Discover Maui Hawaii’s Inner Beauty
In the inland center of Maui is Iao Valley State Park, home to the landmark 1,200-foot Iao Needle. This towering rock formation juts upward from the valley floor, a ragged peak of brown lava rock that contrasts with the blue skies and lush, deep green vegetation. Hiking trails abound near the Needle that lead to lookout points with stunning views of both the Needle itself and the surrounding scenery.
Eastern Maui boasts another spectacular place to explore, Haleakala National Park. Haleakala Crater is the world’s largest dormant volcano, and its 10,000-foot slope is a hiker’s paradise, with trails that lead above the cloud line for an unforgettable experience. The Park’s terrain also makes for an array of microclimates: trails traverse lush valleys, parched deserts, and everything in between – including coastal waterfalls. Haleakala Crater is also regarded as one of the best places to watch a Hawaiian sunrise creep over the horizon, or to end the day with a sunset and stargazing through Maui’s clear skies.
For the true nature lover, Maui’s best offering is the Pipiwai Trail, roughly nine miles from Hana at the edge of Haleakala National Park. This fantastic hike follows the Pipiwai Stream that feeds through the O’heo Gulch, a stunning river valley known for a series of crystal clear ponds that fill craters in the rocks called the Seven Sacred Pools. But as gorgeous as they are, the pools don’t hold a candle to the final payoff of the Pipiwai Trail: Waimoku Falls, Maui’s largest waterfall. Towering 400 feet above the gulch floor, Waimoku cascades down a sheer lava rock wall into a pool filled with boulders. It is a natural spectacle that truly must be seen to be believed, and makes for a breathtaking way to have a break from the beach!