Iao Valley / Needle Boss Frog's MauiIf you’ve powered the other trails and are just looking for some casual riding or are looking for a lovely place to picnic while you do the West Maui Loop (as you are an expert rider) you can always take a breather up in Iao Valley (See Map).

In the heat of summer, Iao offers a delicious retreat from the Maui sun, amidst luxuriant foliage and steep and misty cliffs you quickly indulge in a Hawaiian climate-scape like few others. With the Kepaniwai Heritage Gardens you can be engrossed in our cultural, native and migrant past. There are Hawaiian, New Englander, Portuguese and Japanese Gardens with koi ponds, statuary and unique plants. You can ride around them or park and walk in unique buildings and settings each tended with loving care by local associations. Stop, lock up your bike and walk down to the stream and get wet. Iao is pure refreshment. Like a Mountain Dew commercial, but for real.

If you park near the Bishop museum extension and lock your bike, you can also hike across a bridge and quite a ways up the stream with plenty of places to cool off. If you drive past the gardens you’ll get to the needle but they are requiring a fee to get in as of this year. It’s your call, if your just riding, you’ll probably have gone far enough as the parking lot is as far as you can ride anyway.

When your done with IAO you can hug the mountainside for as far as Waikapu before heading down to the Hono’o Piilani Highway or you can go straight down through Wailuku to Kahului rather quickly. Whichever way you go, there are plenty of coffee shops, water stops, eateries and art galleries to visit on the way. See you on the road!

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