One of the top things to do in Hawaii is drive the Road to Hana Maui. The centuries-old path is dotted with spectacular scenery, rustic towns and plenty of Hawaiian culture. Fill the car up with gas, pack a picnic lunch and hit the road to discover the “Highway to Heaven.”
Here are a few of the top Road to Hana Maui sights to look for on your journey.
1) Twin Falls
Location: Mile Marker #2
Park at the Wailele Farms, which is open to the public for free, to access the cascading waterfalls of Twin Falls. They are easily accessible, but the path can be somewhat slippery. However, the falls are a picture-perfect place to snap photos. Plus, you can swim underneath the waterfall and even jump into the falls’ deep pools. Be sure to stop by the snack stands at the farm entrance for some tasty treats. Along the Road to Hana Maui, there’ aren’t very many food opportunities. Take advantage while you can!
2) Waikamoi Nature Trail
Location: Mile Marker #9.5
A short but sometimes muddy trail leads you to coastal views and plenty of floral and fauna. Great for non-hikers who just want to stretch their legs, the trail is lined with tall eucalyptus trees and fragrant ginger.
3) Puohokamoa Falls
Location: Mile Marker #11
Make sure you see both the upper and lower sections of Puohokamoa Falls. Many people visit only the upper section and miss the gorgeous 200-foot cascading waterfall on the lower section. A short walk along an easily accessible path takes you to the spectacular waterfall tumbling over a tall green cliff. The falls are best seen from the Puohokamoa Lookout Point.
4) Keanae Arboretum
Location: Mile Marker #17
This Road to Hana Maui stop offers a bit more challenging hike, plenty of plant life and is a great spot for photos. About 150 tropical plants can be found here and the Piinaau Stream meanders around the arboretum creating a swimming pond. Two short walking trails lead guests to a beautiful forest and if you’re up for even more scenic views head a ½ mile down the highway to Keanae Overlook, which has some fantastic views of Haleakala.
5) Wailua Overlook
Location: Mile Marker #21
You can see Wailua Canyon from the parking lot and after you walk up a set of steps you have a view of Wailua Village and signature sight in Hawaii – water-logged taro patches. Make time to see the church made of coral – once known as St. Gabriel’s – as it is steeped in legend. When locals decided to build a church a storm washed up just enough coral to build the church and then took any excess coral back to sea.
6) Waikani Falls
Location: Mile Marker #21
Also known as “Three Bears Falls,” this stop is an absolute must for any Road to Hana adventurist. The nickname is derived from the fact each waterfall is taller than the next like a family of bears. The Waikani Falls are some of the most dramatic falls in East Maui.
7) Hana Lava Tube
Location: One mile off Ulaino Rd.
Also known as “Kaeleku Caverns,” the Hana Lava Tube is Maui’s largest lava tube. During a visit here, you can take a self-guided 30-40 minute tour accentuated by colorful underworld formations. The tour is offered daily from 10:30am-4pm. Cost is $11.95.
8) Waianapanapa State Park Maui
Location: Mile Marker #32
This 122-acre state park is home to a black sand beach, dramatic sea caves, natural stone arch hiking trails, and has remnants of Old King’s Highway. If you hike to the lighthouse, you’ll have gorgeous views of the bay.
9) Wailua Falls
Location: Mile Marker #45
Wailua Falls is the easiest waterfall to access on the Road to Hana Maui. With a cascade of 80-feet, it’s also one of the most beautiful. This is the most photographed waterfall along this route, so there’s generally a crowd of people here. Luckily, there’s a decent amount of parking compared to other Hana sights. You can snap a few pictures from the bridge, but I recommend taking a quick (and somewhat slippery) hike to the plunge pool for up close views and even a refreshing swim.
10) Hamoa Beach
Location: Mile Marker #50
The 100-foot-wide beach is about 900 feet long and sits below 30-foot, black lava sea cliffs. The crescent moon bay is surrounded by lush vegetation, making it one of Hawaii’s favorite beaches. In addition, it’s rarely crowded so you can kick back, relax and enjoy the serene paradise of Hamoa Beach without distraction.
11) Oheo Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools)
Location: Mile Marker #42 (Note: After Hamoa Beach, the mile markers start descending)
Oheo Gulch is simply stunning. Many people don’t make the time for visiting this expansive section of the Haleakala National Park on their Road to Hana Maui tour. Big mistake! Huge. Paradise on earth is embodied at this preserve, which features multiple waterfalls, epic (and endless) coastline views, hiking opportunities and so much more.
Experience the Tropical Treasure that is the Road to Hana Maui
Traveling the Road to Hana Maui provides an up-close look at the true, natural beauty of the island. The road, which has 600 curves and 59 bridges, winds through lush tropical forests, scenic ravines and cascading waterfalls. Ocean cliffs, lava coastlines, and incredible black and white sand beaches line the way. The road, which follows and ancient Hawaiian foot trail, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.