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  • The street in front of Paia Town Center on Maui
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    Fuel up in Paia

  • Scenic waterfall along the Hana Highway
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    Stretch Your Legs in Huelo

  • Rainbow off the Keanae Peninsula
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    Get in Touch with Nature near Keanae

  • Enjoying the pools of Oheo Gulch
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    Enjoy the Scenery at OheO Gulch

  • Kayaks resting at a coastal stop on the Hana Highway
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    Arrive in Hana

Cruising along the Hana Highway
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Tor Johnson

Road to Hana Highway

By Kate Donnelly

  • Route distance:
    109.00 km
  • Suggested Time:
    2 days

Take time out for a scenic adventure on the winding Road to Hana.

Less is more on Hawaii’s Hana Highway or Road to Hana, a celebrated 83-kilometer road running along the northeastern coast of Maui, part of Hawaii State Routes 36 and 360. The road begins in the central town of Kahului and ends at the charmingly remote, rustic town of Hana, once the site of a flourishing sugar cane plantation and mill. With over 600 sharp curves and bends along with 59 bridges (46 are just one lane), the road is an awe-inspiring drive of cliffs, beaches and waterfalls. Regardless of its countless snaking twists and turns, you’re awarded by a lush, panoramic drive of tropical jungles and towering cliffs overlooking the azure and emerald Pacific Ocean. The road bends through kukui trees, Hawaii’s state tree, growing along the slopes of the mountain. There isn’t a bad view in sight. Period. Every turn reveals extraordinary vistas, abundant waterfalls, botanical gardens, iconic surf spots, black sand beaches and green taro food crop patches.

01
The street in front of Paia Town Center on Maui
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Fuel up in Paia

Your journey begins in Paia, the quaint village on Maui’s North Shore and the last place to fill up your gas tank until Hana. For a leisurely lunch, Mama’s Fish House is a classic beachfront mainstay. Otherwise, grab some picnic provisions at either Paia Fish Market or Tina’s Garden Gourmet Café (note, the only food choices along the road are various fruit stands).

33 km
0.75 hours by car
02
Scenic waterfall along the Hana Highway
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Stretch Your Legs in Huelo

Twin Falls at mile marker 2 reveals waterfalls and excellent swimming. The small community of Huelo is a tranquil rural spot that showcases two churches. Stop here to hike along the Waikamoi Nature Trail (markers 9 and 10), which is a nice place to stretch your legs and soak in the expanse of the bamboo forest and sweet scent of ginger.

11 km
0.5 hours by car
03
Rainbow off the Keanae Peninsula
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Palm trees on the Keanae Peninsula along Hana Highway
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Get in Touch with Nature near Keanae

The rest of the drive offers plenty of scenic stops. The brilliantly colored botanical flowers at Garden of Eden Arboretum are sure to awe. Further along the road, The Keanae Arboretum allows the active individual to take a challenging forest hike while the dramatic Waikani Falls afford a breathtaking backdrop for photos. Head further down the road to explore the Hana Lava Tube, a massive cave formed by lava flows. If you want to keep your experience above ground, the stunning black sand of Pailoa Beach is a great choice.

45 km
1.5 hours by car
04
Enjoying the pools of Oheo Gulch
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Surf hitting the rocks at Oheo Gulch
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Enjoy the Scenery at OheO Gulch

Waianapanapa State Park is a 49-hectare park featuring a spectacular black sand beach and spring-fed freshwater caves. At the highway’s end, you will come across a stunning expanse of waterfalls and pools called OheO Gulch, or the “Seven Sacred Pools.” This is one of the most popular sites in East Maui because of its suitability for swimming and cliff jumping.

5 km
0.25 hours by car
05
Kayaks resting at a coastal stop on the Hana Highway
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Arrive in Hana

Drive just beyond OheO Gulch, and you arrive in Hana, the sweet and sleepy town nestled in an emerald rain forest. Keep the windows down to savor the fresh sea air mixed with a sultry essence of white ginger and sweet guava. You’re at the end of the road, ready to turn around and repeat the same stunning trip. Or extend your tranquil trip by spending the night at the romantic Travaasa Hana Resort, where you can surf or horseback ride before you head back. After this sojourn, one can deservedly place the iconic bumper sticker on their car, “I Survived the Road to Hana."

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Bird's-eye view of Waikiki Beach

Destination

Honolulu

A spectacular cliffside double waterfall
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Destination

Kauai

Secluded Red Sand Beach on Kaihalulu Bay near Hana
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Destination

Maui