Skip to main content

With outstanding natural scenery, the Road to Hana is one of the most iconic drives in Hawaii. It’s Maui’s most well-known and loved attraction and in my opinion, you haven’t truly been to Maui unless you’ve driven along (at least a portion of) the Road to Hana!

You may be overwhelmed with information when researching this famous driving route and unsure of the best Road to Hana stops that must be included on your itinerary. After recently completing the Road to Hana over two days, I decided to create a detailed guide to help simplify your planning process.

It is no exaggeration to say this is the one of the most beautiful drives I’ve ever done. With sweeping coastal vistas on one side and rainforests and waterfalls on the other, the diverse and tropical beauty of this drive will keep you in a state of awe from beginning to end. The Road to Hana really does live up to the hype.

Read on to find out which Road to Hana stops you can’t miss and more useful info to help you plan this bucket-list drive. I’ve included my insider tips on what to pack, what to expect at each stop, an interactive map showing the exact locations and the best organized Road to Hana tour.

So, without further ado, let’s dive in and discover how to plan an unforgettable Road to Hana driving itinerary!

Road to Hana, Maui, Hawaii

A narrow road winds through the jungle

31 Must-See Road to Hana Stops – Ultimate Guide to Driving the Road to Hana in 2024

Map of The Best Road to Hana Stops

The Best Road to Hana Day Tour

Duration: 10 hours

Included: Hotel pick up/drop off from major Maui hotels/condos, fresh fruit and tropical pastry breakfast, traditional Hawaiian BBQ lunch, light snacks throughout the day, all-day drinks service, experienced local guide.

Pros: Doing a tour saves you the effort of having to research every stop and drive the Road to Hana yourself. Leave the planning to the professionals and let a local expert guide you along this famous drive.

Cons: You’ll have less flexibility and control. When you do the drive yourself, you can take your time and spend longer at a place if you enjoy it, this also includes spending the night in a hotel along the way.

Driving the Road to Hana, Maui - The Ultimate Guide

Recommended Tour: If you’re not up for braving the Road to Hana in a rental car, taking an organized tour is definitely the way to go. Sit back and take in the spectacular scenery as your local guide leads you on a leisurely tour of the Road to Hana stopping at the best waterfalls and lookouts along the way.

Making an early start, your guide will pick you up at your hotel to begin the full day journey along the Road to Hana. With a selection of fresh fruits and pastries for breakfast, your day will be off to a great start.

This small-group tour is a great choice because it includes most of the must-see Road to Hana stops that I mention in this guide while other tours might miss out on several attractions.

You will be taken to the best swimming spots, most scenic viewpoints, lush rainforests and enchanting waterfalls all while learning some fascinating facts about traditional Hawaiian life. This highly-rated Road to Hana day trip is the perfect solution for those who’d rather let the tour guide take the lead and enjoy a relaxed day of sightseeing.

►Book the small-group Road to Hana day trip here!◄

 

Where to Rent a Car on Maui

If you’re planning to drive the Road to Hana independently or do any other sightseeing on the island then you’ll need to rent a car. The most convenient place to rent a car on Maui is at the Kahului Airport when you arrive on the island.

Whenever I travel, I use Rentalcars.com to find the best deals on car rentals. This website is great because it offers a wide selection of car rental providers with no hidden fees. See the link below to arrange your rental car before you arrive on Maui.

►Find prices and availability for your car rental on Maui◄

Where to Stay in Hana

Choose one of the hotels in Hana below to break up your drive if you’re planning to spend two days on the Road to Hana.

Hana-Maui Resort – A stunning hotel in a prime location featuring great amenities and ocean views.

Heavenly Hana Paradise – Surrounded by rainforest, this comfortable accommodation will have you feeling at home after a long day of driving and chasing waterfalls.

Kailani Suite at Hana Kai Resort – These spacious apartments with balconies and ocean views are a popular choice for travellers completing the full loop of the Road to Hana.

Road to Hana, roadside stop

A colourful roadside food stop on the Road to Hana

Best Travel Insurance for Hawaii

If you’re visiting Maui from overseas, then you’ll need to get travel insurance.

Travelling to any country without insurance is not worth the risk. The reality of travelling overseas is that unexpected things can happen at anytime so the best thing you can do is be prepared.

