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Road To Hana Visitors Guide

What To Know About Hawaii's Most Beautiful Drive

Last Updated on July 13, 2024 ⋅ Written by Vanessa Howard ⋅ Edited by Laura Schulthies

Road To Hana Guide
Road To Hana Guide

Welcome to The Road To Hana

Hawaii’s scenic Road to Hana drive is considered one of the best road trip destinations in the United States. This 64-mile route on the island of Maui connects you with some of the most beautiful landscapes on the Hawaiian Islands. When it comes to driving Maui’s famous Hana Highway, it’s about both the journey and the destination. To help you plan your adventure on the Road to Hana, here is everything you need to know about this scenic drive!

Hawaii’s scenic Road to Hana drive is considered one of the best road trip destinations in the United States. This 64-mile route on the island of Maui connects you with some of the most beautiful landscapes on the Hawaiian Islands. When it comes to driving Maui’s famous Hana Highway, it’s about both the journey and the destination. To help you plan your adventure on the Road to Hana, here is everything you need to know about this scenic drive!

Maui Map

Maui Map

Contents

What Is The Road To Hana?

What Is The Road To Hana?

The Road to Hana, officially named the Hana Highway, is a 64-mile winding highway on the Hawaiian Island of Maui that connects Kahului and Hana. It also connects visitors to verdant rainforests, epic waterfalls, colorful tropical flowers, lava tubes, and pristine Maui beaches. The road is notoriously narrow and winds through the beautiful landscape with over 600 curves and several dozen one-lane bridges.

  If a self-guided road trip on the Road to Hana sounds intimidating, you can book a Road to Hana Van Tour and leave the driving to someone else!

When To Drive The Road To Hana
When To Drive The Road To Hana

When To Drive The Road To Hana

Most drivers who road trip on the Road to Hana start sometime between 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Beginning at this time is great for photos, and all the sites along the way will be open, but you may have to deal with a lot of traffic along this scenic route.

We recommend considering leaving early in the morning because it optimizes your time on the route and increases the number of stops you can make during your drive. Leaving early in the morning also means you may not have to deal with heavy traffic while driving on the Road to Hana.

Road To Hana Route Options
Road To Hana Route Options

Road To Hana Route Options

While the Road to Hana is fairly simple and straightforward, there are a few options for structuring your day. If this is your first time driving the Road to Hana, you might want to stick with the classic Road to Hana route, or have an adventure and choose one of the other options.

The “Classic Road to Hana Route” follows Maui’s northeastern coast and takes you from Kahului to the town of Hana.

The “Circle Tour Route” is an extended version of the “Classic” Hana Route that allows you to complete a loop around the eastern part of Maui, rather than retracing your steps back to Kahului or the starting point. This route typically involves taking the Hana Highway to Hana town, continuing past Hana, and then returning to the central part of Maui via the Piilani Highway or the “Backside of Hana.”

The “Road to Hana Reverse Drive” route is essentially the classic Road to Hana route, but it involves driving it in reverse, starting from Hana and heading back towards Kahului. This approach allows you to experience the road and its attractions from a different perspective and may help you avoid some of the crowds that tend to start their journey from Kahului in the morning.

The 8 Best Stops On The Road to Hana
The 8 Best Stops On The Road to Hana

The 8 Best Stops On The Road to Hana

Top Highlights

The Road to Hana has many fantastic stops and overlooks, and there is something for everyone. Twin Falls is the first stop for many Road to Hana drivers. However, this stop is often crowded, and the waterfall is small. Instead, we recommend beginning your Road to Hana trip at the Waikamoi Ridge Trail at mile marker 9.

Road To Hana Guide - Waikamoi Ridge Trail
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Waikamoi Ridge Trail
Waikamoi Ridge Trail
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Waikamoi Ridge Trail (Mile Marker 9)

If you are looking for a short stroll through the rainforest, make sure to stop at the Waikamoi Ridge Trail. The 0.8-mile loop trail takes about 30 minutes to complete, with the option to take an extension of similar length. It’s a great place to stretch your legs while taking the drive. The trail can be muddy after rain, so wear sturdy shoes.

Road To Hana Guide - Garden Of Eden
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Garden Of Eden
Road To Hana Guide - Garden Of Eden
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Garden Of Eden (Mile Marker 10)

The Garden of Eden is one of the best botanical gardens in Maui. There is an admission price, but the beautiful 26-acre gardens are meticulously maintained and worth a visit. The stop offers several great panoramic overlooks of the Pacific, and you can also view both Lower and Upper Puohokamoa Falls from here. Keep an eye out for Keopuka Rock, which is highlighted in Jurassic Park!

Right before you exit the grounds, there’s a stand where you can grab some delicious homemade ice cream!

Road To Hana Guide - Kaumahina Wayside Park
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Kaumahina Wayside Park
Road To Hana Guide - Kaumahina Wayside Park
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Kaumahina Wayside Park (Mile Marker 12)

The Kaumahina Wayside Park is the first stop along the Road to Hana with public restroom facilities. The 8-acre park offers excellent views of the ocean and the eastern coast of Maui. You will find plenty of shade, picnic tables, and walking paths to explore. The park also makes a great return stop if you take the classic Road to Hana driving route.

At this stop, you can grab some Aunty Sandy’s Banana bread, which is famous in Maui.

