As you continue driving, you are now entering the southwest dry side of Haleakala, and the landscape changes dramatically.
When we pulled over at the Kaupo Gap Lookout (Mile Marker 32.4), we felt like we were in the middle of a painting that wrapped all around us.
Looking up toward Haleakala, you can see the Kaupo canyon, whose unique beauty is because it was originally carved out by erosion, then filled with lava.
The wind is strong in this narrow canyon.
We spent about 30 minutes climbing around on the blue rock beach at Huakini Bay (close to mile marker 30).
Besides the unusual visual of the blue grey rocks seeming to spread on forever, this beach has a unique feature.
The sound of the waves passing through the rocks makes an erie, hollow boinging sound.
Pokowai Sea Arch
The Pokowai Sea Arch juts out to the sea at Mile Marker 29.
We pulled off the road close to the arch, climbed down to the shore and explored the solid lava that still seems to flow into the ocean.
See the hole in the rear lava flow?
That is the arch that was formed when hot lava collided with cold ocean.
Frankos Maui Road to Hana Haleakala Map
If you look along the yellow line demarking the Piilani Highway at the bottom of the map below, you can see the three stops highlighted on this page - Pokowai Sea Arch, Huakini Bay, and Kaupo.
This small section of a Franko Maui map gives you a good orientation of the Road to Hana.
If you are going to spend a day on the road to Hana, visit their website for the folded version of the Maui map (opens a new window in your web browser) - it's an inexpensive investment to help make your Maui vacation a good one.
If you drive south on Highway 37 past Haleakala and on to Highway 31, you will be rewarded with stunning views and beaches as you travel between the south mountainside of Haleakala and the southern shores of Maui.
Highway 37 is smooth blacktop, and Highway 31 finally becomes patched blacktop for a few miles, then graded gravel for about five miles. The road is a super highway compared to what we experienced on this same road 20 years ago, when we slowly bumped along in a jeep.
Road to Hana Highway Road REOPENED
October 2008 Update - The Piilani Highway has been REOPENED so you can now once again continue on around the island during your Road to Hana trip.
This road was closed after the October 2006 earthquake in the channel between east Maui and the Big Island due to potential rock slides.
Road to Hana Haleakala Videos
The Road to Hana Halekala Backside video below includes the backside of the Maui volcano Haleakala, Huakini Bay, the Pokowai Sea Arch, and Kaupo Gap. Lots of wind and waves.
Click on the PLAY button in the image below to view the video.
The next video below is only 30 seconds long, but it effectively communicates the excitement and fear some riders may experience during the short section of the road that is one lane along steep cliffs.