For peace of mind while abroad, Heymondo is one of the most reputable travel insurance companies that will provide you with simple and flexible coverage. Whether you are into adventurous activities or simply looking for trip cancellation and basic medical insurance, Heymondo has you covered.

As a reader of The Road Is Life, you get 5% off your Heymondo travel insurance by using the link below!

►Get 5% off your Heymondo travel insurance◄

Huelo Lookout, stop on the Road to Hana

Lush scenery at the Huelo Lookout

Road to Hana Driving Tips

Here are some of my tips to make this a successful journey for yourself while respecting other road users and avoiding fines along the way:

  • Leave early in the morning (around 7am) so that you have the full day to make all the desired Road to Hana stops without feeling rushed.
  • Go really slow around blind corners.
  • Do not overtake other cars at any point on this drive.
  • If you’re wanting to take things extra slow and enjoy the drive (as you should), feel free to pull over and let any locals who seem to be in a rush pass you.
  • Avoid suddenly stopping and parking on the side of the road (unless there is a designated area for cars to stop).
  • As tempting as it may be, do not stop on single lane bridges. If you see a nice waterfall, continue driving until you find adequate space to park the car and then walk back to the falls.
  • Fill up your gas tank before beginning the Road to Hana, there are no gas stations along this drive. Your last chance to fill up before the Road to Hana is in the small town of Paia. I would advise filling up your car at either Costco or Safeway as they are the cheapest places on Maui to buy gas.
Ke-anae Peninsula, Best Places to Stop on the Road to Hana

Exploring the volcanic landscape of the Ke’anae Peninsula

Road to Hana Packing Checklist

These are some of the must-haves for driving the Road to Hana. For a more detailed and complete Maui packing list, read my Maui packing guide here 🙂

►Use this audio-guide for a personal tour of the Road to Hana through your phone!◄

Sweeping coastal views on the Road to Hana, MauiRoad to Hana FAQs

Is it Dangerous to Drive the Road to Hana?

The Road to Hana consists of over 600 sharp bends and 59 single-lane bridges. It goes without saying that you’ll need to use some extra caution when completing this drive. Using your common road sense goes a long way in a place like this.

After driving the Road to Hana twice, I would say it’s not dangerous if you’re a confident driver who doesn’t mind taking things slow and steady. There’s no need to rush it after all, as this drive is very much about enjoying the journey instead of arriving at a particular destination.

A typical one-lane bridge on the Road to Hana

A typical one-lane bridge on the Road to Hana

How Long is the Road to Hana?

The official Hana Highway is 62 miles from its starting point of Kahului in central Maui to Kipahulu on the far east corner of the island.

This might sound like a short driving distance however the road is extremely narrow and winding which means you’ll be driving around 25mph for the duration of the journey.

The full Road to Hana extends past the town of Hana and loops around the backside of Haleakala, returning you to the beginning.

Honomanu Bay, Road to Hana

Magical views from start to finish

How Much Time Do You Need For Driving the Road to Hana?

Most people complete the drive from Kahului to Hana and back in a single day trip which takes anywhere between 6 – 8 hours. To get the most out of this world-class drive, I would highly recommend spending one night in the town of Hana to break it up.

This is the best way to experience the highlights that this journey has to offer without feeling rushed and burnt out by the end.

The other bonus about spending the night is that you’ll have the best beaches and waterfalls to yourself before the day trippers arrive. Imagine waking up and being among the first to explore the famous Black Sand Beach without the crowds and tour groups.

Doing the Road to Hana in two days will allow you to visit the amazing sites and attractions beyond the town of Hana such as Hamoa Beach, the Seven Sacred Pools, Waimoku Falls and more.

Black Sand Beach, Waiʻānapanapa State Park

Stunning volcanic coastline of Waiʻānapanapa State Park

Road to Hana Itinerary for One and Two Days

While most people driving the Road to Hana turn around and drive straight back once they reach Hana, I would suggest completing the full loop by driving the “back road to Hana”. After spending the night in Hana, you will continue the drive through Kipahulu and all the way around to Kula.

This will allow you to further explore the remote beauty that east Maui has to offer. With breathtaking valleys, lush rainforests, and desert-like landscapes, you won’t regret taking an extra day to see this less touristy part of the island.

