Road to Hana the Ultimate Guide

The quintessential road trip in Maui is the beautiful road to Hana. The road has over a dozen waterfalls, beautiful beaches, and stunning scenery. It is possible to take a road to Hana tour. However, this trip is completely doable independently but does need some confidence in driving abilities.

Don’t miss this amazing road trip. It likely will be a highlight the vacation. Our road to Hana guide covers 15 best places to see, tips for driving, and a printable map and PDF. This all in one guide includes everything to know about the Road to Hana.

Ready for the most epic road trip in Hawaii? Our Road to Hana Ultimate Guide covers the 15 best stops, a printable PDF Map, and tips for the highway to Hana. We go into detail about beaches, lookouts, waterfalls, hiking, bamboo forest, Red Sand beaches, and other instagrammable places. Our PDF map makes it easy. #roadtrip #hana #maui #hawaii By: Beard and Curly (@beardandcurly)

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Road to Hana Tips

We recommend going to Ho’okipa and the Twin Falls on a separate day combined with Baldwin Beach and the historic town of Paia.

Start the Road to Hana early. Plan to be at the first stop of Ho’okipa before 7 am to make ensure have enough time to complete the entire journey.

Many who make this trip to Hana drive to the National Park, and turn around to drive back. We recommend to continue to Kaupo and drive on the Piilani Highway (Route 31) back to Kahului.

Try to make it there to see sunset by leaving the Seven Sacred Pools no later than 4:30 pm in winter and 5:30 pm in the summer.  Our favorites spots below are marked with asterisks (***).

PDF Download: Printable PDF Map and Best Stops on the Road to Hana: The Ultimate Guide

How long is the Road to Hana

Paia to Hana: 45 miles, 2 hours (driving with no stops)

Hana to Ohe’o (Seven Sacred Pools and Bamboo Forrest): 10 miles, 35 minutes

Ohe’o to Kula: 40 miles, 1 hour 45 minutes

Kula to Kahalui: 14 miles, 25 minutes

 

Petrol on the Hana Highway

Before leaving for an epic road trip, make sure to fill up on petrol. There are limited gas stations on the Hana Highway. Haiku has a couple of gas stations, and after that, the next station is in Hana. Trust us, don’t want to get stuck on the Hana Highway without gas!

If making a loop and driving around the backside of Haleakala past Volcanoes National Park, the next station after Hana is in Kula. It is only 84 miles between Haiku and Kula via Kaupo, however with all the stops and slow driving roads make sure to fill up in Hana.

Where to Stay in Hana

Another great option is to break up the road trip into a two days. It would be great to stay in an adorable bed and breakfast or guesthouse in Hana. Everything south of Hana and within Volcanoes National Park could be done on the second day, giving more time for exploring each stop and relaxing on the stunning beaches. I could stay at Kaihalulu Beach (Red Sand Beach) for hours, and this also allows for more time to take pictures too!

Guesthouse in HanaHeavenly Hana Paradise is a charming guesthouse with a garden room for $160.

Airbnb in Hana: Stay at this cozy home near Hana for $100.

 

15 Best Road to Hana Stops

 

1. Ho’okipa Beach Park***

This an amazing place to spot sea turtles and watch big wave surfing. Turtles come up and sunbathe on the beach usually arriving an hour before sunset. There is normally a rope in the sand to prevent overcrowding the turtles. If planning to take photos bring a zoom lens for some great shots but a camera phone will still capture these beautiful creatures. This is a great stop for sunrise or sunset. There is a small walkway down to a lookout to watch the surfers.

Waves crashing on beautiful rock formations in Ho'okipa Beach Park

Ho’okipa Beach Park

 

2. Twin Falls***

Location: Mile Marker #2

This stop has not two but three waterfalls. The walk to the first two falls takes about 10 minutes. The best waterfall is the last one, a 20-minute walk. There are signs posted warning tourists that it is a difficult hike. Anyone reasonably fit should have no problem. If time allows, bring a swimsuit for a dip.

Girl in yellow underneath waterfalls at Twin Falls Maui

Upper Falls at Twin Falls

 

3. Kaumahina Wayside Lookout

Location: Before Mile Marker #17

This lookout is a quick stop the check out the dramatic coastline on the Hana Highway.

View at Kaumahina Wayside Lookout

Kaumahina Wayside Lookout

 

4. Wailua Lookout

Location: Mile Marker #19

This is another quick stop to a lookout with scenic coast views.

Scenery of coast at Wailua Lookout

Wailua Lookout

 

5. Upper Waikani Falls

Location: After Mile Marker #19

There is no parking for this waterfall so it is best to drive by slowly and look at it from the car.

Beautiful lush Waikani Waterfalls on the road to Hana

Upper Waikani Falls

 

6. West Wailua Iki Waterfalls

Location: Mile Marker #22

Another drive-by waterfall with parking past the bridge on the right. Be careful crossing the road.

Green West Wailua Iki Waterfalls underneath bridge

West Wailua Iki Waterfalls

 

7. Pua’a Ka’a State Wayside***

Location: Mile Marker #22

Definitely worth a stop this was one of our favorite waterfalls on the trip.  There is a short walk to the waterfalls and a small picnic area available.

 

Road to Hana, Road to Hana Ultimate Guide, Check out more at www.beardandcurly.com

Pua’a Ka’a State Wayside Waterfall

 

 

8. Hana Lava Tube

Location: Mile Marker #31

If visting the Big Island it is best to skip this stop. Volcanoes National Park on the the Big Island has very impressive lava tubes. It is very difficult to fit the lava tube into a full day on the road trip to Hana. It is only open from 10:30 am-4:00 pm. If leaving early it will be closed when driving by. If there is time, it is a pretty interesting stop for those who have never seen a lava tube before. Cost is $12 per person.

