Road to Hana Tips

Road to Hana- a Complete Guide

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Get transported to another time and world on the historic Road to Hana on Maui island Hawaii. This scenic highway runs from Paia Town to Hana. It’s a long and winding road with not many towns along the route. What it does have are nearly 617 winding turns and 54 single-lane bridges.

Every turn and tight fit is worth it when you see the breathtaking coastal views, rainbow eucalyptus trees, plentiful waterfalls and try all the delicious food along the way.

This scenic drive is a must see. It’s my favorite Maui activity. I have done the drive 3 times and each time I see a little more of this magical Maui attraction. On our last trip, we rented a jeep to take us around the island. It is such a blast to explore the east side of Maui.

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Maui Road to Hana

Tips to Driving the Road to Hana

  • Bring Cash Money.
  • Plan to start early.
  • Fill Up your Tank Before you start.
  • Know where the restrooms are.
  • Be prepared for motion sickness.
  • Download any websites or apps before-hand there’s no wifi.
  • Be prepared for any weather and a ton of mud.
  • Watch out for cars, dogs, people, and cattle.
  • Look for Mile Markers along the way.
  • Mile Markers Re-Start around mile 13 and then reverse after Hana Town.
  • If you do the entire drive this is definitely an all-day adventure! And that’s if you don’t stop everywhere.

Best Stops Along The Road to Hana-

Start the Road to Hana In Paia Town-

Fuel Up here! And maybe stop for a great coffee or an açai bowl. This is the official start to the Road to Hana. And there are many local and interesting stores in Paia Town. I definitely recommend coming back to Paia when you can spend more time walking around and exploring. It’s a great place to get souvenirs too!

Twin Falls Maui

Twin Falls-Mile Marker #2

The first big attraction on your way to Hana is a quick little hike to the Twin Falls. Twin Falls is located just after Mile Marker 2, on the right-hand side of the road. A quick 5-minute easy hike will take you down to a nice set of 15-foot waterfalls.

This quick trip is a great picture taking spot and a can’t miss on your road to Hana adventure. Grab some snacks at the nearby smoothie and snack wagon. There are outhouses for a bathroom break available here.

Rainbow Eucalyptus Grove- Mile Marker #6.5

The road to Hana provides many breathtaking roadside views but among my favorite are the Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees. You smell their distinctive aroma on the drive if you roll down the windows.

These trees are most commonly known for their bright technicolored bark. Pause along the roadside for a quick picture but be careful there’s not a parking lot.

Garden of Eden Arboretum– Mile Marker #10

I’ve never been able to stop here, as time has always been an issue. However, next time we’re on Maui I promise to give this gorgeous place a stop. The Garden of Eden is a large botanical garden that holds the best of Maui’s flora.

A lot of people told me I missed out not stopping here. As there are many cool photo opportunities, souvenirs, and activities to do there.

Road to Hana Maui Kahuku Smoke Shack

Da Smoke Shack- Mile Marker #10.5

Warning. This food is to die for. Purchase a platter or 2 of delicious local BBQ. Served with pork, chicken, rice, fern salad, and a caramelized banana. Yummmmmmmmmm!

This dish haunts me, it was that good. We stumbled upon this place on our first trip to Maui in 2017, not we make sure to come here whenever we’re on Maui. The food and atmosphere are way too good to pass up.

Road to Hana state wayside park

Kaumahina Wayside Park- Mile Marker #12

A great rest stop to stretch your legs, snap a few pictures and use the restroom. You could even picnic here if you wanted. There is a lot of parking. And it’s a great place to get out and stretch your legs if you need to.

Additionally, it has an amazing view of the bay, so snap a few pictures here too!

Halfway to Road to Hana

Halfway Point of the Road to Hana- Mile Marker #17

The halfway mark to Hana is the little town of Haiku, Hawaii. Stop by the snack shop and grab some homemade banana bread and other treats. Restrooms are available here.

And, this little shop has many photo op boards available. Great picture taking spot!

Wailua Valley State Wayside Park- Mile Marker #18

Another good spot to stop for lunch, this wayside park has amazing views of the Pacific ocean and Maui coastline. The parking here is very limited and just off the road, so be careful.

road to hana maui  Upper Waikani fall

Upper Waikani Falls- Mile Marker #19

This amazing tiered waterfall Upper Waikani falls is also called 3 Bears. This waterfall is always gorgeous, but after a good rain, it truly comes alive. There are many great angles to this set of waterfalls. And every picture I took here was breathtaking.

The parking here is limited, but this swimming hole is a must stop for a refreshing swim and a very short hike. This mossy stop is a great photo op.

Pua’a Ka’a State Wayside Park- Mile Marker #22

This tiered waterfall and the wayside park has a ton of parking, restrooms, and space for picnics. The upper fall is swimmable and we saw many people wading in.

There are several tiers and the waterfall even goes under the road and below the bridge. So, this is a great picture taking spot and rest area.

Lava Tube Maui

Roadside Lava Tube-Mile Marker #23

At mile marker #23 just past the wayside park, is a truly hidden Road to Hana gem. On the right-hand side of the road is a lava tube, parking is just off the road on the left-hand side. Watch out for cars as you cross and enter the cavern.

This is just a shortstop and requires a flashlight or cell phone light, but it’s really awesome to go inside the lava tube. It does open up inside after a slight climb and loops back to the road if you go all the way through. We loved this little secret!