Keep in mind that the road becomes quite narrow and rough after Hana, in some sections it turns to gravel. If you’re renting a car, be sure to check with your rental car company that you will be covered for this section of the road.

For only one day on the Road to Hana, see the suggested one day itinerary below. For two days, consider leaving the Black Sand Beach for the morning of the second day to avoid crowds.

Twin Falls Maui, First stop on the Road to Hana

Twin Falls – One of the first Road to Hana stops

Road to Hana Audio-Guide

An awesome way to learn more about the stops on the Road to Hana as you go is by using an audio-guide on your phone. By downloading this app, you’ll get a fascinating insight into the history of Maui and a detailed explanation of each stop on the Road to Hana.

The cool thing about this app is that you’ll also get access to audio tours for other Maui attractions such as watching the sunset and stargazing on Haleakala, exploring the West Maui coastline and more!

➤Download the Road to Hana Audio-Guide here

 

Road to Hana Stops – Day One

  • Ho’okipa Beach Park
  • Twin Falls
  • Huelo Lookout
  • Rainbow Eucalyptus Forest
  • Maui Garden of Eden (optional)
  • Honomanu Bay Lookout
  • Keʻanae Arboretum
  • Ke’anae Peninsula
  • Halfway to Hana Stand
  • Wailua Valley State Wayside Lookout
  • Upper Waikani Falls
  • Pua’a Ka’a Falls
  • Hanawi Falls
  • Makapipi Falls
  • Hana Lava Tube (optional)
  • Black Sand Beach, Waiʻānapanapa State Park
  • Red Sand Beach (optional)

Honomanu Bay, Road to Hana, Maui

Road to Hana Stops – Day Two

  • Black Sand Beach, Waiʻānapanapa State Park
  • Hamoa Beach
  • Waioka Pond
  • ʻOheʻo Gulch
  • Waimoku Falls
  • Charles Lindbergh’s Grave
  • Alelele Falls
  • Huialoha Church
  • Manawainui Gulch

*Optional Second Day Stops*

  • Maui Honey Bee Sanctuary
  • MauiWine
  • Ulupalakua Scenic Overlook
  • Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm
Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm

Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm – A bonus stop at the end of this Road to Hana itinerary

The Best Road to Hana Stops – Day One

Ho’okipa Beach Park

To kick off your Road to Hana driving itinerary, the first stop you should make is at Ho’okipa Beach. This is a famous surfing beach on Maui known worldwide for its massive waves.

From the Ho’okipa Lookout parking lot, you’ll have a good vantage point to sit and watch the windsurfers ride the impressive waves. Take a walk down to the beach to find a group of Hawaiian green sea turtles who are often seen resting on the sand.

Being one of the best places to see turtles on Maui, you can imagine there will be plenty of other tourists gathering around here. Watch them, take photos of them, but be sure to give them space.

Touching the turtles or standing right next to them for a photo is definitely not allowed here or anywhere else on the island.

A beach full of turtles - Hookipa Beach

A beach full of turtles – Ho’okipa Beach

Twin Falls

The first and most popular waterfalls to see on the Road to Hana are the Twin Falls. These waterfalls are not the most impressive compared to others on this drive however they are easy to access with a large parking lot and short walking trail.

There are three different waterfalls to see at Twin Falls and if you make the stop I would recommend allowing time to see all three of them. While the lower falls are the quickest and easiest to get to, they’re often the most crowded with people.

Continue following the trail to find two more lovely waterfalls with the upper falls being the prettiest. The upper falls are also great for swimming but you will need to cross a stream to reach them. Bring water shoes or flip flops for the walk.

During flash flooding, the upper falls will be closed to visitors. Allowing up to one hour to see all three waterfalls is plenty of time.

Opening Hours: 7am – 5pm daily

Parking: $10 per vehicle

Caveman Falls, Maui, Hawaii

The third waterfall at Twin Falls also known as Caveman Falls

Huelo Lookout

This little roadside stand is the next thing you will come across after finishing up at Twin Falls. If you’re hungry, you can make a quick stop here to buy a smoothie, fresh fruit or crepes.

Take a short walk behind the stand to find a nice view looking out over the palm trees and jungle toward the ocean. This is not an essential Road to Hana stop, but it won’t take longer than 10 minutes and you’ll get a scenic lookout to top it off.

