When you’re in Maui, driving the Road to Hana is an absolute must! The long and winding road is full of adventures and some of the most beautiful waterfalls, beaches and hikes in the world. It’s truly an escape from reality. You’ll undoubtedly start feeling like an islander once you get to Hana! I’ve traveled this road over a dozen times and have some tips for you all to make it a great experience. There are many different ideas on how to approach your trip to Hana. Although there are no wrong ways to do the Road to Hana, I do have some tips to make your experience better!
Road to Hana: On the Glow Guide Tips
- Start your journey early in the day at 7:30 or 8am and try to leave Hana by 3pm to avoid driving in the dark.
- You can download the Hana driving tour app and play it in your car. I like to do this, but make sure you spend some time taking all of the beauty in while listening to some great tunes because this drive will transport you physically and mentally.
- To start the driving tour you will reset your odometer in the car to zero at the intersection of Highway 36 and 365.
- Be sure to bring plenty of snacks, waters, picnic lunches, sunblock, hats, rain jackets, hiking shoes, flip-flops, bathing suits, towels, a change of clothes..and of course, a camera!
- The road gets muddy so don’t bring anything you don’t want to get dirty.
- It’s a long day on the road and there aren’t many options to eat so come prepared. There are gorgeous picnic spots. After all, who wants to sit down to eat when there is beauty to be explored?!
- Convertibles are really a fun way to go on this road! The weather can change constantly from rain to shine but it is always beautiful whether it’s cloudy, sunny or pouring down rain.
Skip Mile Marker 9.6: Waikamoi Ridge Trail can be really muddy and there’s so much more to see later!
Mile Marker 10.5: Garden of Eden Arboretum is a must see. These beautiful, perfectly manicured tropical gardens with ocean views are worth the price of admission. $15/person.
Mile Marker 16.8: Ke’anae Arboretum. Stop here if you have the time as you will see incredible rainbow trees!
Mile Marker 20: Beautiful lookout.
Mile Marker 26: Nahiku Village (George Harrison lived here!). This is such a lush town and has a beautiful scenic lookout at the end of the road.
Next stop: If you are a little more daring, you have got to go hang gliding at Hang Gliding Maui. It is an absolutely INCREDIBLE, UNFORGETTABLE experience if you have the time. The best views of Hana can be seen from the sky! You will literally fly through rainbows, waterfalls, over the ocean and through all of the beauty of Hana! You will spend about two hours here.
Mile Marker 30 – Waianapanapa State Park is a MUST DO for beauty and hiking! Spend an hour here. It’s magical with the black sand beach and blowholes.
Hike Pipiwai Trail at the Seven Sacred Pools – Oheo Gulch. The beauty will take your breath away and the hike is moderate so you will work up a sweat after all the driving! The cost is $20/per car entry and worth every penny.
Spend 2-3 hours hiking through the bamboo forest. Waimoku Falls is the highlight and will not disappoint. When you think it can’t get any better, you end at the Seven Sacred Pools which are just stunning. I like to spend an hour here exploring, meditating, or having a picnic and deep moment with my honey.
If you decide to stay in Hana, I would recommend two nights. The Travaasa Hana resort is one of my all time favorite resorts. It’s so beautiful and peaceful and most rooms have incredible ocean views. The pool is spectacular as well!
Most visitors decide to go back at the end of the road, by driving the Road to Hana back the way they came. If you decide to drive the road all the way through, begin around 3pm to make sure you don’t miss the sunlight. The unpaved road can get tricky but it’s a beautiful drive full of rainbows and views and it will only take you a couple of hours before you’re back to your hotel.
At the end of this journey, you will most likely be a changed person for life! Your soul will be enriched by the mystical beauty of Hana.
Check out my Maui Guide for more travel tips on Maui!
Mama on the Glow