Road To Hana

4.5 stars from 27 reviews
Address Hana Highway, Hana, HI 96713
The legendary road to Hana proves that it's the journey, not the destination that matters.

Features
• General: Cost: Free • General: Photo Opportunity
• Hiking: Hiking • Sightseeing: Great Views
• Sightseeing: Waterfalls • Sightseeing: Wildlife
• Vehicle Activities: Fun Drives

Matt Anderson's Take
There's a reason you can buy souvenir shirts that read "I survived the road to Hana". That's right, so merchants can make money more off of you!


Okay, this is a pretty crazy road and it's not for everyone. For those with the common holy-crap-a-phobia disorder, where you easily panic and freak out when you see an oncoming truck doing three times the speed limit while 75% in your lane while going around a completely blind corner, well, either skip this one or make sure you're the passenger.


If you started in north Kihei the trip along the Hana Highway to the tiny town of Hana would cover over 50 miles and take about 2 hours, in theory. In real life there will be traffic, tour buses in your way, drivers that drive way too slow due to holy-crap-a-phobia, and drivers that drive way too fast causing holy-crap-a-phobia in others so it will be close to 3 hours each way.

But don't think that this is a 6 hour round trip affair. No, the Road To Hana is an all day event. There are all sorts of beaches, waterfalls, hikes, scenic views, and much more to stop for along the way. One of my favorites is Wai'anapanapa Black Sand Beach and another is Seven Sacred Pools / Ohe'o Gulch.


Want more time to explore? Then stay a night at the only true hotel in Hana which is the lovely Travaasa Hotel Hana, but make sure you have reservations.

The road itself is a very narrow two lane road (one lane for each direction) that will literally, and often, turn into a single lane road that both directions share. This happens at the most inconvenient of moments like at pretty much every small bridge you cross (of which there are many) and at blind corners, but it certainly makes for a more interesting drive.

The road is also full of sharp turns and curves. Tons, and tons, of curving roads. Not so bad if you are the driver, but many passengers will get sick from the constant back and forth swaying. Bring drinks and snacks and take breaks to avoid bringing home a doggy bag of your own sick.

In many areas there are places to pull off, in other areas people will just do dumb things and stop wherever they feel like it. Don't worry, it all adds to the adventure!


But on that note, let's take a minute to discuss proper Road To Hana etiquette. If you see signs that read "no parking" please abide by the rules. At the same time, even if there isn't a sign please use common sense and never block the road in any way. Tour operators and visitors alike tend to just park wherever they want, often because somebody else is parking wherever they want. This is not okay.

While it's fun to go slow and sightsee on along the way, keep an eye on your rear view mirror. If you see several cars behind you then chances are good you're going too slow. I know, this is Hawaii and slow is good. Only this is the only road for locals who live along this route to get back and forth and you're probably holding them up. Don't speed up, but simply pull over and let them pass because locals aren't sightseeing like you are, they're using the road to get somewhere.

As one member, Tom B, suggests: Play a game on the road to Hana. See how many shakas and double-toots you can collect by pulling over and letting a local pass. Certainly seems like a great idea to us, and what better way to experience a little of that Aloha Spirit you've heard so much about.


Don't expect much in the way of services along the way as there isn't much of that happening. You'll find one obvious bathroom break along the way, possibly not many others beyond the wilderness.

Speaking of pit stops, fuel up before you leave because once you get going the only service station around will be the Chevron Hana in the small Hana town itself.


Speaking of service, don't expect cell service because it will vanish on you for much of the way. So while your cell phone GPS might work, apps that use real time maps like Google Maps won't be able to pull in the map data without that cell signal. You won't get lost but if you wanted to see something specific print maps before you go!

There is a southern route using the Piilani Highway (31) to get between south Maui and Hana as well and it's equally as long and not as good of a road in some areas. Still, many drivers like to take one way there and the other way back. The south route is not maintained very well so the roads can be rough, check with your rental car company to make sure they'll allow you to drive this route without voiding your agreement with them.


If you plan to do this check out the beaches and views along the way consider, taking the south route to Hana and north route back as the bulk of your stops will then be on the right side of the road which makes it easier to park and then get back on the road.

