hana driving tipsWith around 620 turns and 59 narrow bridges, the Road to Hana makes for a legendary drive. Below you’ll find detailed information about the road to Hana, local tips, video, photos, & the latest updates.

Highway 36 and 360 make up 68 miles of twisting turns on a narrow road from Kahului to Hana. The road travels through tropical rainforest, along volcanic coastline, and past many awe inspiring waterfalls.

You can drive yourself, or you can leave the driving to an experienced guide at Valley Isle Excursions.

 tour Maui

 

Preparations

Preparing for the Adventure

Before you leave, make two phone calls. First, call (808) 986-1200 to check for road closures along the way. It would be a shame to drive from Lahaina past Paia only to get shut down. Secondly, call (808) 877-5111 to check weather updates. If it looks as though it’ll be stormy, reschedule your trip for another time. [If you’re on Maui and using a local phone, don’t include the (808). On all other islands, on the mainland, or from your mainland cell phone, you’ll need to include it.]

The Road to Hana is wet enough without a storm. The beauty of the Road to Hana’s weather is its erratic behavior. You’ll get rain one second, then perfect sun and rainbows the next. If a storm is running, you’ll miss out on the sunny portions.

Fill up your tank! Maui gas prices are some of the highest in the nation. Gas in Hana is usually $.40 to .50 cents more than other parts of the island. Fill up before you leave.

Prepare yourself for a long trip. Bring snacks, bug repellent, some cash, a camera, and respect for the local people. If you have anything else planned for the day, you’re pushing it. It takes at least 2 1/2 to 3 hours each way to reach Hana without stopping. You’ll want to make a lot of stops, too.

best stops road to hana

 

Twin Falls

waterfalls road to hanaThe closest waterfalls to visit along the Road to Hana are about 10-15 minutes past Paia Town. You’ll see a bunch of cars parked to the right of you as you drive towards Hana (it’s popular because it’s close.)

You’ll have to do a short hike, but it’s easy. Most of the hike is made up of flat dirt roads. There are multiple falls along the trails, some easier to access than others. The people that own the land (Wailele Farms) put in an enormous amount of effort to maintain the area and keep it open for public use. They run the farm stand at the entrance, so don’t be afraid to ask them questions about the area, about their farm, and pick up some yummy coconut candy and a fresh smoothie!

For many visitors, driving the entire Road To Hana and back is too long of a trip. Visiting Twin Falls offers an easier experience with so much natural beauty. Learn more about Wailele Farm & Twin Falls.

 

Oheo Gulch

Seven Sacred Pools

oheo gulchPart of Haleakala National Park, Oheo Gulch is a great spot to visit, if you get that far. Here you’ll find multiple waterfalls and pools collecting at the base of each.

This area offers hiking, camping, and some swimming. We recommend visitors to come here because the swimming areas are regulated by the park. In the case of possible flash floods, they will close the area.

We like this because it’s often impossible to predict a flash flood. Hence the “flash” part of it. The park rangers get a heads up from higher ground about weather conditions and know if the chances are higher than normal. DON’T BE STUPID! Swimming in non-park waterfall and stream areas can be incredibly risky. People die every year.

 

Driving the Backside!

Take a Tour of the Backside from Hana to Upcountry

Driving the backside of Hana
Most people double-back and miss some of the most stunning landscapes Maui has to offer.  Continue along the circle and experience twice as much as you would otherwise.  To enjoy the best sites along the Road to Hana and beyond, rent a lifted Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport edition and hit the trail! These Jeeps are designed to handle the roads along the backside of Hana, and you’ll be treated to great customer service, a reliable vehicle with the most desired features and comfort, and affordable rates by the day, week or month.

 

Road to Hana Etiquette

Let people pass you. Find a safe spot to pull off the road, and let faster cars pass. You have to remember that this is a road that some locals use to get to work, and your stopping and slowing is very frustrating.

DO NOT TRESPASS! If you don’t think you should go there, DON’T! The little blue book that everyone buys says to go places that you probably shouldn’t. You don’t want to piss off the locals by walking through their backyards.

Leave nothing but aloha. Any trash you have should be recycled, thrown away or taken with you. This land is pristine for a good reason. KOKUA!

road to hana

 

Road to Hana Tips

road to hana tipsDon’t Drink and Drive – It’s dangerous enough without the booze.

Rent a Convertible – If you don’t, at least make sure to drive with the windows down. The rainforest smell is part of the experience.

Prepare for Rain – If you’re afraid of getting wet, stay on the south or west side of the island. It will most likely rain at least once during your trip.

Prepare for Nausea – If you’re prone to car sickness, rethink going (consider a short flight instead.) OR bring something that will help you, like ginger chews or dramamine.

Leave Early – Get out before the crowd. The last thing you want is to be driving back in the dark. It’s a long drive.

Don’t See Everything – Don’t be afraid to stop, but don’t stop EVERYWHERE! Take your time, and only drive 1/2 as long you want total, then turn around. You don’t need to drive all the way to Hana to understand what the Road to Hana is all about.

Stay Overnight – Consider staying for at least 1-2 nights. This way there’s no rushing, you can leave mid day and get away from any traffic, and you can be in Hana when everyone else is still driving to and from you. Learn more about the unique Hana experiences only found if staying there.

Bring a Camera – The photo opportunities are endless!

BE RESPECTFUL – This is the most important rule. This is not your home, so treat it like gold (because it is!)

Want more? See these Road to Hana Tips.