adventure there.
Lots of Aloha,
Nadia xo Wanderful Mama
*As of August 5th, 2017 Iao Valley State Park is currently open, check Hawaii.gov to confirm before visiting.