Checklist of the Best Road to Hana Stops and Useful Tips

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The Best Road to Hana stops are plentiful and varied, making it a difficult task to choose just a few. Don’t worry, we will offer some best roads to Hana stops that absolutely make the most of your journey on the legendary Hana Highway.

What to know before taking the Road to Hana?

How many stops does the Road to Hana have?

There are over 40 stops on the Road to Hana, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The winding road takes visitors through some of the most beautiful scenery on Maui, with waterfalls, rainforests, and coastal views around every bend.

Read more: The Best Things To Do In Hana – The Ultimate List

How long does Road to Hana take with stops? -Start from Paia to the town of Hana?

The Road to Hana is a 64.4-mile-long highway. The average journey to Hana is six hours. On the way back, you shouldn’t stop, so the return trip should take three hours. 

Is it difficult to drive on Road to Hana?

Yes, it can be difficult to drive on the Road to Hana. The narrow, winding roads make it easy to lose your bearings, and there are few areas where you can pull over if you need to take a break. Additionally, unless you plan to stay in Hana overnight, be sure to return to Pa’ia before sundown. The trek is tough even during daylight hours; at night, the single-lane bridges and winding roads become a dangerous obstacle course. And there are few street lights available along the way.

What time should you start Road to Hana?

Most people recommend starting the drive early in the morning, as it can get very crowded later in the day. And the optimum months to go to Maui are April through May and September through November. The pleasant weather Hawaii visitors desire without the high prices and mass crowds that accompany the summer and winter.

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Where do you start Road to Hana?

It depends on where you are coming from. If you are coming from Kahului, the beginning of the road is just past the airport. If you are coming from Paia, the beginning of the road is about 16 miles up road.

Do I need a Jeep for Road to Hana?

There are a few reasons why hiring a Jeep might be a good idea for the Road to Hana. For one, Jeeps can handle the rough terrain and steep cliffs that are common along the route. Plus, It has plenty of space for gear and luggage. It’s also worth noting that Jeeps are more expensive to rent than most other types of cars, so if you’re on a tight budget, renting one may not be feasible.

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Is it better to drive the Road to Hana or take a tour?

There is no right answer when it comes to deciding whether to drive the Road to Hana or take a tour. Both have their own benefits and drawbacks. 

Driving the Road to Hana is a great way to get a sense of the island’s natural beauty and see all the sights that the highway has to offer.  However, this option allows for more flexibility and independence, and you can stop whenever you want for photos or a picnic lunch.

Tours are a great option if you’re not comfortable driving on your own and can also be a great way to learn about Hawaii’s history and culture. However, they can be more expensive than driving yourself, and you may not have as much time to explore at each stop.

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What should I skip on Road to Hana? 

There are a few things that you should skip on the Road to Hana. For starters, you can skip the stop at Twin Falls. The waterfall is pretty, but it’s not worth the long hike. You can also skip the stop at Kaupo General Store. The store is cute, but there’s not much there. Finally, you can skip the stop at the bamboo forest. The forest is beautiful, but it’s a long walk and there’s not much to see.

However, you genuinely enjoy this location, therefore there is no reason to prevent you; we are merely expressing our personal perspective.

And DO NOT go to Red Sand Beach. You’d need to cross private property and ignore trespassing signs to get there, which is clearly illegal. Plus, the trail can be washed out and slippery, making it dangerous. People require rescuing from this place all too frequently!

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Places to stop on Road to Hana

Ho’okipa Beach Park (MM 9)

After leaving Paia and turning onto Highway 36, Ho’okipa Beach Park will be on your left. One of the most amazing spots on earth for windsurfing, pull into the upper gravel parking area and halt.

The professionals compete here. When the circumstances are favorable, there are a lot of big-wave surfers in this area as well. A fantastic place to see humpback whales in the winter, usually between October and March, is Ho’oKipa.

Green sun turtles from Hawaii occasionally sun themselves here as well. Make sure to give them a lot of space because these turtles is a threatened species

hookipa beach park 1
Photo of Falco Ermert

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Twin Falls (MM 2)

As the first of many waterfalls along the Road to Hana, Twin Falls is a well-liked stop. Keep an eye out for the bridge near Mile Marker 2. A sizable parking area with a fruit stand is located just to the right of that. Consider buying some fresh fruit or juice here; it’s one of the finest fruit stands on the Road to Hana. 