Huelo Lookout, Best Road to Hana StopsRainbow Eucalyptus Forest

Not far from the Huelo Lookout, you’ll drive past a forest of beautiful rainbow eucalyptus trees located around mile marker 7. At first glance, the colouring on these trees almost appears to be painted, it is quite a unique sight.

The rainbow trees are visible from the road but can easily be missed if you’re not paying attention. As this is an unofficial stop on the Road to Hana, parking is non-existent here.

If you really want to get out and take a closer look at these fascinating trees, you’ll have to continue driving until you find enough space on the shoulder of the road and walk back to see them.

There are several other spots to see them on the Road to Hana including the Ke’anae Arboretum, so don’t worry if you miss out.

Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees - Road to Hana

The beautiful rainbow eucalyptus trees

Maui Garden of Eden Arboretum

If you love tropical gardens filled with exotic plants and rare trees, then you might consider stopping at the Maui Garden of Eden.

This well-maintained park features over 26 acres of scenic trails which makes it a great place for a quiet walk.

Surrounded by lush plants and flowers as well as ocean and waterfall views, a stop in the Maui Garden of Eden will make a nice addition to your Road to Hana drive. There are even free-roaming peacocks in there!

A visit to this garden will take around 45 min to 1 hour. If you’re on a budget or trying to squeeze many Road to Hana stops into one busy day, then I would suggest missing this stop. If you’re interested in gardens and have the time to spare, then it’s worth a visit.

Entry Ticket: $20/adult, $10/child under 16

Opening Hours: 8am – 4pm daily

Maui Garden of Eden Arboretum

Honomanu Bay Lookout

As you turn the corner just after passing Kaumahina State Wayside Park, the spectacular sight of Honomanu Bay will come into view. If you continue driving a short way, you’ll soon find a large space to pull over and park on the right.

This is the perfect place to stop and admire the dramatic coastal scenery that the Road to Hana is known for. From here you can also see the Ke’anae Peninsula in the distance.

With large waves and a rough road to get there, Honomanu Bay is not a great beach for swimming. I would recommend simply taking 5 minutes to stop at this lookout, take a few pictures and continue your drive on the Road to Hana.

Click here for the location of Honomanu Bay Lookout on Google Maps.

Stunning view from the Honomanu Bay roadside lookout

View from the Honomanu Bay roadside lookout

Ke’anae Arboretum

If you missed out on the Maui Garden of Eden but still interested in seeing some tropical vegetation, then make a point of stopping in here.

This botanical garden runs alongside a stream and has over 150 different types of unique Hawaiian plants including the rainbow eucalyptus tree (which isn’t native to Hawaii). If you missed out on the rainbow eucalyptus forest, this is another reason to stop here!

While the Keʻanae Arboretum may be smaller and less impressive than the Garden of Eden, the best part is that it’s free to enter. Taking a short walk through this peaceful park is a great way to break up your big day of driving the Road to Hana.

Entry Ticket: Free

Opening Hours: 8am – 4pm daily

Ke'anae Peninsula, Road to Hana

The Ke’anae Peninsula sticks out from the Road to Hana

Ke’anae Peninsula

The Ke’anae Peninsula is one of the highlights for most people’s Road to Hana drive. Make a sharp left turn to access the peninsula from the Hana Highway.

This short but scenic drive will take you on a loop passing by rugged volcanic coastline, an old Hawaiian village, a historic church and plenty of great photography opportunities. The lava beaches that you see here are from Haleakala’s most recent lava flows.

There’s also a popular food stall selling banana bread and fresh fruit smoothies. You’ll notice that banana bread stalls are pretty common on the Road to Hana and Aunty Sandy’s on the Ke’anae Peninsula claims to be the best.

A drive around the Ke’anae Peninsula will add no longer than 20 minutes to your Road to Hana trip but the unique scenery of this place will leave a lasting impression.

If you’re going to miss any of the stops on this Road to Hana guide, don’t let the Ke’anae Peninsula be one of them!

Beautiful scenery at Keanae Peninsula

Beautiful scenery at Ke’anae Peninsula

Halfway to Hana Roadside Stand

By this point in the drive, you’re probably going to be looking for somewhere to stop and eat lunch. The Halfway to Hana Stand comes up just after the Ke’anae Peninsula and offers plenty of food options to fuel your afternoon adventures.

