Also known as the Hana Highway, the Road to Hana is one of the most popular attractions in Maui and one of the most scenic drives in the world. As you wind through luscious jungles and along pristine coastlines, you’ll encounter several breathtaking sights and unique adventures. The following guide will help you navigate the iconic highway and point out the best stops on the Road to Hana.
Road to Hana Map
All Road to Hana Stops
Editor’s Note: The best Road to Hana stops are marked with a star (★)
Mile Marker: 0
Paia Town makes a great first or last stop on your Road to Hana itinerary. The quaint coastal community boasts several great breakfast spots, shops, and restaurants, including the famous Mama’s Fish House.
Twin Falls ★
Mile Marker: 2
Fee: $10 for parking
About 15 minutes past Paia, you’ll find the hike to the Twin Falls. Since this is the first major sight and hike on the Road to Hana, it can get pretty crowded around mid-morning, so you should try to get there as early as possible. The first set of falls, known as the lower falls, are easily accessible by a short walk from the parking lot and a 10-minute hike, and there is a second set located further along the trail. The hike and the falls themselves are absolutely beautiful and well worth a stop, but you may want to head back after the first set of falls if you’re short on time. The entire hike can take between one and two hours. There is also a restroom and changing room available.
Rainbow Eucalyptus Grove
Mile Marker: 7
The Rainbow Eucalyptus Grove is a lesser-known attraction with no formal signs or parking lot. The gorgeous forest can be spotted on the left side of the road and makes a great spot to take a few photos and admire the multicolored bark of the eucalyptus trees.
Waikamoi Nature Trail ★
Mile Marker: 9.5
This lush and breezy hike is a great opportunity to get out of the car and stretch your legs free of charge. There is a quick loop trail that takes about 10 minutes to complete and a nicer, upper trail that takes around 30 minutes to loop around. The upper trail leads to a quaint picnic site, beyond which you can walk through beautiful bamboo trees. If you stop for a picnic, you might spend about an hour at this site. Note that there are no bathroom facilities on the premises.
Garden of Eden Arboretum
Mile Marker: 10
Often described as a scenic wonderland, this 26-acre tropical garden is overflowing with gorgeous wildflowers, fruit trees, and bamboo trees. There are 2.5 miles of trails to explore, and the Puohokamoa Falls offer a rappelling excursion for adventurous travelers. Depending on your interests, this natural paradise may be well worth the fee, and you may want to spend anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours here.
Kaumahina Wayside State Park
Mile Marker: 12
With a gorgeous lookout, convenient bathrooms, and a spacious picnic area, Kaumahina Wayside State Park makes an awesome rest stop on your Road to Hana itinerary. The elevated position of the park offers beautiful views of Maui’s northern coast, and the various forest trails are perfect for stretching your legs. If you’re short on time, you may just want to spend a few minutes taking advantage of the bathrooms, or you can take your time hiking and exploring the 7.8-acre property.
Mile Marker: 14
Approaching the halfway mark, you’ll come upon this black sand bay nestled in a lush green valley. Drive down to explore the dramatic shores marked by jagged lava rocks and lively shimmering waters. If you’re short on time, you can pull over at the Honomanu Lookout and take a quick look at the bay before continuing your drive. There are no bathrooms at this stop, and swimming in the rough waters is not recommended.
Mile Marker: 16
If you passed up the Garden of Eden, you may want to stop at this gorgeous botanical garden nestled in a rainforest on Pi’inau’au Stream. Entrance is always free, and there is a 0.5-mile trail available for guests to explore the beautiful array of tropical plants.
Halfway to Hana Stand ★
Mile Marker: 17
Famous for its fresh and delicious banana bread, this friendly snack stand has been around since 1982 and sells a variety of snacks such as ice cream, shave ice, sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, kalua pork, beverages, and more. Since the stand is well known as one of the best stops on the Road to Hana for a bite to eat, it can get pretty crowded in the afternoons. Note that there are no bathrooms available, and the stand is cash only, but there is a convenient ATM on the property.
Wailua Valley State Wayside ★
Mile Marker: 18.5
Wailua Valley is best known for its scenic lookout and abundance of rare plants and marine life. Rich in history and Hawaiian culture, the area is home to important natural resources, and the small population is almost entirely composed of Hawaiians. The overlook offers incredible views of Wailua, the ocean, and the Ko’olau Gap. This stop is pretty small and easy to miss if you’re not careful, but it’s definitely worth taking a few minutes for a quick picture or a picnic.
Three Bears Falls ★
Mile Marker: 19
Also known as the Upper Waikani Falls, Three Bears offers some of the best waterfalls on the Road to Hana. There are three 70-foot waterfalls cascading into a small swimmable pool. Unless you feel like stopping for a swim, this attraction will generally only take a few minutes. Keep in mind that you need to drive about 80 feet past the bridge and accompanying falls to reach the parking lot and then walk back for a picture or a swim. You can also spot the falls from the car window if you don’t feel like stopping.
