The Road to Hana has countless stops and is a very popular activity to do in Hawaii. it’s certainly one of the best things to do on the island of Maui.
There are so many things to do, but unfortunately if your time is limited you won’t have enough daylight to make every stop.
Keep reading this article to learn more about my top 15 stops on the beautiful Road to Hana. I have also included some tips and tricks to help you plan accordingly.
Before we get started, let’s start off with some FAQs about driving The Road to Hana.
1. How Long is the Road to Hana (The Hana Highway)?
The Road to Hana is a 64.4-mile long road that is considered to be one of the most hazardous routes in Hawaii, so please be careful when driving here.
It has almost 60 one-lane bridges and it takes anywhere between 2.5 to 3 hours to drive the entire highway non-stop.
Do not be tempted to take photos while driving. Instead, pull over and park in one of the many spots on the side of the road. This is much safer for everyone around you, ensures you’ll have enough time to get the shot, and also allows you to get creative and find the best angle for your pictures.
While this is considered one of the most dangerous roads in Hawaii, it’s certainly doable; just remember to slow down and pay extra attention at all times.
If you see a local driving by, slow down and let them pass as they use this road on a day-to-day basis to get to work.
2. How Many Stops Does the Road to Hana have?
The Road to Hana has so many stops that it’s hard for me to list them all here. It’s also nearly impossible to make all the stops in a one-day trip.
One of the hardest decisions you will make on this trip is deciding on which stops to make, but my hope is that this article will help guide you.
3. Is the Road to Hana Worth it?
Yes, yes and yes. This is a must when you are in Maui. You will have a lot of opportunities to see some of the best waterfalls in Maui, some of the best hikes on the island and so much more.
4. Should I Stay in Hana?
If you have time, I recommend staying the night in the town of Hana. This will allow you to slow down and enjoy the journey instead of rushing to see everything.
You can split the drive in two days and it will give you enough time to enjoy each stop.
I recommend doing half of your stops in one day and then driving all the way to Hana to spend the night. You can then begin the journey back to Paia the next day early in the morning and visit the stops you missed on day one.
5. Do I need an APP or Guidebook?
I used the Shaka Guide App and it was seriously one of the best decisions I made on this trip. The app cost about $15 and it was totally worth every penny as it made everything so much easier to follow.
All of the stops I researched on my own before purchasing the app were included on the tour and I didn’t have to manually look at the mile markers to locate my stop. The Shaka Guide told me exactly where I needed to stop as well as where to park.
If you are wondering how the guide works, you basically download the app in the app store and it works on both Apple and Android phones. The tour works offline too, which is a win since there are multiple areas on the road with no service.
The audio tours play based on your GPS location and it provides turn-by-turn navigation.
I would describe the Shaka Guide as the best virtual tour guide. One of the best features of the guide is that it narrates some interesting stories of Hawaii so you will be entertained the whole way.
6. What Should I Pack?
Food & water obviously. Be sure to bring a bathing suit or two if you plan on swimming in some of the waterfalls. Bring good hiking shoes for Hawaii such as water shoes, a change of clothes or two, sunscreen, a phone charger and extra batteries for all the amazing pictures you will take.
Now that we have covered the frequently asked questions, lets dive into the best 15 stops on The Road to Hana!
1. The Town of Paia
Paia Town is a laid-back hippie surfer town filled with amazing restaurants, affordable shops, and some of the best all-natural foods on the island of Maui.
This is where a lot of people stop to eat or buy food before embarking on the journey towards Hana.
Be sure to stop and get some snacks and gas as this is the last town before taking the long drive to Hana. The restaurants here tend to be more affordable compared to the resort areas; they cater to a lot of locals too.
I highly recommend Paia Fish Market for some of the best and affordable food on the island. If you are a budget traveler like myself then you will love this place. Hawaii is expensive and we all need some tips and tricks on how to save money.
2. Twin Falls
The spectacular Twin Falls are one of the most popular stops on the Road to Hana, as they are very close to the town of Paia.
To be honest, I am not a very big fan of overcrowded touristy areas, so I was not looking forward to stopping at Twin Falls because of how overcrowded it gets.
We decided to skip Twin Falls on the way to Hana to avoid the crowds and decided to stop on our way back. This was the best decision we ever made.
We got there around 4PM and there were only two other families there, so we basically had the entire falls to ourselves.
The double waterfalls you see on the main road is where a lot of people stop and immediately drive off, but there is so much more to see here. There are short but incredible hikes you can take as well, so be sure to check those out.
3. Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees
The rainbow eucalyptus trees are a very rare type of eucalyptuses. These trees look like they have been painted, but the colors are all-natural. I kept asking myself if these trees were real the entire time I was there.
These trees are so overlooked as one of the stops on the Road to Hana, but I definitely recommend adding them to your itinerary.
There are many opportunities to see these trees while driving the Road to Hana, but the most well-known/visited is located near mile marker number 7.
4. Honomanu Bay
If you are into black sand beaches, then you will love Honomanu bay. This is an eastern facing beach with lots of volcanic black sands, so be sure to get here early to catch the sunrise as it is one of the most beautiful places to watch it.
Honomanu Bay is located near mile marker number 14 between the Garden of Eden and Ke’ana Peninsula.
We parked our car on the side of the road and walked about ½ a mile to the beach as we did not have a 4-wheel drive and did not want to risk it.
The hike there was not bad at all. In fact, it was peaceful.
5. Upper Waikani falls
Also known as the Three Bears, the Upper Waikani Falls are a must stop on the Road to Hana. They are located a few minutes past the halfway to Hana sign and are very easy to get to.