Their menu includes sandwiches, burgers, hotdogs and all the typical Road to Hana roadside snacks. If you haven’t tried banana bread yet, you won’t regret picking up one of their freshly baked loaves.

Also, if you need to top up your cash (most stores/food stalls on the Road to Hana only take cash), there is an ATM on-site. Don’t forget to pose for a photo with the iconic “Halfway to Hana” sign before you go!

Halfway to Hana Sign

Wailua Valley State Wayside Lookout

Keep your eyes peeled for this stop because it’s very easy to miss with no warning and little signage. There are only a few spaces for cars here, so if it’s full you can try again on the way back.

Follow a set of stairs on the right to find an amazing view looking inland at the dense jungle-filled valley with several massive waterfalls in the distance. The other side of the lookout shows a panoramic view over Wailua Village and the ocean.

This lookout is a must-see on the Road to Hana and will only take you around 10 minutes to appreciate the incredible view and take a few photos.

Wailua Valley Lookout, Road to Hana

Wailua Valley Lookout

Upper Waikani Falls

As you pass these stunning falls, you may wonder how such a famous Road to Hana stop is so difficult to access?! You can see them directly from your car as you drive over the single-lane bridge. Yet, there is absolutely no space to pull over.

A commonly occurring thing on this drive is seeing the most epic scenery but having no where to stop the car! The trick here is to keep driving a short way past the falls until you see a large space to pull over on the left side of the road. Then you’ll need to carefully walk back along the narrow shoulder of the road until you reach the waterfall.

For those interested in exploring this area further, you can follow a path under the bridge to access the waterfall and swim in the pool.

The Upper Waikani Falls are surrounded by lush, green jungle and a tall, moss-covered cliff which makes for a magical and otherworldly scene to capture. Aside from being one of the nicest waterfalls on the Road to Hana, these falls were also one of my favourite Instagram spots on Maui.

So, is it worth the hassle to see these waterfalls? In my opinion, yes it is!

Upper Waikani Falls, Road to Hana

Upper Waikani Falls

Pua’a Ka’a Falls

Finally, a waterfall where you can easily stop and explore! The pretty Pua’a Ka’a Falls are located within a State Park at mile marker 22 on the Road to Hana.

With parking spots, restrooms and picnic tables, the facilities here make it an easily accessible rest-stop and a nice place go for a swim. A short trail takes you to a larger waterfall located upstream from the lower falls.

The only downside here is that the easy accessibility makes it really popular and at times very crowded. The limited parking spaces tend to fill up quickly which means you’ll need to be lucky to get a spot here on a busy day.

Pua’a Ka’a Falls, Road to Hana Maui

Pua’a Ka’a Falls

Hanawi Falls

Your next stop on the Road to Hana will bring you yet another set of breathtaking waterfalls, Hanawi Falls. Two separate waterfalls flow side by side through verdant vegetation, converging into a single stream.

Hanawi Falls offers a perfect little natural pool to cool down on a hot day, provided you can find space to park your car. I briefly stopped here to get out, snap a few pictures and take in the lush scenery around these falls.

I saw a few people swimming in the pool but it wasn’t crowded at all. There is a small space to park after the Hanawi Falls bridge, so if you’re lucky you could have these stunning waterfalls all to yourself!

Hanawi Falls - Road to Hana

One of the waterfalls at Hanawi Falls

Makapipi Falls

The dramatic scenery of this waterfall results in one of the most iconic scenes to capture on the Road to Hana. The Makapipi Stream flows rapidly (depending on rainfall) before making its vertical drop directly below the bridge. Parking space is available on the right immediately after crossing over the bridge.

I found the best spot to admire this waterfall was to continue walking past the falls until the road curves around and you can look backward. This gives you the full view of the powerful waterfall cascading under the bridge.

Best Road to Hana stops, Makapipi Falls

Makapipi Falls

Hana Lava Tube

As you make your way closer to Hana, you’ll have the option to explore a lava cave. This fascinating natural wonder is open to the public daily for self-guided tours.

Entry to the cave includes a flashlight which is very necessary in an otherwise pitch dark environment. As you wander through the underground maze, you’ll find informative signs giving you insight into how the formation came to be.

