Essential Road to Hana Stops: Waterfalls, Beaches, Lava Tubes & More

The Road to Hana is Maui’s most iconic trek, weaving through lush rainforests, plunging waterfalls, and breathtaking coastlines. Buckle up, as we gear you up for an unforgettable journey across this historic highway, dotted with unique stoppoints that will have you gripping for more.

Lush rainforests, winding roads, natural waterfalls, inviting beaches, and unimaginable beauty await your arrival on the legendary Road to Hana. As one of the most scenic and unforgettable drives in the world, the Maui Road to Hana has more than just natural wonders. It also offers an enriching journey into the heart of Hawaiian culture and history.

This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the best stops, from the sparkling Twin Falls to the mesmerizing Hana Lava Tube, all marked clearly with mile markers for your convenience. So sit back, buckle up, and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime.

Where Does the Road to Hana Begin and End?

The Road to Hana Hawaii officially begins in the town of Kahului, near the Kahului Airport (OGG). The Hana highway road to Hana Maui ends in the town of Hana on Maui’s eastern coast. The most scenic Hana road stops parts are between Paia and Hana.

The Best Stops on Road to Hana

Twin Falls (Mile Marker 2)

At a glance: A refreshing stop with easily accessible waterfalls and pools for swimming.

As you make your way to this early stop on the Maui road to Hana, prepare to be greeted by the sound of gurgling water and the sight of verdant jungle foliage. Offering more than just your typical waterfall experience, Twin Falls is renowned for its natural swimming pools.

These are an irresistible lure to visitors who want to take a plunge and cool down. It’s an ideal location for those seeking an early morning refreshment or a much-needed afternoon dip. Don’t forget to pack a swimsuit and comfortable water shoes for this iconic Road to Hana stop!

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Ho’okipa Lookout (Mile Marker 9)

At a glance:  A prime spot to watch skilled windsurfers and surfers catching big waves.

As you approach this iconic spot, the salty sea air fills your lungs and the spectacle of surfers performing gravity-defying tricks begins to unfold before your eyes. Ho’okipa Lookout offers not only panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean but also a glance into the surfer lifestyle epitomized by Maui.

Along with snapping Road to Hana photos, this stop lets you marvel at the sheer power of nature. Many visitors linger until sunset for a serene experience. Remember, due to the strength of the waves and currents here, only experienced surfers should venture into the water.

a lovely garden in front of the sea 
photo credit: Garden Of Eden Arboretum, LLC via Facebook

Garden of Eden Arboretum (Mile Marker 10)

At a glance:  Lush gardens showcasing a stunning array of tropical plants and trees, with scenic ocean views.

As you wander the well-kept trails of the Garden of Eden, you are immediately enveloped by the exotic scents and sights of the abundant tropical flora. It’s a vibrant rainforest experience that brings you close to nature, with many plant species that are endemic to Hawaii.

Not only do these botanical gardens provide an opportunity to relax in nature’s embrace, they also serve as a window into Hawaii’s eco-diversity. Take your time strolling these paths to fully appreciate the wonderful plant life. Remember to check out the captivating view of the vast ocean adding to the garden’s splendor. It’s truly an unforgettable stop on the Road to Hana.

Ke anae Arboretum (Mile Marker 16)

At a glance: Explore native Hawaiian plants and a beautiful arboretum filled with rainbow eucalyptus trees.

While you’re strolling through this expansive arboretum, the lush beauty of the location will captivate you. This place is abundant with tropical foliage, especially the vibrantly colored rainbow eucalyptus trees. Leaves of these trees, when shed, expose a strikingly bright bark underneath, creating a unique patchwork of blues, purples, oranges, and even maroons.

You’ll also see diverse native Hawaiian plants, showcasing the floral wealth of East Maui. Take your time to take in all the delicate details and enjoy the serene ambiance here at Mile Marker 16.

Wide shot of a walking path at Ke'anae Arboretum in Maui, Hawaii, USA

Ke’anae Peninsula

At a glance:  This picturesque peninsula offers views of crashing waves and a glimpse into traditional Hawaiian life.