Pua’a Ka’a State Wayside Park ★
Mile Marker: 22
With five acres of rainforest, two beautiful waterfalls, freshwater pools, a picnic area, and bathrooms, this state park makes a lovely rest stop. Spend a few minutes taking advantage of the bathrooms or check out the falls up close and spend a couple of hours swimming and exploring the area. You can also walk back to the bridge situated before the parking lot and hike to the waterfall behind it.
Mile Marker: 29
Pick up some souvenirs and take advantage of the several outdoor dining options at this famous marketplace. With a covered picnic area and bathrooms just around the corner, this quaint rest stop is a very convenient detour. There are also a few local shops selling unique artwork and a cozy café where you can grab a coffee to fuel the rest of your drive. Nahiku Marketplace is known best for its delectable kalua pork tacos and is one of the only Road to Hana stops offering a diverse selection of complete meals.
Hana Lava Tube
Mile Marker: 31
One of the largest lava tubes in the world, this 960-year-old natural wonder was formed when lava from an erupting volcano slowly cooled as it flowed toward the ocean. Visitors can embark on a self-guided tour, which takes about 35 minutes. The lava tube is located on a beautiful property with a mountain backdrop, and there are public bathrooms available. There are several fascinating natural formations and historic sights within the tube, and the property also offers a fun garden maze.
Wai’anapanapa State Park ★
Mile Marker: 32
Fee: $10 to park, $5 to enter
Featuring the famous black sand beach on the Road to Hana, Wai’anapanapa State Park is one of the route’s most popular attractions and the only stop on our list where reservations are required (available up to 14 days in advance). The turquoise water appears especially bright when contrasted with the shore’s unique black lava pebbles, and the luscious natural greenery is ripe for exploration. There are two incredible caves to explore in addition to a lava tube and fascinating historic features like burial sites, pictographs, and ancient temples. One could easily spend hours here swimming, hiking, and camping, but keep in mind that the park closes at 6 p.m. Be sure to set out early in the morning if you’re planning to spend ample time at this spot, since it can get pretty crowded in the mid-morning and early afternoon. There are bathrooms available on the property.
Mile Marker: 34
Hana is a remote coastal town with gorgeous beaches, state parks, and fascinating cultural sites. Sometimes referred to as the “real Hawaii,” Hana is steeped in a unique history and offers visitors deeper insight into Hawaiian tradition. If you split your trip in two and spend the night in Hana, you may have time to check out some of the town’s beaches, museums, shops, and restaurants.
Mile Marker: 51
The breathtaking red cliffs of Koki Beach are definitely worth a look, especially since this beach is easily accessible for those looking to take a quick picture or stretch their legs for a few minutes. Although the beach is popular for surfing, the rough waters, high waves, and lack of lifeguards make it too dangerous for recreational swimming.
Mile Marker: 50
If you’re looking for a place to stop and swim, travel one mile further to Hamoa Beach. The crescent-shaped shoreline is bordered by stunning green cliffs and endowed with luxuriously soft sand, glistening turquoise waters, and shady places to relax. Unlike Koki Beach, here there are also public bathrooms and showers available.
Wailua Falls ★
Mile Marker: 45
For more of the best waterfalls on the Road to Hana, you definitely don’t want to miss the Wailua Falls. Known as one of the most beautiful stops on the route, the falls offer picture-perfect scenery set along a bridge and easily visible from a car window. Water cascades down 80 feet of tropical jungle greenery and splashes into a glistening freshwater pool. Although you won’t even need to stop your car to view the majestic beauty of the falls, there is a large parking lot available filled with local vendors, and you are welcome to hike down for a refreshing dip.
Kipahulu, Haleakala National Park ★
Mile Marker: 42
Fee: $30 (valid for 3 days)
Reservations are not required to enter this section of the park (a reservation is only needed if you’re planning to catch the sunset at the summit or you’re reserving a cabin for camping) and tickets can be purchased at the entrance. If you enter into the Kipahulu district of Haleakala National Park, at mile marker 42, you can save your receipt to use when visiting the Summit district for catching the sunrise or hiking. Note that if you also plan on visiting the Honaunau National Historical Park or the Volcano National Park on the Big Island, we recommend purchasing the Hawaii tri-park pass, which costs only $55 and is valid for up to a year.
Inside the park, you’ll find Maui’s famous bamboo forest hike, also known as Pipiwai Trail, which will lead you to the scenic Waimoku Falls. The hike is four miles long and can take between two and three hours to complete depending on your fitness level. Don’t underestimate the intensity of the hike, as there are several sets of stairs along the way. Since the national park closes at 5 p.m., you definitely don’t want to start your hike later than 3 p.m. There is also a shorter half-mile hike along that coast that will take you to the majestic Seven Sacred Pools, also known as ’Ohe’o Gulch.