For those interested in escaping the crowds for a unique adventure, then the Hana Lava Tube is worth a stop! If you’re travelling with kids, this makes for a great family activity on the Road to Hana.

Entry Ticket + Flashlight: $15/adult, Free/children 5 and under

Opening Hours: 10:30am – 4pm daily

Black Sand Beach Cave

Peeking through a sea cave at Black Sand Beach

Black Sand Beach, Waiʻānapanapa State Park

An essential Road to Hana stop that is likely to be one of the major highlights of your road trip, the famous Black Sand Beach. This gem is located within Wai’anapanapa State Park, just before entering the town of Hana.

Nestled in a small cove, the black sand of this volcanic beach contrasts beautifully against a bright green jungle. This mesmerizing beach is special as it’s one of the only black sand beaches on the entire island of Maui!

With plenty more to see in the state park, you could easily spend a few hours exploring all of the natural beauty it has to offer. Featuring lava caves, volcanic rock arches, blow holes and awe-inspiring coastal views, it’s not hard to see why this park has become so popular.

**Important** To keep the large crowds of tourists under control, you are now required to book a reserved timeslot to enter Wai’anapanapa State Park. If you forget to book online and show up on the day, you will unfortunately be turned away at the gate!

Book your entry to Wai’anapanapa State Park online before you go by visiting the official website. You must book your time slot before the day of visiting, this means you cannot book it on the day you plan to visit.

Entry Ticket: $5 per person

Parking Permit: $10 per vehicle

Opening Hours: 7am – 6pm daily, choose an available time slot between these hours when buying your permit online.

Black Sand Beach - Maui

The amazing Black Sand Beach

Red Sand Beach (Kaihalulu Beach)

Tucked away within a small, secluded bay near the town of Hana, the Red Sand Beach is another mind-blowing natural attraction on the Road to Hana. This place resembles a real-life painting with dark red sand backed by a crescent-shaped cliff and glistening turquoise water.

The Red Sand Beach is an unofficial stop on the Road to Hana as getting to it requires following an unmaintained trail with steep drop-offs and uneven ground.

It goes without saying that you should only attempt this trail if you’re physically fit and wearing appropriate shoes. In my opinion, it’s not safe to bring small children.

To get there, drive to the end of Uakea Road and park on the side of the street. Begin the hike once you see a yellow gate. Walk across the field behind the gate to locate the trailhead which leads to the beach.

The hike only takes around 10 minutes to complete but after several landslides, it’s up to you whether it’s worth braving the hazardous trail.

Red Sand Beach is a popular Road to Hana stop

The spectacular Red Sand Beach

Hana Food Trucks

When you finally arrive in the town of Hana, you’re probably going to be pretty hungry. Head straight over to the Hana food trucks for a great selection food options which offer a quick and affordable alternative to a sit down restaurant.

Whether you’re craving burgers, burritos or Thai food, there’s a truck to please everyone in your group. This is the perfect place to stop and grab a meal before making the long drive back.

Hana Food Trucks, Maui, Hawaii

Hana Food Trucks

The Best Road to Hana Stops – Day Two

Hamoa Beach

The combination of turquoise water and golden sand in front of a green jungle have ranked this gem among the top beaches on Maui. Located a short drive past Hana, it’s well worth your time to make a stop here to take in the scenery or go for a dip.

If you’re planning to spend the night in Hana, you’ll be well positioned to enjoy this picturesque beach crowd-free. Depending on the conditions, the waves can sometimes be very strong here which makes it a popular spot for surfers.

When it’s calm, this crescent shaped cove is the ideal place for a swim surrounded by stunning scenery.

Hamoa Beach, East Maui, Hawaii

Beautiful Hamoa Beach

Waioka Pond (Venus Pool)

The next Road to Hana stop that I will recommend is a natural swimming pool surrounded by volcanic rock with a view overlooking the ocean.

Often referred to as “Venus Pool”, this scenic pond is a peaceful spot as most people bypass it, eager to explore the more famous stops on the Road to Hana.

To get there, follow a moderately difficult trail for around 10 minutes. With cliffs of varying heights, it’s a fun place for those who enjoy rock jumping.

This pool is prone to flash flooding and can turn dangerous very quickly. Swimming at Waioka Pond should be done at your own risk.

