Road to Hana

(This page is a work in progress) 

Paia Town | First Stop

Paia is the last town you pass before starting your trip clockwise to Hana. Lots of people choose to pull over here for coffee, gas, and a snack from Mana Foods. This store is recognized for its wide variety of local, organic products and is the perfect place to pick up some goodies for your trip.

Ho’okepa Beach Park | Mile Marker #9

Surf Park - Basking Green Sea Turtles

From the bluff, Ho'okipa is a great spot to stop and watch some of the best surfing in Maui. In the winter, the waves can get pretty massive here. Maui is Mecca to windsurfers and Kiteboarders due to consistent wind. DO NOT SURF HERE unless you are very experienced and are able to go with a local.

Twin Falls | Mile Marker #2

Just past Paia, Twin Falls is a good place to stop if you’ve started the drive early. (Otherwise, you may want to skip it in favor of bigger, more impressive waterfalls later on.) The hike to the waterfall is easy and beautiful, and there’s a farm stand selling coconut water, banana bread, and smoothies at the entrance. It’s definitely worth a quick peek.


Kaulanapueo Church | Mile Marker 3.5

The very first stop on the Road to Hana was the Kaulanapueo Church built in 1853. At 8:45 in the morning, we were the only ones there, besides the spirits buried in the quaint cemetery, some dating back to 1940. The Protestant churches doors were locked, but the stop was worth a peak around the grounds.



Heolo Lookout  Mile Marker #4/5

Fruit and Smoothies

Waikamoi Ridge Trail | Mile Marker #9.5

This is a nice hike with a picnic area. It has 2 loops. One takes about 10 minutes and the other takes about half an hour. Waikamoi Trail can sometimes be muddy, but it's a pretty hike through the trees.


Garden Of Eden Arboretum | Mile Marker #10

Stroll the impeccably-kept grounds, which offer ocean views and all kinds of photo ops — including a 100-year-old mango tree! In addition to the botanical garden, guests can explore a local art gallery, an enchanted forest, and a bird-feeding area. The garden is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Insider Scoop:  Great for people with limited mobility or families.   For the more adventurous, 


Kaumahina State Wayside Park | Mile Marker #12

This wayside park on the way to Hana boasts a lookout point with a beautiful view of Maui's North coast. Apart from the view, the park offers bathrooms, a picnic area, and various trails meandering through the forest.


Keanae Peninsula & Arboretum  | Mile Marker #16

Ke'anae has an interesting history, some beautiful views, and an excellent arboretum. The coastline is rocky and exposed to the elements, so you won't find any swimming opportunities here. The people of Ke'anae grow taro, bananas, yams, and other crops much like their Hawaiian ancestors.


Insider Scoop:  Aunty Sandy’s Banana Bread is awesome:

Halfway to Hana Stand   | Mile Marker #17

The Half Way to Hana stand is a great place to take and enjoy their famous Banana Bread.   Half Way to Hana bakes their own banana bread made from bananas grown right there on the property. The shack also offers lunch options.    ATM on site.  


Wailua Valley State Wayside | Mile Marker #18 

Another historically rich community can be seen from the Wailua Overlook. This is a great spot to have a picnic and watch the views of both Wailua on the ocean and also the Ko'olau Gap in the mountains. It's easy to miss this little turnout, and there's only room for 3-4 cars.


Upper Waikani Falls  | Mile Marker #19 

AKA 3 Bears, there's enough room for 2-3 cars, but it's a no-parking zone. Once a few cars park, 6-7 more park behind it and take up most of the road becoming a hazard. There is, however, a turnout further up the road where you can park and walk down. The walk is a little hairy because there isn't a path.


Pua’a Kaa State Wayside Park | Mile Marker #22  | Restroomroom

Pua'a Ka'a State Wayside Park. Here you'll find a paved trail to several small falls and a picnic area. A larger falls can also be accessed upstream via a dirt trail. If you decide to go, use caution crossing the viaduct and be prepared for mud. Mongooses (yes that's plural) also hang out at the park. You may have already seen them streaking across the road. Some bright soul imported them to kill the rats that the sailors brought here on their boats. Well, they killed the ground rats and most of the ground birds but left the tree rats. They are now found on every island except Kaua'i.The little creatures run around this area gathering food left over from picnics. You are also likely to see the wild Jungle Foul (chickens) that frequent the area (that is, if the mongooses haven't gotten to them yet)..

Hanawi Falls | Mile Marker #24

Some beautiful falls along a bridge can be found at Hanawai Falls. Most of the time, only the right side flows, but when the flow is heavy, you'll find more falls to the left. Make sure to park in safe areas off the road.