 

9. Wai’anapanapa State Park***

Location: Mile Marker #32

This is one of my favorite stops, however, try to get here early as it tends to get very crowded.  The black sand beach is great for photos.  Make sure to go into the cave on the right side of the beach.  There are a few hiking trails to explore in the park. The park has a nice picnic area available.

Cave to the ocean with waves at Wai'anapanapa State Park

Wai’anapanapa State Park

 

10. Hana: Kaihalulu Beach***

This is our favorite stop on the Road to Hana.  Just after Hana at the end of Uakea Road, there is a small trail to Kaihalulu Beach (Red Sand Beach).  It is absolutely gorgeous.  This may be the most beautiful beach in all of Hawaii, don’t miss this stop! The trail is short but steep so bring sneakers.  This is a great beach to swim at.

Incredible view of red beach and red rocks at Kaihalulu Beach

Kaihalulu Beach (Red Sand Beach)

 

11. Koki Beach

Located off of Haneo’o Road this pretty beach has a picnic area.  Worth a stop for some photos.

Woman in green flowing dress running on volcanic sand Koki Beach

Koki Beach

 

12. Hamoa Beach

Hamoa is located just past Koki Beach on Haneo’o Road. This is a white sand beach great for swimming and surfing.

Scenic perspective of Hamoa Beach surrounding by bushes and white sand

Hamoa Beach

 

13. Ohe’o Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools)***

Location: Mile Marker #42

The Ohe’o Gulch is known for the Seven Sacred Pools. This is a short 0.5-mile hike to the seven pools. This is part of Haleakala National Park. Fees include $20 for 3 days or $25 for the year for one vehicle. If going to see Haleakala make sure to go with 3 days.

Note: Since January of 2017, the pools are closed to swimming due to landslides. It is not possible to swim in the pools but the walk still has excellent viewpoints.

 

Large waterfall at Seven Sacred Pools, Ohe'o Gulch

Seven Sacred Pools

 

14. Pipiwai Trail***

Location: Mile Marker #42

This trail is a beautiful and easy hike through a bamboo forest. The hike is 4 miles long. It ends at Waimoku Falls. Allow at least 2.5-3 hours if hiking the full trail. This trail is also part of Haleakala National Park which has entrance fees.

Looking up at the massive amount of bamboo trees on the Pipiwai Trail

Bamboo Forest on Pipiwai Trail

 

15. Piilani Highway 

A perfect way to finish an epic road trip is to continue on the road past Ohe’o on the Piilani Highway. The drive is absolutely stunning. It is a bit rugged with about 12 miles of curvy dirt roads. Driving in this area for sunset is a must.

Piilani Highway vista at sunset with nice clouds

Piilani Highway

 

 

Other Points of Interest

Hanawai Falls: Mile Marker #24.  Drive-by waterfall.

Makapiki Falls: Mile Marker #25.  Drive-by waterfall.

Hana:  A good place to stop for lunch.

Natural Arch: Mile Marker #29.  It is difficult to stop for this arch but easy to see off the side of the road.

South Wailua Waterfall: Just north of the Ohe’o Gulch, this 100-foot waterfall is good for a swim.

 

 

 

Tips & What to Bring on the Road to Hana Road Trip

  • Leave before 7 am

  • Bring lunch/water/snacks for the day

  • Bring bathing suits, comfortable walking shoes

  • A light rain jacket as this area gets a lot of rain

  • Sunblock and bug spray for the beach or hiking in Volcanoes

  • Fill up on gas before leaving

  • Make sure to Hike Pipwai Trail and see Haleakala within 3 days to only pay one fee

  • Be ready to make lots of stops, and drive safely

 

 

PDF Download: Printable PDF Map and Best Stops on the Road to Hana: The Ultimate Guide

 

 

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Ready for the most epic road trip in Hawaii? Our Road to Hana Ultimate Guide covers the 15 best stops, a printable PDF Map, and tips for the highway to Hana. We go into detail about beaches, lookouts, waterfalls, hiking, bamboo forest, Red Sand beaches, and other instagrammable places. Our PDF map makes it easy. #roadtrip #hana #maui #hawaii By: Beard and Curly (@beardandcurly)

 

 

 

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2 comments on “Road to Hana the Ultimate Guide”

  1. bob bobbertson Reply

    Maui is beautiful however crime and homelessnes is out of control. Anytime you get out of your car, take everything with you or your windows will be busted and your car cleaned out. You’ll see cars stripped, and some burned, all along the roads. Every beach park is considered public space so there are large amounts of homeless people hanging out at the beach parks and most have tent cities setup. From my experience this past July, most Hawaiians outside the hotels and restaurants, do not care for tourists and are rude. It’s best to avoid the locals. We were even asked to leave a beach by a lifegaurd because we were not local.

    • Beard and Curly Reply

      Bob,

      Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I find being nice to others brings good energy and others being nice back to you. There is a long history of Hawaii and its integration into the United States that still has an impact today on land ownership and the cost of living is very high today because of this impact. I love Hawaii, and yes you do need to be careful at certain places such as beaches with valuables in cars, but is this any different than San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, Philly, Boston, or other places in the US? Lets appreciate Hawaii for what it has to offer.

      Thanks.

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