Check the weather conditions before visiting and do not swim here if the weather changes and suddenly turns to heavy rain. After a big rainfall, the water can appear murky and brown.

Waioka Pond (Venus Pool)

A hidden gem of the Road to Hana, Waioka Pond aka Venus Pool

Wailua Falls

A short trail from the Hana Highway brings you to one of Maui’s most beautiful waterfalls. The easily accessible Wailua Falls is a quick stop that shouldn’t be missed on your drive. Swimming is also possible in the pool at the base of the waterfall.

This 80 ft waterfall can actually be seen from the road as you drive past however it is worth hopping out to take a look/photo here. With ample parking just off the road, you can either get out to admire the falls from the street or follow a narrow path near the bridge which leads to the falls.

ʻOheʻo Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools)

ʻOheʻo Gulch is a lush valley home to a collection of pools which cascade into one another through a series of waterfalls. Located within the Kipahulu region of Haleakala National Park, the scenery here is really unique. It’s easy to see why this one of the most famous stops on the Road to Hana.

With great facilities and a big parking lot, it’s rare that you will find this place without crowds. Follow the Kuloa Point Trail for an easy 0.5 mile loop that passes by the “Seven Sacred Pools” and takes in spectacular coastal views.

Don’t let its nickname fool you, there are actually more than seven pools here. Depending on what time of year you visit, the pools may be flowing rapidly or dried up due to lack of rain. It is still worth a stop to take in the stunning views.

At one time, visitors could swim in the ʻOheʻo Pools however this is no longer permitted due to safety reasons. The pools can still be seen from the Kuloa Point Trail.

National Park Entrance Fee: $30/vehicle, $25/motorcycle, $15/pedestrian

Opening Hours: 9am – 4:30pm daily

**Tip** Once you purchase entry to the national park, it is valid for 3 days. Be sure to save your permit for when you watch the sunrise or sunset on Haleakala!

Best Road to Hana Stops - 'O'heo Gulch

The gorgeous ‘O’heo Gulch – Seven Sacred Pools

Waimoku Falls and Pipiwai Trail

The Pipiwai Trail is one of Maui’s top rated hikes showcasing a diverse range of scenery. This 4 mile trail (round trip) begins near ʻOheʻo Gulch and takes around 2-3 hours to complete.

The moderately difficult trail winds along a stream through the rainforest which leads you to the base of the almighty Waimoku Falls. Standing at 400 ft, this majestic waterfall plunges dramatically over a vertical, moss-covered cliff. It’s the largest and most striking waterfall on the island.

Before you wind up at Waimoku Falls, you’ll first pass by the impressive Makahiku Falls and the famous bamboo forest. With so many beautiful things to see on one hike, it’s no surprise the Pipiwai Trail has become so popular! Starting early in the day is a good idea to beat the crowds.

Due to the often muddy and slippery conditions of this trail, it’s really important to wear proper hiking boots. Keep in mind that this trail is also located within Haleakala National Park which means park entry fees apply here.

Waimoku Falls, Road to Hana, Maui

The jaw-dropping Waimoku Falls is a must-see Road to Hana stop

Charles Lindbergh’s Grave

Turn off the Hana Highway at mile marker 41 to find the grave of Charles Lindbergh at the historic Palapala Ho‘omau Church.

This pretty 19th century church holds cultural significance and is set in a very serene location. The famous aviator was buried in the gardens next to the church alongside his wife.

Alelele Falls

As you venture further along the Road to Hana, past the national park, the road will start to get pretty narrow and bumpy. By this point in the drive you may have seen your share of waterfalls.

If you’re up for it you can find a hidden waterfall, tucked away from the road with less crowds than the other falls. Most people bypass this waterfall as you can’t see it from the road. If you make the effort to stop here, you might even have it all to yourself.

After crossing the Alelele Bridge, you’ll soon find parking on the left. Walk back to the trailhead which is located next to the bridge. The trail to Alelele Falls is short and easy and will have you there and back under 30 minutes, unless you spend more time swimming at the falls.

The Back Road to Hana

A narrow winding road snakes around a cliff on the “Back Road to Hana”

Huialoha Church

After Alelele Falls, the name of the road officially changes from the Hana Highway to the Piilani Highway and continues to be extremely narrow and winding.

