One of the highlights of my trip in Maui was definitely driving the Road to Hana and exploring all of the stops. The saying “It’s not the destination, but the journey, that matters” is the best way to describe my experience on this part of the trip. Hana itself is a pretty small and underwhelming town, however, along the way and around practically every corner there were so many beautiful surprises from waterfalls, gardens, and fruit stands. Each potential stop is marked by a mile marker and since there are well over 50 mile markers, I recommend doing your research beforehand because there will not be enough time to cover absolutely everything. The drive itself was its own experience as well since it is a narrow Cliffside road that winds all the way up the valley, however lucky for me, my boyfriend was the driver for this trip, so I got to fully enjoy the scenery. The photos below are some of my favorite places I explored on the Road to Hana and would recommend stopping by if you were ever in Maui!
Twin falls was the very first stop during the Road to Hana and after driving for over an hour, it was also a great place to stretch my legs and grab something to drink at the Twin Falls Farm stand. It was a relatively small and easy hike to get to the top of the falls, so it is the perfect warm up and starting point of the day!
As you can see in these pictures, Huelo Lookout is another farm stand, however, I absolutely love this place because the décor and the general aesthetic are so unique and adorable that I could not help myself, but to pull over, grab a shaved ice, and snap a few pictures. Also, Shay Mitchell stopped by here during her trip to Maui as well, so that’s just the icing on the cake ;)
Kaumahina State Wayside Park (MM 12)
This park was a quick 5 minutes pull over stop, so if it is pretty early in the day, you should visit, since it offers amazing views of the coastline. There are also bathrooms and picnic tables, making it a perfect rest stop if you would like a break from driving or would like a pleasant place to eat lunch.
Ke'anae Arborteum (MM16)
Keanae Arboretum is actually one of my top three favorite places, since it is just so different from the other stops. It took us about 20 minutes to explore the whole arboretum and we saw such a variety of flowers and trees that we have never seen before in the other parts of the U.S. One of my favorite moments was stumbling upon the Rainbow Eucalyptus trees, which I actually had pinned to my Pinterest for many years now, so it was so exciting to finally cross that off my wish list.
P.S. Be careful when you park here because we got a parking ticket for parking on the side of the road, so make sure you park in the designated lots. If there are not enough spots, just wait until another car leaves since the Hawaiian police do patrol this area quite often.
Upper Waikani Falls (MM 19)
Upper Waikani Falls, or Three Bears Falls, is one of many, many waterfalls on the Road to Hana, but unlike the others, it is actually better for less water to be trickling down, so that you can clearly see three distinct falls. There is a pathway for you to get a closer view to the falls, but for us, by the time mile 19 rolled around, we were so exhausted and hungry to do any more unnecessary heavy walking.
Wai’anapanapa State Park (MM 32)
Wai’anapanapa State Park was another stop on my pinterest bucket list and it is such a picturesque location. Wai’anapanapa is commonly known as the “Black Sand Beach”, however what makes it even more unique are the lava tube caves that line this beach. There is a legend that an old Chief was furious with his wife and actually murdered her in one of the caves that she was hiding in after seeing her reflection in the fresh ocean water. Whether or not this legend is true is yet to be determined, but what is 100% for sure is that this is a must see stop!
P.S. The currents at this beach are significantly stronger then those at other beaches, so please be extremely careful if you plan on going deep in the water!
Wailua Falls (MM45)
These falls are absolutely breathtaking because they are over 80 feet tall and are surrounded by so much greenery. There is also a trail leading down to the waterfall and into a pool where you are able to go swimming or get a closer view of the majestic falls!
Ohe’o Gulch (MM 42)
Ohe’o Gulch is actually in the Haleakala National Park, so if you are going to visit the Park within the next 3 days, please save your ticket, so that you will not have to pay the entrance fee twice! Ohe’o Gulch is known as the “Seven Sacred Pools” and there are two trails that you allow you to get a closer look at the pools. A 0.5 mile trail (which is the one we did) allows you to view the lower pools, while the Pipiwai Trail is more extensive and offers views of the upper pools (also has the bamboo forest).
Tips, Tricks, and Fyi’s
Make sure you have a full tank of gas (can fill up in Paia Town) before heading to the Road of Hana because there will be no gas stations until you reach Hana.
Keep reapplying mosquito repellant – you are in a tropical rainforest for the majority of the stops, so please be careful of bug bites!
Wear sneakers, but bring flip flops in case you would like to go swimming under a waterfall.
Don’t spend too much time in the beginning of the journey because the best stops start about an hour in, so you do not want to miss the later places.
Use Gypsy App for Road to Hana: There will be no cell service for this journey, so please do not plan on relying on your phone GPS. While the mile markers can be helpful, this app points out everything from what is worth stopping for, where parking is located, and even information on the history and background of these unique locations!