Follow an ancient Hawaiian trail along the famous Hana Highway. Ever since opening in 1927, this Maui activity has inspired travelers on their Maui vacation. Along the way you will cross 59 bridges, snake through 600 curves and pass fruit stands selling homemade banana bread. Gaze at memorable Maui scenes of the azure ocean, black sand Maui beaches, rushing waterfalls and tropical jungles. When the road ends 68 miles later at Hana town, you have the option to continue on the Pi`ilani Highway around the Leeward side of the island to Upcountry Maui.
Maui Tips for Hana Highway and Beyond
- Leave early from your Maui vacation rental. Prepare a picnic lunch and bring water for this all day outing.
- Pack a change of clothes. Include swimwear and hiking shoes.
- Bug repellent and sunscreen are essential.
- Bring your camera and have a fully charged battery. Don’t miss out on any Maui photos.
- Unplug from technology. Let stress fade away.
- Fill your gas tank. There are no stations between Paia and Hana.
- Honk your horn on blind curves. Obey the speed limit. Slow is a good thing.
Paiai – Hana
Hike at Twin Falls if you started early in the day and there are not many cars. Otherwise, keep driving for more adventures ahead including waterfalls. The scenic Ke`anae Peninsula opens up at the 13 mile marker. Turn off at marker 17 to see taro farms and the Old Stone Church that survived a 1946 tidal wave. Back on the highway stop at Ching’s Pond for swimming. Pua`a Ka`a State Park has restrooms (between mile marker 22 and 23). Nahiku road offers a pleasant diversion with one of the best coastline views at the end. If time allows, the National Tropical Botanical Garden (Kahanu) at mile 31 has self guided tours for $10 (closes at 2pm). Enjoy a rest break at Wai`anapanapa Black Sand Beach at marker 32 before driving into Hana.
Hana Town – You made it!
Stop at the Hasegawa General Store for t-shirts, locally made foods and souvenirs. Area Maui beaches include Hamoa which was a favorite of Ernest Hemmingway and is considered one of America’s best beaches. Also notable and worth a visit is the exotic Red Sand Beach (Kaihalulu).
Hana – Kaupo – Makawao
Don’t miss Seven Sacred Pools, “The Pools of `Ohe`o,” which is part of Haleakala National Park. Palapala Ho’omau Church past 41 mile marker is where the world’s greatest aviator, Charles Lindbergh, is buried. There will be only 5 miles of intermittent gravel on the way to Kaupo which is your last place to pick up snacks. Stop near town at St. Joseph’s Church which was built in 1862. This part of the highway feels remote and the road often narrows as it spirals around the spectacular coastline. After Kaupo the pavement returns as the road heads away from the sea on its way up to the 3,000 foot elevation with views of South Maui. Celebrate the end of your day upcountry at Makawao over dinner and talk story.
If you have traveled the Hana Highway we invite you to add your favorite places.