Plus, always be aware of your boundaries and check the weather before venturing outside because conditions might change quickly.

twin falls
Photo by Karen Portin

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Eucalyptus Rainbow Trees (MM 7)

You may find this amazing painted forest of rainbow Eucalyptus trees only a short distance down the road, close to Mile Marker 7—on the left side of the road if you’re traveling in the direction of Hana.

Pay close attention because the colors may appear a little muted from the road. Only warm, humid temperatures are suitable for these lovely trees, which are native to an island in the Philippines. The outer bark layers, which peel away gradually and at various speeds throughout time to reveal this lovely pallet of colors, are where the rainbow colors originate.

Be advised that there is just a little parking shoulder available here, and only a few automobiles may fit on it. Be careful and keep an eye out for traffic. If you go too far, you can always stroll back down the road.

eucalyptus rainbow trees
Photo by Niall Fritz

Garden of Eden Arboretum (MM 10)

A 26-acre wonderland of gardens is the Garden of Eden Arboretum! The admittance charge for adults was $15. 

2.5 miles of paved walking pathways offer breathtaking views of the ocean, valley, and waterfall. It’s a nice pit break because it has a Hawaii restaurant, a food truck, and restrooms. Plan to savor this place’s beauty for about 30 minutes.

garden of eden arboretum
Photo of Thomas Hawk

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Ke‘anae Peninsula (MM 13)

In the nineteenth century, a Hawaiian hamlet that produced taro called home on this low-lying peninsula. In 1946, a tsunami nearly entirely destroyed it.

The lava beaches that are more frequently seen on Hawaii’s Big Island can now be seen here, which makes it an excellent location. Although there is no swimming allowed in this wild water, it makes for the ideal photo opportunity.

ke‘anae peninsula
Photo courtesy of Ke‘anae Peninsula

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Honomanū Bay (MM 14)

From the Honomanu Bay Lookout on the Hana Highway, you may also enjoy a good view of the Ke’Anae peninsula.

Swimming is not advised in Honomanu Bay; the surf can be dangerous. Here, winter waves might reach 20 feet or more!

But if you want to see the gravel beach, you can take a route just past Mile Marker 14 (which begins paved before turning into dirt).

Alternately, continue driving for another half mile to reach a pullout with a stunning view. It is located immediately after Kaumahina State Wayside Park.

honomanu bay 1
Photo by jim hall

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Halfway to Hana (MM 17)

Since 1982, this tiny fruit stand has been a pleasant place for guests. Halfway to Hana is one of the locations where you may try the well-known banana bread, which is made with bananas that have been farmed right here on the Road to Hana.

(As an alternative, consider Aunt Sandy’s banana bread. Just after Mile Marker 16, turn left onto Keanae Road)

Shave ice (sample the pineapple and passion fruit flavors), ice cream, burgers, sandwiches, and other items are also available here.

halfway to han
Photo courtesy of Yelp

Wailua Valley State Wayside (MM 18.8)

This is just a quick stop to get relax, but get out of the car to have a better look. Go slowly because it’s simple to miss this stop.

A little area with three parking spaces and a set of steps will be visible. You may enjoy a magnificent view of Wailua Valley State Wayside and the taro fields by climbing the stairs to the top. Then turn around and admire the valley’s imposingly sheer walls as you gaze back towards the mountain.

wailua valley state wayside
Photo by Andrew Brown

Upper Waikani Falls (MM 19 to 20)

Upper Waikani Falls are located a half mile up the road once you pass Mile Marker 19. 

Drive slowly because it’s not really indicated. Keep driving another tenth of a mile past the falls and then turn around to avoid getting a ticket and any “no parking” signs you may encounter. From the side of the road, which is what many tourists do, you may capture some lovely pictures of the falls.

Take a quick stroll down from the road to the pools below the falls, though, if you’re up for something a little more daring. Be cautious of conditions to prevent slipping as the trail’s beginning can be a little hazardous.

If the falls are flowing, avoid going down and do not, under any circumstances, jump off the cliffs. It’s unsafe since there are too many rocks there.

upper waikani falls
Photo of Rick Vega

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Pua’a Ka’a State Wayside (MM 22 to 23)

A little waterfall may be found among the five acres of rainforest that make up Pua’a Ka’a State Wayside Park on the mountainside of the highway. The best justification for stopping here is to use the restroom.