If you love swimming with a great view, then this place is for you. There is plenty of parking located about 0.1 miles from the falls.
6. Waikamoi Falls
These falls took my breath away. They were not originally on my list of stops, but thanks to the Shaka Guide App, I decided to stop here. Parking was easy to find and the hike to the falls was not long.
I highly recommend proper hiking shoes or water shows as it was very muddy to hike to the waterfall. I also noticed that this stop wasn’t as crowded as the other waterfalls we explored.
7. Kaihalulu Beach (Red Sand)
Kaihalulu is located near the town of Hana and the beach here is made of red sand. Need I say more?
8. Halfway to Hana Sign
The halfway to Hana sign is located past mile marker 17 and is worth the stop on your journey to Hana town. I mainly stopped here to stretch my legs and to purchase some cold water.
One thing to note is that this is not “technically” the halfway to Hana point. In fact, you are so close to Hana by the time you get to this sign.
9. Nahiki Market Place
This is your chance to stop for food if you are hungry and want a quick lunch. There is also a coffee shop for those of you that might need a pick-me-up.
We made a quick stop here to get some coffee and continued on our journey.
10. Waiʻānapanapa State Park (Black Sand Beach)
This place is a must if you are taking the drive to Hana. There are a lot of attractions in Waianapanapa including the famous black sand beach, stunning coastal views, blow holes, and the native Hala Forest.
Be sure to make your reservations with Waianapanapa ahead of time as they are now required to enter the park. You will need both a parking reservation and an entrance reservation.
Unfortunately for us, we were turned away at the entrance as we did not have a reservation. I will be sure to go back one day to experience it for myself.
11. Pools of Oheo (Seven Sacred Pools)
The famous pools of Oheo are also known as the Seven Sacred Pools and are located 15 minutes from Hana town.
If you are a budget traveler like me, then you will be glad to hear that Oheo is part of the Haleakala National Park and the entrance fee you pay here will also admit you to the Haleakala Summit, so be sure to save your receipt!
The Oheo pools are one of my favorite stops on the Road to Hana. There are tiered pools fed by gorgeous waterfalls.
Swimming is no longer allowed in the pools, but you can still have a good time and enjoy the gorgeous views around you.
The next three stops listed below are also located in the Haleakala National Park so all stops can be done at the same time.
12. The Bamboo Forest on the Pipiwaii Trail
If you are embarking on the Journey to Hana, then you have probably heard of the Bamboo Forest. This is one of the most famous stops on the Road to Hana and it’s totally worth stopping here as there is so much to see.
The bamboo forest is also located in the Kipahulu area of Haleakala National Park (same parking as the Pools of Oheo).
The bamboo forest trail is part of the Pipiwai trail, which includes a lot of other attractions and connects the Makahiku and the famous Waimoku Falls (covered below).
13. Falls of Makahiku
These falls are located right above the Pools of Oheo. Standing at 184 feet, these falls are a must-see on your trip to Hana.
14. Waimoku Falls
The Waimoku Falls are seriously my favorite stop on the Road to Hana and the hike to get here was totally worth it.
Standing at 400 feet, these falls are at the end of the Pipiwai trail and are considered one of Maui’s most beautiful waterfalls by a lot of people – and I can’t argue with that statement.
This place gets super busy so be sure to get here early or before closing time to avoid the big crowds. We got to the falls 45 minutes before closing time and it was not crowded at all. We were able to take photos without a lot of people in the background.
If you decide to hike up to the waterfall, be sure to be cautious at all times and look out for falling rocks. You honestly do not have to hike all the way to the waterfall as the view can be seen from a distance.
15. Hana Town
Welcome to the beautiful town of Hana. A lot of people don’t spend much time here as they are rushing back to get home, but I recommend spending some time exploring the town.
My favorite thing to do here was to eat at the food trucks located opposite the Hana Ranch. Be sure to get some food at Ae’s Thai Kitchen; In my opinion this is some of the best food in Maui. To top it off, the staff was very friendly and made the whole experience worth it.
If you are craving some super foods, be sure to check out Sugah Daddeas.
There are so many food options here and it was not crowded at all. One thing to note is that not all of these restaurants are open daily and some of them close early. Try to get your dinner orders before 5PM to be on the safe side.
So what are the best 15 stops on the Road to Hana?
As you can see, The Road to Hana has so much to offer. There are many stops along the way and it’s hard to choose which stops to make. Be sure to do your research and decide on which stops you want to see the most before your starting your drive.
Remember to drive safely, slow down and enjoy the journey along the way. Do not rush and be sure to “stop and smell the roses”.
Bonus Tips & Tricks on The Road to Hana
1. Start Early
If you only have one day, the best tip I can give you is to make sure to start the drive as early as possible.
I understand that some attractions like Twin Falls might not open until 8:00AM, so I would recommend skipping these and stopping on your way back.
2. Bring food
I cannot say this enough: be sure to pack some of your favorite snacks and food. We made some sandwiches and had picnics along the way. This helped us save money and a lot of time.
3. Slow Down
Take your time when driving and do not get distracted. If you must take a photo, make sure to pull over and park your car.
4. Do Not attempt to do everything
There is not enough time to see everything in one day. Be sure to pick and choose what is most important to you and enjoy each stop. Again, do not rush.
5. Respect the locals and their land
As mentioned previously, If you see a local be sure to let them pass as they are probably driving to/from work. Be respectful and kind to others.
Other than that, enjoy your majestic journey on the Road to Hana!
Until next time, Aloha!