Located on the backside of Haleakala, this traditional Hawaiian church sits alone on a remote and rugged coastline. Make a quick stop at the Huialoha Church to appreciate the unique scenery and history of the church.

Dating to 1859, it was built by the people of Kaupo who used coral from the ocean to complete construction. Huialoha Church is still in use by the local community. It makes for a pretty scene to capture as you complete your drive around the back road of Hana.

Huialoha Church, Road to Hana - Maui

Huialoha Church

Manawainui Gulch

After passing by the remote community of Kaupo, you’ll come across a lesser known stop on the Road to Hana.

The Manawainui Gulch showcases the untouched natural beauty that exists on the backside of Haleakala. The dry, desert-like conditions offer a contrast to the jungles and rainforests that you’ve just driven through.

A short walk around the Manawainui Gulch will take you to see massive canyons that were formed as a result of lava flows from Haleakala. For those who love to get off the beaten path, you’ll enjoy this wild and rugged landscape away from the crowds.

Maui Honey Bee Sanctuary

I briefly stopped at this roadside stand to try some locally-made honey. I didn’t know about this place before but was happy to find an amazing view looking out toward Kahoolawe Island.

If you’re in need of a coffee, you can also find that here. Want to learn more about the process of making honey? Take a guided tour of the bee sanctuary.

Best stops on the Road to Hana - Maui

Panoramic view at the Honey Bee Sanctuary

MauiWine

You may be too tired to include this stop at the end of your second day on the Road to Hana. For wine lovers, you won’t want to miss out on this beautiful winery located on a historic property.

This is a great opportunity to try some local Maui wines and perhaps take a bottle with you on your travels. You can purchase a flight of wine to sample their different varieties and include some cheese and crackers to go along with your wine tasting.

MauiWine makes a nice stop on the Road to Hana Loop

MauiWine

Ulupalakua Scenic Overlook

A short and sweet stop to pull over and see a panoramic view looking out over Maui’s west mountains and beaches below.

Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm

While this isn’t an official Road to Hana stop, I thought I would include this hidden gem because I really enjoyed the scenery here. It’s also very easy to reach with a short detour from the Road to Hana loop.

Offering sweeping views over west Maui and plenty of great photography spots, the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm is not to be overlooked. While the lavender only blooms from June – August, there are botanical gardens with flowers growing year round.

For only $3 per person, this gorgeous place makes a great addition to your second day of driving the Road to Hana.

Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm, Maui

Spectacular view at the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm

Don’t Miss These Popular Maui Attractions

Be sure to include a few of these highly rated activities on your next trip to Maui!

 

Final Thoughts on Driving the Road to Hana

While some say the Road to Hana can be a long and exhausting drive, everyone finishes the journey with memories and photos to last a lifetime. You’re bound to fall in love with this unique and special part of Maui.

I hope this guide has given you some inspiration and helped you plan where to stop on the Road to Hana. If you loved this drive and found my guide useful, feel free to share your experience with me in the comments below! 🙂

Road to Hana, Maui

Happy road tripping!

Read More Maui Travel Guides


Enjoy Reading About The Best Road to Hana Stops? Pin Me For Later!

31 Epic Stops on the Road to Hana - Ultimate Guide 31 Epic Stops on the Road to Hana - Ultimate Guide 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission on purchases made through these links. By making any purchase, you are directly supporting The Road Is Life Travel Blog which allows us to continue providing you with free high-quality travel guides. We only recommend products/services we have tried/love!

7 Comments

  • Marian Kelly says:

    Wow! Is this ever a thorough coverage of the Road to Hana. I’m going to venture that it is more thorough than any other blog post about the road to Hana! I think you’ve covered every worthwhile stop there is.

  • Nikki says:

    What a thorough guide! I’ve done this drive a few times and this is such a great guide that covers it all!

  • Terri says:

    I really regret that I didn’t take a day to do this drive to Hana when I visited the island years ago. It looks unforgettable. Great post.

  • Teja says:

    What a photogenic island! Your photos are amazing! How would you ever finish such a drive, when it looks like you’d never want to leave every stop?

    • Ann Kelly says:

      Thank you so much! This is exactly why I recommend spending more than a day doing the drive! These stops are all too amazing to rush past 😀

Leave a Reply