If you drive the road to Hana, use this page to make your trip a success. If you want to skip the planning section, just scroll down the page for the driving tips.
Before You Leave for Maui ...or after you are there
• Most visitors from the U.S. mainland wake up early in the morning the first few days after arriving in Maui because of the time change. Since you need to wake up early for your full day of driving, plan your Hana Highway day early in your vacation.
• Pack a light jacket or raincoat - the vegetation is so lush and the waterfalls so abundant because it rains a lot.
• Get a good Hana coast map and familiarize yourself with the drive. Most Maui guide books include some version of a Hana highway map.
You can just print my freeroad to Hana map page. This interactive Hana highway map lists Hana coast views, waterfalls, hikes, parks, and destinations.
If you want a more traditional folded or laminated Maui map, I recommend Frankos Maui maps with their unique descriptions and tips written right on the map.
You can purchase this Maui map at the Mail Order Hawaii site for $6.
• Read and print my freeRoad to Hana Guide page for the best stops and the mile markers so you can find those best stops.
The Day Before You Drive the Road to Hana
• Fill your gas tank the day before your trip. The Hana coast has no gas stations until you get to Hana, where gas is scarce and expensive.
• Pack your light jacket or parka for the probable morning rain.
• Make your breakfast and lunch plans for the next day when you drive the road to Hana.
Hana is a tiny town at the 'end of the road' with marginal food (note we are talking about the ROAD to Hana, not HANA!).
If you want to eat out for breakfast, try Charley's in the town of Pa'ia on the way to Hana.
You can also pick up a Hana brown bag lunch at several stores in Pa'ia such as Anthony's Coffee Company.
The Day you Drive the Road to Hana
• Eat a good breakfast.
• Leave by 7am (this takes some negotiating in my family).
• Watch for the 'Mile Marker' signs on the side of the road to identify your locations and stops. Most references to help you identify your sightseeing stops will use these mile marker signs.
• Don't be discouraged and turn back if it is raining during the first part of your trip - most of the rain occurs early in the morning. If it's raining - drive! You will just get ahead of the other tourists, and have less crowds when the morning rains stop.
• Stay ahead of the Whizzers!
The locals call Hana tourists whizzers because they whiz from stop to stop. By midmorning the road can become crowded with other sightseers. There are lots of stops for roadside waterfalls and ocean overlooks, which get more spectacular as you progress during the day. To keep ahead of the crowd, skip the average stops at the beginning of the trip.
• This short physical distance for this drive is deceiving because the average speed on this road is 15 miles per hour. Add more time for your many sightseeing stops. Enjoy the trip, but remember that you have to turn around and retrace ths same route on your return. And you don't want to negotiate the curves and cliffs driving home in the dark.
Drive the Road to Hana Videos
The road to Hana video below includes footage of the many twists and turns while you drive the Hana coast. This birds eye perspective is provided by a Maui helicopter tour company.
Click on the PLAY button in the image below to view the video.
The next video gives you a wheels on the ground perspective as you drive the Road to Hana.
Road to Hana Beyond Oheo Gulch
October 2008 - The road to Hana BEYOND Oheo Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools) is once again open to traffic around mile marker 40.
So you can drive completely around the south part of Maui - you no longer have to stop just beyond the Seven Sacred Pools (Oheo Gulch), and retrace your path back along the road to Hana.
Due to the October 2006 earthquake in the channel between east Maui and the Big Island, the road had been closed to traffic due to potential rock slides.
To continue beyond Oheo Gulch, see my page
beyond the road to Hana along the backside of the Maui volcano Haleakala.
Road to Hana Tours If you want someone else to drive on a road to Hana tour, you have several options:
1. Several tours go
all around the road to Hana past Oheo Gulch, along the single lane unpaved stretch of bumpy road hugging the cliffs, that most vacationers decline to travel in their rental cars, and then continue along the backside of Haleakala to the upcountry:
• Hidden Hawaii Tours
• Valley Isle Excursions is a luxury tour - customized high roof large window 12 person vans, large captain's chairs, and a lunch served with silverware and linens.
• Roberts Hawaii is a large value priced company and works with several cruise lines.
2. Some tour companies
turn around in the Hana area and redrive the road to Hana on the return trip, giving you a second view of the sights during a different time of the day:
• Temptation Tours includes a breakfast and beachside lunch, then turnaround at Hana and stop at windsurfing Hookipa Beach on you return trip.