Since you’re already here, think about taking the quick Pua’a Ka’a Falls Trail. Small waterfalls can be found along the way of this short, simple climb. To get to these swimming holes, you’ll need to proceed past the path closed sign, which sometimes reappears and vanishes.

If you’re pushed for time, though, there are certainly more productive ways to spend your time along the Hana Highway!

puaa kaa state wayside 1024x576
Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

Read more: What Are The Most Beautiful Kauai Waterfalls?

Hāna Farms Roadside Stand, Pizza Oven and Bakery (MM 31)

You need to know that The farm-to-table experience at Hāna Farms Roadside Stand, Pizza Oven and Bakery is unrivaled. From the moment you pull up, you can see the fresh produce that is grown on site.

The pizza oven is a real showstopper. It’s a massive, wood-fired oven that cooks pies to perfection.

The bakery is stocked with homemade breads, pastries and desserts. You won’t find anything like it anywhere else on the island.

Read more: Best Breakfast Places in Lahaina: 15 Must-try Restaurants

Waiʻānapanapa State Park (MM 32)

There are plenty of reasons why you should visit Waiʻānapanapa State Park, but here are just a few! 

The park is home to stunning black sand beaches Hawaii, lush green cliffs, and crystal-clear waters. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Hawaiʻi.

The park is also a great place for outdoor activities. You can hike the trails, explore the caves, go swimming, snorkeling, and diving, and much more.

Waiʻānapanapa State Park is an important part of Hawaiʻi’s history. It was once the home of a powerful chief named Waiʻānapanapa. There are also several archaeological sites in the park that offer a glimpse into the past.

So if you’re looking for a beautiful and interesting place to visit in Hawaiʻi, be sure to check out Waiʻānapanapa State Park!

waiʻanapanapa state park 1
Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

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Road to Hana stops map

If you don’t have the time to travel all of the ways to Hana from Haleiwa, we suggest stopping at four locations that will keep you entertained.

Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees

The Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees are a must-see on the road to Hana. The trees are so named because their bark peels off in long strips, revealing a rainbow of colors underneath. The trees are a beautiful sight to see, and they’re sure to make your drive down the winding road even more enjoyable.

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Hana Farms Snack Stand

Offering up everything from local fruit to barbecue chicken, this little stand has something for everyone. Plus, with prices that won’t break the bank, it’s a great option for those on a budget.

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Wai‘anapanapa State Park

Wai‘anapanapa State Park is located in Hana, on the east coast of Maui. The park is home to a black sand beach, a lava tube Maui cave, and several hiking trails. The park can be reached via the road to Hana, and reservations are required for camping.

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Pipiwai Trail

The Pipiwai Trail is one of the most popular hikes on the Road to Hana. The hike winds through a beautiful bamboo forest and offers amazing views of the ocean and Haleakala Crater. The trail is about 4 miles long and takes about 3 hours to hike.

pipiwai trail
Photo by Clark Thompson

Tips for stopping on the Road to Hana

1. If you’re planning on driving the Road to Hana, it’s important to know how to properly stop your car. There are a few key things to remember: first, make sure you use your parking brake; second, always turn off your engine; and third, make sure your car is in gear (either park or reverse). Failure to follow these tips can lead to accidents and damage to your car.

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2. Another important thing to remember when driving the Road to Hana is to obey the speed limit. There are a lot of narrow, winding roads on this route, so it’s important to drive slowly and carefully. Not only will this help keep you safe, but it will also allow you to enjoy the scenery and lush rainforest that surrounds you.

3. Finally, be prepared for sudden weather changes, which can occur at any time.

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Where to stay on the Road to Hana?

Looking for a place to stay on the Road to Hana? Check out our list of the best places to stay!

Paia Inn (mid-range)

Paia Inn is a mid-range hotel in the town of Paia on the island of Maui. It offers comfortable rooms with air conditioning and free Wi-Fi, as well as an outdoor pool and a hot tub. The inn is within walking distance of shops, restaurants, and bars, and it is a short drive from popular Maui beaches such as Wailea and Kapalua.

paia inn 1024x768
Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

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The Mauian Hotel (mid-range)

The Mauian Hotel is a mid-range hotel located in Waikiki. It’s within walking distance of the Hawaii beach and offers a variety of room types, from standard guest rooms to suites. The hotel has an on-site restaurant, bar, and pool, as well as a fitness center. It’s also close to shopping and other attractions in Waikiki.

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Maui Seaside Hotel (budget)

The Maui Seaside Hotel is a great choice for budget-minded travelers. The hotel is located right on the beach and offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Rooms are spacious and well-appointed, and the hotel’s amenities include a swimming pool, a hot tub, and a fitness center. Dining options include a restaurant and a lounge, both of which offer amazing ocean views.

maui seaside hotel 1024x768
Photo courtesy of Maui Seaside Hotel

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Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea (luxury)

The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is a luxurious resort located on the island of Maui. The resort offers spacious accommodations, a world-class spa, and stunning ocean views. Guests can enjoy a variety of activities including Maui golf, tennis, and snorkeling.

four seasons resort maui at wailea 819x1024
Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

Fairmont Kea Lani (luxury)

Fairmont Kea Lani Resort is one of the most luxurious resorts in all of the best islands to visit in Hawaii. The resort offers guests stunning ocean views, private beaches, and an array of top-notch amenities. Some of the highlights include a world-class spa, championship golf course, and award-winning restaurants

fairmont kea lani 1024x683
Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

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The Back Road to Hana

This section is intended to answer many people’s questions if you want to go through Hana, can you continue from here because it is said that going forward is dangerous and not allowed?

What is the back Road to Hana?

The back Road to Hana is an unpaved road that leads to the town of Hana. The road is narrow and winding, and it is often difficult to navigate. The road is also dangerous, and it is not recommended for inexperienced drivers.

Is driving past Hana illegal?

It is also an unauthorized section of the road. Most of the major rental car companies specify certain roads and sections of roads as “unauthorized roads”.

Actually, there is some debate over whether or not driving past the back Road to Hana is illegal. Some people say that it is because there are specific laws prohibiting this type of activity. However, others argue that there is no law against it and that it is simply a matter of common courtesy to not drive past by the back Road to Hana.

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Should you drive the back Road to Hana?

There are a few things to consider when deciding whether or not to drive the back Road to Hana. The first is that the road is a bit more dangerous than the main highway, so you’ll need to be extra careful when driving it. The second is that the drive takes a bit longer than taking the main highway, so you’ll need to be patient and prepared for a long journey.

Overall, whether or not to drive the back Road to Hana is up to you and depends on your comfort level with driving in difficult conditions and your willingness to take on a long drive. Just be sure to plan and make sure you have enough time to make the trip!

Why you should not drive beyond the Kipahulu region?

1. This region is a beautiful and secluded area on Maui, but it is also an unauthorized section of the road. Driving beyond this point is dangerous and can result in fines or even arrests. There are no services available in this area, so if you find yourself stranded, you will be on your own

2. Kipahulu is a treacherous, dangerous place to drive and should only be attempted by experienced drivers. The roads are rough, narrow, and prone to mudslides, meaning that it’s easy to get stuck or lose control of your vehicle. There are also many unpaved sections, which can be difficult to navigate in the dark or during bad weather.

3. This is an isolated part of the island. There are no services or shops in the area. So boring!

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Best stops on the back Road to Hana

Hamoa Beach (MM 51)

You’ll drive onto Haneo’o Road past Koki Beach and the town of Hana, about a half-mile past milepost 51, until one of Maui’s most stunning beaches—Hamoa Beach—comes into view.

This beach has lovely golden sand, clear water, quiet areas, and some of the greatest body surfing on Maui. (But refrain when the surf is strong!) There are coastal cliffs and a plethora of beautiful greenery surrounding this long and wide beach.

The resort has provided restrooms, showers, and picnic tables here. You can take a shuttle here if you’re staying at the Hana-Maui Resort, which is everyone’s favorite in-town destination for accommodations.

hamoa beach 2
Photo by Kris Nelson

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Wailua Falls (MM 45)

Wailua Falls is the ideal rest area along the route to Hana for a number of reasons. 

The falls are first and foremost very spectacular and well worth a visit. Second, the area is ideal for a respite from the drive because it is serene and calm and offers a fantastic view of the Maui waterfall. Third, after spending hours on the road, there is a tiny parking area and restrooms that are convenient. 

Last but not least, Wailua Falls is only one of several breathtaking destinations along the back route to Hana, making it simple to include into your schedule.

wailua falls 2
Photo by Jay Sterling Austin

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‘Ohe‘o Gulch and Pipiwai Trail (MM 42) 

Is this location indeed home to “seven sacred pools”? When the water level is high, there are actually more than seven pools, and countless lovely waterfalls feed them. However, a creative marketer came up with the name “seven sacred pools” years ago in an effort to draw more visitors to Hana.

In reality, Haleakala National Park includes Ohe’o Gulch. This was a well-liked location for deep pool jumping for many years. Currently, all leaping is forbidden due to a lawsuit.

Swimming (and even simply walking around the pools) is not permitted in the region if water levels are assessed to be too high, and the area is patrolled. If you’re staying in Hana, avoid coming here in the afternoons when it can get busy for a more relaxing experience.

Even if the pools aren’t open, you should trek the Pipiwai Trail, which sits directly above the pools and is among the most picturesque hikes on the island. A four-mile out-and-back trip with a 650-foot elevation rise is what you should budget for.

You will travel the distance in roughly 2 and a half hours round trip as you follow a stream, take in ocean vistas, cross freshwater waterfalls and pools, meander through verdant bamboo forests, and pass a massive banyan tree.

ohe o gulch
Photo of Rick Vega

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Palapala Ho‘omau Congregational Church (MM 41)

The Palapala Ho‘omau Congregational Church is the best stop on the back road to Hana because it is a beautiful church that was built in 1853. The church is made out of lava rock and has an amazing view of the ocean. It is also a great place to stop and rest, because there is a lot of parking and the church is right next to the road.

palapala ho‘omau congregational church 1
Photo by Marie Beschen

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Laulima Farm Fruit Stand

The best rest break on the side road to Hana is Laulima Farm Fruit Stand for a variety of factors. The stand is run by a nice and cheerful family who cultivate their own fruits and vegetables on the premises. This indicates that everything at the market is fresh and locally produced, making it a fantastic choice for people searching for wholesome snacks or picnic items.

Laulima Farm Fruit Stand also offers a selection of baked goods, jellies, and preserves in addition to produce. The stand is a convenient one-stop shop for anyone traveling along the Hana Highway because it has something for everyone. Additionally, the prices are relatively affordable, making it simple to fill up on snacks and beverages without going over budget.

Alelele Falls (MM 38.5)

The most picturesque stop along the back route to Hana is Alelele Falls, which is also one of the greatest places to halt. The waterfall is stunning and can be seen from the road. The waterfall is a wonderful spot to pause and rest as well. You can sit in the little park area and take in the views of the waterfall and the woodland surroundings.

alelele falls
Photo by Richard Deakins

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Kaupo General Store (MM 35)

Here are just a few of the reasons why Kaupo General Store is the ideal pit break on the side road to Hana:

Everything you would need, from food to souvenirs, is readily available in the store.

The personnel is kind and courteous, and they go above and beyond to assist you in finding what you require.

The store is situated in a lovely area, next to Kaupo Stream.

The restrooms are spotless and well-maintained, making it an excellent place to stop and relax after a long drive.

kaupo general store
Photo by ulalume

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Tips for driving past Hana

If you’re ever on Maui and find yourself driving towards Hana, be prepared for some of the most desolate and beautiful scenery you’ll ever see. The winding road is full of twists and turns, and there’s not much in the way of settlements or other distractions. But that’s part of what makes the journey so special.

There are a few things travelers can do to make the drive safely. Some of these include: 

  • Checking the condition of the vehicle before hitting the road. This includes checking fluid levels, tire pressure, and brakes. 
  • Wearing a seat belt at all times. This is not only for the driver, but for any passengers in the car as well. 
  • Keeping a safe distance between their car and the car in front of them. This will help avoid accidents caused by sudden stops. 
  • Not driving while tired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These can both lead to hazardous driving conditions. 
  • Planning out their route before starting the drive. This will help avoid getting lost, and also help reduce the amount of time spent on the road.

Conclusion

The best Road to Hana stops are all along the way, and it can be tough to know which are the must-see attractions. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best Road to Hana stops. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned pro, this guide will make sure you hit all the highlights on your next trip. So let’s get started!

Explore more on our website bbalessandra.com!

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