  ISLAND LIFE TRAVEL TIP : GET TRAVEL INSURANCE

When planning a vacation, Travel Insurance is a must in our opinion. Travel insurance typically covers you for trip cancellation, lost or stolen luggage (it happens), health issues, flight delays, missed connections and more. We think it’s a no brainer and should be factored into any significant trip budget. You can easily compare the top-rated travel insurance plans here.

Road To Hana Guide - Keanae Peninsula
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Visit The Bishops Museum
Road To Hana Guide - Keanae Peninsula
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Keanae Peninsula (Mile Marker 17)

This small village is an interesting (and somewhat heartbreaking) historical stop on the Road To Hana. In 1946, the peninsula was ravaged by a tsunami that killed all 24 children and the teacher in the town’s school. The only building that remains today is an old stone church, and most of the peninsula is a working farm.

The end of the Kenea Peninsula is a great place to take in some beautiful views. You will likely have it to yourself as most people don’t take the time to drive that far on the peninsula as they rush to see more of the Road to Hana. We think it’s worth a stop however if you have the time.

Road To Hana Guide - Puaa Kaa State Park
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Puaa Kaa State Park
Road To Hana Guide - Puaa Kaa State Park
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Puaa Kaa State Park (Mile Marker 22)

Puaa Kaa State Park is a popular stop along the Road To Hana because it allows a quick bathroom break. While here, you can also take a refreshing dip in the waterfall pool. At this stop, tables are available for picnic lunch, but most people only spend around thirty minutes at Puaa Kaa State Park.

Road To Hana Guide - Kaeleku Cave - Hana Lava Tube
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Kaeleku Cave - Hana Lava Tube
Road To Hana Guide - Kaeleku Cave - Hana Lava Tube
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Kaeleku Cave - Hana Lava Tube (Mile Marker 31)

A can’t miss stop on the Road to Hana, the Kaeleku Cave provides you with the unique chance to walk through a lava tube in Hawaii. This experience is unique to Hawaii and does require an entry fee. As you go underground at this stop, make sure you wear closed toed shoes for the adventure.

Road To Hana Guide - Waianapanapa State Park
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Waianapanapa State Park
Road To Hana Guide - Waianapanapa State Park
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Waianapanapa State Park (Mile Marker 32)

Featuring one of the only black sand beaches on the island of Maui, Waianapanapa State Park is an excellent stop along the Road to Hana. All non-Hawaii resident visitors must purchase an entrance pass and a parking reservation. There is an exception for children 3 years old and younger who can enter the park for free.

Waianapanapa State Park is a great place to stretch your legs and, explore the black sand beach, lava caves, and watching for sea turtles. Make sure to wear shoes on the black sand beaches as the sun makes them hotter than other beaches.

 Check out this epic tour of Maui exploring Hana, Black Sand Beaches, and Waterfalls.

Road To Hana Guide - Hana Town
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Hana Town
Road To Hana Guide - Hana Town
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Hana Town

Hana is the perfect combination of a laid back beach town and quaint time capsule. The town has remained relatively unchanged for years. A quick tour of the Hana Tropicals Flower Farm allows you to take in or buy some of the colorful blooms at the farm. Or head to one of the many beaches in the area for some fun in the sun. There are also plenty of charming shops and places to purchase souvenirs. Hana is a fantastic place to grab lunch at Da Fish Shack or the Hana Ranch Restaurant.

Road To Hana Guide
Road To Hana Guide

Stops Beyond The Road To Hana

For those wanting to continue on the Hana Highway, there are several stops past Hana town that are worth seeing.

Road To Hana Guide - Haleakala National Park
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Haleakala National Park
Road To Hana Guide - Haleakala National Park
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Haleakala National Park

Haleakala National Park is stunningly beautiful with its rugged coastline and stark volcanic landscape. The park offers camping, hiking, and epic sunrise views from the summit. You’ll need to pay a $30 entrance fee that’s good for 3 consecutive days. Some of the most popular hikes in the park include Seven Sacred Pools Trail (see below), Waimoku Falls via Pipiwai Trail (see below), and Sliding Sands Trail.

  Check out a number of excellent day tours to Haleakala National Park.

   Or take a guided mountain biking tour through Haleakala National Park.

  For the best views of the park check out this 45 Minutes Helicopter Tour!

Road To Hana Guide - Oheo Gulch
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Oheo Gulch
Road To Hana Guide - Oheo Gulch
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Oheo Gulch (Mile Marker 42)

The Oheo Gulch is part of Haleakala National Park and is about 15 minutes past Hana town. Also known as Seven Sacred Pools, you will need to pay the entrance fee for Haleakala National Park to enjoy the trails and natural pools at this stop. Highlights of the Oheo Gulch include the Pipiwai Trail, Waimoku Falls, and the Kuloa Point Trail.

  For more information, check out our Maui Waterfalls Guide.

Road To Hana Guide - Wailua Falls
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Wailua Falls
Road To Hana Guide - Wailua Falls
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Wailua Falls (Mile Marker 45)

Cascading a stunning 80 feet down the side of a jungle wall into a lovely pool below, Wailua Falls is easily one of Maui’s most accessible and majestic falls. There is no hiking required, that’s right, zero hiking to see this beautiful waterfall!

  For more information, check out our Maui Waterfalls Guide.

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