Recommendation: We recommend that you start leaving the park about two hours before sunset to give yourself ample time to get back to Paia Town before it starts getting dark. There are no street lights on the Road to Hana and driving it at night should be avoided at all cost. If you’re interested in checking out a different route, you can leave the park through the Back Road to Hana. The first five miles are unpaved, and the scenic ride will take you past lavender fields and a few other lesser-known sights.
Booking a Road to Hana Tour
While some travelers prefer the freedom of driving themselves and choosing their stops, opting for a tour can relieve some of the stress related to planning and time management. If you would prefer to embark on the Road to Hana with a guided tour, we recommend checking out Get Your Guide for their small-group sightseeing tour. This top-rated excursion will pick you up from your hotel between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. and drop you back off at the end of your full-day trip.
An air-conditioned vehicle will take up to eight guests on the tour, and a continental breakfast and a Tahitian BBQ lunch are included. Along the route, your expert tour guide will share information on Hawaiian culture, history, myths, and legends. You’ll visit beaches, small towns, villages, and farms, and gain a deeper understanding of traditional Hawaiian life, as well as get a glimpse of the main lookouts, beaches, falls, and other sights along the way.
General Tips for the Road to Hana
- We recommend being at the starting point of the drive by 7 a.m. This is the best way to avoid crowds and ensure that you have time for multiple stops. If you stay the night in Hana, you’ll be able to beat the crowds at popular spots near the end of the road. If you split the trip into two days, your last stop on the first day would likely be the Three Bears Waterfalls.
- Understandably, the Road to Hana is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Maui, and some of the best stops along the way can be extremely crowded during peak season. If possible, it is best to take the drive in low season, when some of the stops won’t be as packed.
- We also recommend mapping out your trip and choosing where to stop at the Road to Hana ahead of time to make the most of your journey. Be sure to keep an eye on your timing at each stop so that you don’t need to cut your itinerary short.
- Note that once you pass Hana Town and reach mile 36, the mile markers skip to 51 and start descending.
- There is no cellular service on most of the Road to Hana. It is possible to purchase a Road to Hana app (iOS/Android) with an embedded GPS that can guide you offline, or you can pick up a map of the island and write down all of your planned stops and accompanying notes beforehand.
- Given the narrow bridges and challenging curves, it is best to take this journey in a small car rather than a truck or SUV.
- Be sure to leave with a full tank of gas, as there is only one gas station on the route, in Hana Town.
- Keep an eye out when you’re crossing a bridge as there are gorgeous waterfalls at almost every one of them.
Road to Hana Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Road to Hana?
Also referred to as Hana Highway, the Road to Hana is a winding road in Maui that offers gorgeous natural scenery and a ton of must-see stops along the way.
Where is the Road to Hana?
The Road to Hana runs along the northeast coastline of Maui on Highway 36 and 360.
Where Does the Road to Hana Start?
The drive connects Kahului, where you’ll also find the island’s main airport, to the eastern town of Hana and extends to Haleakala National Park.
How Long is the Road to Hana?
The Road to Hana in Maui is 64 miles long. With no stops, it would take about five hours to drive there and back. Depending on stops, you could make the round trip in one very long 12-hour day. Some travelers prefer to split the trip into two days, spending the night in Hana.
Is the Road to Hana Dangerous?
Driving the Road to Hana can definitely be a bit challenging and scary if you’re not used to winding roads. Along the route, there are 620 curves and 59 bridges, some of which are sharp and narrow. We recommend putting an experienced driver behind the wheel. If you’ve navigated mountainous terrain before, the drive won’t be too difficult. Be sure to take your time, especially when navigating the curves. If the car behind you is going too fast, it is best to just pull over and let them pass. Proper etiquette on the narrow one-lane bridges is to allow one car from each side to pass at a time, so make sure that you stay patient and wait your turn.
What to Pack on the Road to Hana
Since the drive is quite long and some stretches are pretty remote, we recommend bringing food and snacks. There are also a few fruit stands, food trucks, and banana bread stalls along the way, but most are cash only so be sure to have some on hand if you’d like to stop. If you get car sick, you should definitely also pack some Dramamine. There are several gorgeous beaches where you might want to stop, so pack some sunscreen, towels, bathing suits, and an extra pair of clothes. You’ll also need a good paid of hiking shoes if you plan to stop at one of the hikes on the Road to Hana.
There you have it, a complete guide to Maui’s Road to Hana. Hopefully a few of these stops have caught your eye and you’re almost ready to grab your map and hit the road.