I thought about writing my experience about driving on the road to Hana, which is one of the most famous activities on the island of Maui. I am not a really travel blogger, but I will give it a try. Here is one of the reasons that you want to drive the road to Hana. Watch the high definition video from ther2h.com. The road is built beautifully and there are so many small bridges, water falls and beaches on this 60+ miles drive. You will need to get up early before the rush hour. Here are some tips!
Well. Personally, we got up at 5:00AM and went to McDonald and bought our breakfast. We also pack our own lunch with us, because there is no real place to eat in between Hana and Paia other than banana bread stand. Believe me, you will spend 16 hours or even longer on the road from Paia to Hana, to Kaupo, to highway 31, and back to Kahului. Not to mention that you will need to reserve at least 3 hours to hike to the Waimoku fall (2 miles one way) and soak yourself at the 7 pools when you get back down.
The most beautiful part of the Road to Hana is actually from Hana and to Kaupo, which includes few miles of unpaved one lane road. ** Watch this YouTube Video to see what I mean exciting **. I don’t recommend renting Jeep for more than 2 person on board. Personally, the humid weather can easily make your passenger carsick. Not to mention you don’t have enough space to store your camera equipment and food. We bought a case of bottle of waters from Costco a day before and leave them in the trunk. So a car with air-condition will be a better option than Jeep does. You will get dehydrate fast without knowing it. You will need to expect unexpected rain shower that can get you really wet and cold as well.
Here are my personal tips:
- Get up at 5:00am and get to Paia before 6:00AM
- Prepare your own breakfast, lunch and snack
- Prepare lots water
- Prepare extra pair of dry cloth
- Rent an air-conditioned car for 4 or Jeep for 2
- Don’t forget your sun block. Even though it’s cloud day, the UV index can be very high
- Get the map at the airport. There are people at airport handing you large folding map with mile markers on it. Lots information on the map that can save big bucks on all kind of activities
- Skip the Twin Fall between marker 2-3, which is the only water fall with BIG sign. It’s NOT worth the time
- Stop by as many beaches as possible on the map. There is never two beaches on the island that look the same
- Get to Hana before 1pm. So you will have time to spend at Waimoku fall and drive back.
- Follow the tour bus. When they stop, you stop. The drive knows where the good viewpoint is. Get ready to leave before the bus, so you can follow them.
- Do NOT pass other car at no-passing zone. There is always car came out no where on the other side.
- Don’t miss Waianapanapa State Park (see the picture below) few miles before Hana. There is only a small sign and no marker. The entry is really easy to miss.
- Get to the Waimoku fall Trail at Haleakala National Park before 2PM. So you will have 4 hours to stay there. This is the most famous spot on the road to Hana. See more pictures below.
- Do NOT wear flip-flop to hike to the water fall. there is a lot of bamboo came out no where, which may cut your toes off.
- There is also famous 7 pools down below. Tour bus only stay there for restroom. This is the reason why you want to drive on your own.
It will look just like the picture below. It’s all muddy water and you can’t count the 7 pools.
During the 2 mile hike, you will see this beautiful bamboo forest. They are actually much darker than the pictures are. It’s breath taking! I guarantee!
Finally, you will reach the Waimoku Falls!
Well. After this point you will have lots driving on the unpaved road and them super smooth highway 31. Watch out for the big dump-truck, which will come out as surprise (see the YouTube above).
Super smooth highway 31. Seriously, I mean very SMOOTH. You won’t believe that people are living there!
Well. I hope this guide gives you clear ideas about the road to Hana in Maui. Enjoy and let me know if you discover something else on your road to Hana!