Nestled in the lush greenery of the 'Iao Valley is the natural rock formation called the 'Iao Needle. The green-covered stone protruding from the valley floor is actually an old basaltic core (volcano remnant). The 'Iao Needle is 2,250 feet above sea level, or 1200 feet tall from the valley floor. 

John Derrick
Published on: 04-15-2019
Published by: John C. Derrick

The traditional name is Kuka`emoku and it's known as the phallic stone of Kanaloa (Hawaiian god of the ocean); thus the 'Iao Needle was once used as a natural altar. The name 'Iao is pronounced "EE-ow." The 'Iao Needle is surrounded by a very lovely walkway and garden of lush tropical plants. Surrounded on all sides by the Pu'u Kukui Crater, it was the site of one of the most famous battles in Hawaiian history. 

In 1790 King Kamehameha I defeated the Maui army in his quest to unite the Hawaiian Islands. It is said that when the battle was over, the stream was so damned with all the bodies that the water ran red with blood. The site was named Kepaniwai "damming of the waters." Nearby in the valley, you'll find the Kepaniwai Heritage Gardens. Take Highway 32 (Kaahumanu Road) west out of Wailuku. This road turns into Highway 320 which lead directly to the 'Iao Valley State Park. Park gates open from 7 am to 7 pm. $1 for walk-ins, $5 for cars.

Iao Valley and Iao Needle (Kukaemoku) Reviews

A (based on 1,199 visitor reviews)

Geolocation Data

Geographic Coordinates

Latitude: 20.88099279
Longitude: -156.545393

Open in Google Maps

Iao Valley State Park Photo Gallery
Terms of Use

The use of this website is your expressly conditioned acceptance of the terms, conditions, and disclaimers found within our Disclaimer of Warranty and Limitation of Liability page without any modifications. Your use of this website constitutes your acceptance of all the terms, conditions, and disclaimers posted herein. If you do not agree with any part of these terms and conditions, you should not use this website.

Article Published/Updated: