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Driving the Road to Hana Maui

Information and Tips about
"One of the most beautiful drives in North America"

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The Road to Hana

The drive to Hana is considered one of the top 10 most spectacular drives in North America.  You will observe some of the Hawaiian Islands’ most breathtaking scenery on your journey.  Let your senses soar!   Breathe the air scented by Rainbow Eucalyptus trees, bamboo jungles, lush tropical rain forests and a variety of tropical flowers.  Listen to the ocean waves crashing on shore and the singing of exotic birds.  Feel the splash of a waterfall, the sea breeze, and the salty air on your skin.  Taste the fresh Banana Bread, home made by locals, and the fresh fruit sold at roadside stands.  Plant your feet on a Black Sand Beach.
Road to Hana Scenic Ocean Photo
Eucalyptus Trees Photo

It is only 53 miles from Kahului Airport to Hana but it usually takes 2-1/2 to 4 hours to make the trip depending on how often you stop.  The Hana Highway is long and winding with over 600 curves and 54 bridges, many of them one lane. 

Some of the ways Hana is described are “Maui’s Last Hawaiian Place”, “Heavenly Hana” and “The Land that Time Forgot”.  Hana is so charming because little has changed there in 20 years.  There are no commercial developments as on the other side of the island.  There is a small town feel.  Hawaiian culture and scenic beauty abound.

If you are looking for a place to stay in Hana, Hanalani Hideaway has a beautiful website which includes a detailed guide of places to stop on The Road to Hana.

Rental car maps, driving guides, and some travel books will advise you not to drive south of Kipahulu.  These will tell you that many miles of roadway beyond this point are unpaved and treacherous. Actually, you will find about five total miles of road that, while unpaved, is well graded, and the rest is paved if a bit bumpy.   The Ranger Station at Ohe`o Gulch has a sign that tells you if the road is open to vehicles. If the sign says Open to ALL Vehicles, try it! You will be back to the Lahaina, Kihei or Wailea area in about 2-3 hours, a shorter trip than if you would have gone back along the Hana Highway.  The road may be a little rough, but it has far fewer turns, bridges and curves than the road to Hana from Paia making it a much easier drive.  If you choose to go back the way you came, you will also miss different, but still beautiful scenery.  Either way, you can say “I survived the Road to Hana”!

Bird of Paradise Photo

Tips for Maximum Enjoyment of The Road to Hana

Reserve the whole day for your trip.
Get a road to Hana Map and plan your stops before you leave.
Pick up a Road to Hana Guide CD (available on-line or at ABC stores).
Leave as early as possible.
Check the weather forecast.
Check for road closures. (Phone: 808-986-1200)
Fill up your gas tank.
Buy the Banana Bread sold on the road.
Alternate drivers and drive safely and slowly.
Toot your horn when rounding blind corners and turns.
Observe yield signs.
If you explore on foot, stay on paths.
Don't leave any valuables in your car.
Don't swim at tops of waterfalls. Very dangerous!
If you notice a local driving behind you please be considerate and pull over to allow them to pass as soon as you find a safe spot to do so.
Please don't trespass!

Please don't litter!
Allow enough time to return before dark.
Offer to take photos of others at scenic spots. They will do the same for you!
Spread some ALOHA!


Camera with plenty of film or memory card space
Bug spray if you plan to explore
Hiking shoes if you plan to explore
Rain slickers or a towel
A lunch, or pick one up on the way in Paia
Lots of water
Cell Phone

(If you are prone to carsickness, you may want to skip this activity.)

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More Maui Land Activities:
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Hiking | Horseback | Luaus | Road to Hana | Star Gazing

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