One small problem with the south route is that it does NOT connect directly to the Wailea-Makena area like it looks like it would on a map. Instead, the Piilani Highway will run north / south and connect back to civilization in central Maui. So, it's not a shortcut to the south Maui resort areas at all.
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Matt Anderson
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Matt A
Joined: Feb 2013
Reviews: 790
Likes Received: 106
A fun adventure for those who don't mind a little white knuckle driving even at slow speeds. There is so much to see on this road that a trip to Maui isn't complete for me unless I'm spending a day exploring the Road to Hana.
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Aimee T
Joined: Jan 2018
Reviews: 21
Likes Received: 0
Absolutely love the Road to Hana. So many places to stop and explore. So many things to see. Waterfalls everywhere. Hikes everywhere. I feel like I could spend weeks exploring out here and only see 1% of what's here.
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Andrea G
Joined: Jan 2018
Reviews: 16
Likes Received: 0
Absolutely loved the Road to Hana and all of the amazing sights you can see along this twisty road. Rent a car and take a drive, it's a wonderful adventure.
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Brett D
Joined: Mar 2017
Reviews: 56
Likes Received: 1
OMG the Road to Hana is something you must do whether you book it through a tour or drive it yourself. As for us, we drove it and I will offer the advice to start early in the morning and plan on it being an all day activity. Will also say pack a cooler with drinks and snacks, maybe even a nice lunch to stop and eat on the way (there are places to stop).

But for sure do not expect it to be an easy ride as the road has many turns twists and some really hairy ones. Be warned there are a lot of tour buses that stop so they can see the points of interest so also pack your patience as you will need it. But remember they are there to see the sights as much as you are and they are in no hurry.

Also be warned that some turns do not have much between you and the open no guard railed road. With all that said it is so worth the trip and there are many photo ops along the way. Reading up on what is offered along the way is time well spent. Be patient and enjoy.
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Hollie C
Joined: Apr 2017
Reviews: 11
Likes Received: 0
Head out early! Stop every chance you get to view and enjoy the sites, take lots of pictures and explore! When you get past Hana, find Hamoa Beach. This was once voted the best beach and its so pretty and the water is crystal clear. Pack your lunch or stop along the way for local eats. Try to get back by nightfall, it's a long drive.
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Lisa F
Joined: Jan 2017
Reviews: 48
Likes Received: 13
This is definitely a must see on the island.....However, it can get so crazy crowded between the tour vans, locals and other tourists like yourself. All trying to master the twisting and turning cliff filled roads. We have had some interesting experiences on here and have had some people who have not been spreading the aloha spirit as much as others. Mainly with all the tour vans and their operators. They sometimes take up the road to show their customers or hold up traffic. I am sure this is not something that makes the locals happy. However, the views along the road are magnificent and one is just better than the other as you travel along. We always say never again, but then we do!
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Vickey W
Joined: Mar 2017
Reviews: 123
Likes Received: 45
When we planned on going to Maui and our first must do was the Road to Hana. So we booked a tour since hubby did not want to risk driving it with all the twists and turns, some a little hairy. The one lane narrow bridges were a little scary and the closeness to the edge of the narrow road was memorable for sure.

We are glad we did and loved the many stops along the way for photo ops. The beauty of the island is seen along the way. We stopped at Hana Town, a cute little town. Lunched at Hana Bay Beach Park and got to mingle with some friendly locals out for the day enjoying their families.
Waianapanapa State Park had the most beautiful black sand beach. We saw Charles Lindbergh's gravesite. Stopped at Ohe'o Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools) and were able to swim for a while which was so awesome. The view from the Wailua Valley is beautiful with the mountain and ocean views. Next trip we will drive it ourselves.
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Rosemarie P
Joined: Jun 2016
Reviews: 7
Likes Received: 0
Not for the faint of heart, nervous, or scared person. We actually couldn't do the whole trip, the sharp curves and driving conditions were making us nauseated! Very scary at some areas, but beautiful scenery!
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kay c
Joined: Jun 2016
Reviews: 1
Likes Received: 0
Beautiful scenery! Our favorite stop was the black sand beach.
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Jan E
Joined: Jun 2016
Reviews: 10
Likes Received: 2
The road to Hana is a very scenic drive. If you get car sick make sure you take something before you set off on your day long journey. Make sure you have a full tank of gas, snacks and water.
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