Nahiku Marketplace | Mile Marker #29

By now, you’re probably ready for lunch. Be sure to check out the Nahiku Marketplace. This little roadside market has beautiful gifts like handmade jewelry, clothing, and artwork. It’s also a lovely place to enjoy a meal; you’ll find several food trucks selling everything from kalua pork tacos to Thai food. Don’t forget to buy a bag of toasted coconut chips from Coconut Willy!

Lava Tube Kahanu Garden | Mile Marker #31

The Hana Lava Tube, also known as Ka’Eleku Caverns, provides a wonderful adventure for families and couples alike. Self-guided cave tours are available seven days per week and take about 40 minutes. Plus, the handrails and comfortable temperature make this activity fun, safe, and easy for visitors of all ages.

Also off of 'Ula'ino Road, drive a bit further and on the right you'll see the National Tropical Botanical Gardens. They have the only accessible view of Pi'ilanihale Heiau, which is the largest Temple in Hawaii. This ancient temple took hundreds of years to complete and sprawls over 3 acres. This is a MUST SEE!

How to Get There: Around the 31-mile marker, turn left on ‘Ula’ino Road and drive for less than half a mile. On the left, you’ll see a place to get flashlights for the massiv9*e lava tube!

Wai’anapanapa State Park | Mile Marker #32

The most popular Road to Hana stop (besides Hana Town) is Wai’anapanapa State Park. Between the sea caves, hiking trails, and a stunning black sand beach, you can easily spend an entire day here. We recommend hiking the loop trail and taking a refreshing dip in the ocean before continuing your journey to Hana.


Hana Town | Mile Marker #34

Historic Sophia’s Church marks your arrival into Hana, where the pastures roll right up to the main street. Hana is considered “Real Hawaii” by many and has remained relatively unchanged compared to the rest of the island’s development. The town is quiet, beautiful, and full of history. Some of our favorite attractions include:


  • Red Sand Beach


  • Hana Beach Park
  • Hana Cultural Center & Museum
  • Hale Piilani, the state’s largest Hawaiian temple
  • Hasegawa General Store and Hana Ranch Store
  • Ka’uiki Restaurant
  • Hana Hotel Spa

Charles Lindbergh’s Grave* - Palapala Ho'omau Church  Mile Marker 41

The burial ground of prominent aviator, inventor, explorer, author, and activist Charles Lindbergh. In 1927, Lindbergh became the first person to make a
non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

Wailua Falls | Mile Marker #45

Wailua Falls is Maui’s most photographed waterfall and is an absolute must-see. Cascading 80 feet down the side of a lush jungle, this is one of the island’s most accessible and majestic falls. Feel free to admire it from the road or take a dip in the plunge pool below.

Hamoa Beach | Mile Marker #50

Consistently named one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Hamoa Beach is surrounded by shady trees and sea cliffs. It’s a few miles past Hana and offers a secluded oasis away from the crowds. Guests enjoy swimming, body surfing, and boogie boarding in the turquoise waves, and restrooms and showers are available. Keep in mind that there are no lifeguards on duty; you’re responsible for the safety of your family and yourself!

Huli Huli Chicken -  

Koki Beach | Mile Marker #51

Is seeing a red sand beach on your bucket list? You’re in luck! Koki Beach is less than a mile from Hamoa and is famous for its dark, red sand. It’s a favorite spot for local surfers, but we don’t recommend swimming here. There are no lifeguards and the water has high waves and frequent rip tides.

Haleakala Nat. Park | Pipiwai Trail | Waimoku Falls | 7 Sacred Pools | Mile Marker #51

The Pipiwai Trail is located in southeast Maui. It’s within Haleakala National Park in the area called Kipahulu. The Pipiwai Trail is a 4-mile (round trip) hike that takes about 2 hours to complete. If you want to linger in the forest, you could spend up to 4 hours on this trail exploring the terrain and not be bored.

The Seven Sacred Pools within the ‘Ohe’o Gulch are mesmerizing natural wonders of Haleakala National Park. A short hike leads you to numerous freshwater pools that are fed by flowing waterfalls. It’s a wonderful place to swim and cool off when the water levels are high – just be sure to comply with signs and be cautious when swimming or hiking in any stream in the Hana district.


 Kaupo General Store | Mile Marker #35 Highway (Highway 31)

This remote little general store is the only stop on the back-road to Hana for refreshments. It's full of character in the beautifully remote Kaupo area of Maui. Like a step back in time.

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  • Kevin Peterson
    published this page in Explore 2021-03-01 17:04:39 -1000