Hanawai Falls- Mile Marker #24

This waterfall has very little parking so it’s best to do a slow drive by along the one lane bridge. But, this waterfall is gorgeous no matter what the recent rainfall has been like.

Coconut Glens Road to HAna
Coconut Glen’s Original Coconut Ice “Cream”

Coconut Glen’s Vegan Ice Cream-Mile Marker #27.5

I love Coconut Glen’s vegan ice cream so much! My favorites are the original coconut flavor and coffee flavor. The frozen coconut concoction is made on site and you can grab a fresh coconut to drink too. The staff is always friendly and the little shack is so fun with its bright colors!

Road to Hana Maui lava tube

Lava Tube and Maze- Mile Marker #31

We had a blast walking around the garden like grounds of the Lava Tube. The stairs pictured above lead you into the cavernous lava tube. It’s dark down there, so you rent a special high-intensity flashlight. I believe it was around $12 each.

Next, you head over to the mouth of the lava tube. Be careful going down the steep stairway. The tube has several different chambers and it’s neat to see the effects of the lava centuries ago! Make sure to check out the maze and gardens.

Maui State Park

Wai’anapanapa State Park-Mile Marker #32

There are so many things to do at Wai’anapanapa State Park! You can camp, swim, surf, hike and more! This is home to the famous Black Sand Beach on Maui.

black sand beach maui

Black Sand Beach-Journey down a long stairway to the black sand bay that is famous on Maui. The delicate black sand is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. If the ocean is calm this can also be a great place to swim.

If you move to the left of the bay, you can continue on a trail to see more of the bay. Or you can dip under the low hanging rocks on the right-hand side (left of the staircase) and check out a lava tube that exits to the ocean. I loved exploring this little cavern and the sound of the waves here was so peaceful.

Blow Hole- Also located in the state park is a blowhole. Be careful and pay attention to the signs, as blow holes are powerful and unpredictable. But the view of the bay from this spot is gorgeous.

Be Respectful of the Heiau– A heiau is a sacred place here in Hawaii very often an ancient burial site or temple. Located throughout the state park are many burial grounds and sacred stones. Please do not touch or move these as they are sacred to Hawaiians. Please show respect to the local culture. Mahalo!

Coastal Maui View

Road to Hana Destination, Hana Town- Mile Marker #34

Hana Town is quaint. Stop here for real Hawaiian charm. There are many places to stop and eat here. Get out, stretch your legs and enjoy a walk around the bay for coastal views. Or follow the road to many delicious treats.

Seven Sacred Pool Mile Marker #42

Located in Mount Haleakala State Park the Seven Sacred Pools are the ultimate Maui swimming hole. Every time I’ve visited Maui in the past few years the weather has been bad or we haven’t had enough time to stop. However, the views from the road are amazing. And it’s a must stop for my next trip.

Rest Room Guide for the Road to Hana

  • Twin Falls- There are outhouses available here.
  • Kauhamina Wayside Park- Lots of parking, traditional restrooms available.
  • Half Way to Hana- Outhouses are available.
  • Pua’a State Wayside Park- Traditional restrooms available.
  • Lava Tube and Maze- Outhouses available.
  • Wai’anapanapa State Park- Traditional Restrooms available.
maui fruit stand

What to Pack for the Road to Hana-

  • Hand Sanitizer- with the number of outhouses, railings, and public restrooms you’ll be using on the road to Hana it’s a great idea to bring hand sanitizer along to disinfect.
  • Water- Make sure to bring lots of water for your trip. We brought our Hydroflasks and were able to refill via drinking fountains at many wayside and state parks.
  • Water for rinsing off the mud- Hiking along many of the waterfalls and paths can leave you pretty muddy. Rinsing off before getting in the car will help you save your deposit on your rental car!
  • Towels- All the mud and rain makes the waterfalls gorgeous. But, it can leave your car looking like a war zone. Bring a towel to dry off after a swim and also to wipe the mud off your legs and feet.
  • Cash Money- Many of the attractions, restaurants, and snack stands only accept cash. There are also many great fruit stands along the Road to Hana where local families sell their extra fresh fruit. Snag some papaya, apple bananas, or mango with a few bucks.
  • Snacks- The Road to Hana is a long drive, having snacks on hand is a must. Stops along the road can be few and far between for food. Hiking to all these amazing waterfalls makes you super hungry!
  • Dramamine or Nausea Wrist Bands for those who are prone to motion sickness. This road is winding and can cause motion sickness.
  • Sunscreen- make sure to use bring a reef safe sunscreen along the road to Hana. Although, it’s often cloudy and rainy the Hawaiian sun is relentless.
  • Bug Spray- All the rain definitely makes for happy mosquitos. So make sure to bring Bug Spray or Insect Repellant bands to keep them at bay during your waterfall hikes.
Maui Lava Tube

Take a Tour to skip the driving and maximize the fun!

If driving down a long and winding road isn’t your idea of fun try taking a tour instead! Many of these tours include waterfalls, swimming, hiking, lunch, and ziplining.

Please drop your Road to Hana questions below!

Summer K-Hadden

Summer K-Hadden

A lifestyle blogger, and freelancer living her dream in sunny Hawaii. My passions are personal development, mental wellness, and island living. My goal is to inspire others to live a life they don’t need to take a vacation from. When I'm not writing, you can find her out on the water, soaking up the sun and the vitamin sea.

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