As you meander along the Road to Hana highway stops, make sure to pause and soak in the awe-inspiring sights at Ke’anae Peninsula. The rhythm of the intense blue waves crashing against the rugged black lava coastline creates a mesmerizing symphony that captures the soul.

At Keanae Valley overlook, you’ll get a glimpse of days gone by as you encounter old stone church remains, quaint taro fields, and even fishermen casting lines the traditional way. It’s a little slice of paradise that encapsulates the spirit of old Hawaii; an unforgettable experience that makes your Maui adventure even richer.

Hanawi Falls (Mile Marker 24)

At a glance: Hike a short trail to reach this cascading waterfall surrounded by greenery.

The trail to Hanawi Falls holds its own magic, steeped in the beauty of East Maui. As you trek your way through the verdant landscape, the sound of the water will guide you. Once you reach the waterfall, the sight is truly remarkable. Water cascades down a rugged rock face, creating a spectacle that is a photographer’s dream.

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The waterfall, set against the backdrop of dense foliage, provides a cooling mist that is a welcome reprieve on a warm day. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes for this short hike – a mixture of gentle and somewhat steep paths awaits you.

View of Akaka Falls on a sunny day in Hilo, Hawaii, USA
photo credit: John ko via Unsplash

Waikamoi Ridge Trail (Mile Marker 9.5)

At a glance:  A relatively short hike through a lush rainforest with views and a boardwalk.

As you navigate the Waikamoi Ridge trail, you’ll encounter an abundance of native Hawaiian foliage. The fragrance of tropical blooms fills the air as the verdant canopy above buzzes with birdlife. A well-maintained wooden boardwalk guides you through the dense undergrowth, ensuring an approachable adventure for all skill levels.

Vibrant ferns, towering trees, and glistening streams form the backdrop of this unforgettable trek, providing ample photography opportunities. Farther in, unparalleled vistas of Maui’s rugged landscape and the deep blue Pacific await you, making this one of the most memorable Maui road to Hana stops.

view of ahupuaʻa ʻo kahana state park on sunny day

Pua’a Ka’a State Wayside Park (Mile Marker 22)

At a glance:  Stretch your legs, enjoy the pools and waterfalls, and pack a picnic lunch.

This public park is a much-needed breather on your journey along the Road to Hana. It doubles up as a refreshing retreat with trails dipping through lush rainforests, leading you to tranquil waterfalls. The cascading sound of the water against the rocks creates a soothing ambiance. Feel free to take a dip in one of the park’s cool, freshwater pools that offer a relaxing respite from the tropical heat.

Nahiku Marketplace

At a glance:  Grab lunch, pick up souvenirs, and experience a charming local roadside stop.

As you amble through the eclectic stalls of Nahiku Marketplace, you’ll find an array of fascinating, locally produced items to take back home as mementos of your epic road trip. The vibrant marketplace brims with area artisans showcasing their craftsmanship in delightful souvenirs.

As one of the best things to do in Hana, you can also satisfy your taste buds with the delicious local food available here. Don’t forget to try their exotic fruit drinks, lauded as a must-have experience on your Road to Hana journey. Feast on fresh seafood and traditional Hawaiian staples while enjoying the inviting ambiance of Nahiku Marketplace.

wailua overlook in hawaii
photo credit: Shannon Cizdziel via Facebook

Wailua Valley State Wayside Overlook

At a glance: Snap photos of panoramic coastal views and dramatic valleys.

As you continue along the winding Hana Highway, you’ll reach the Wailua Valley State Wayside Overlook, your next vital stop. With a quick climb up the trail, you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular vision of Maui’s true beauty.

As one of the best Road to Hana must do stops, an explosion of vibrant greenery stretches out below and to the horizon, interrupted only by the stark blue of the sea and the white of cascading waterfalls. Don’t forget your camera; this is a view worth capturing and will surely be a highlight of your epic Road to Hana adventure.

women in front of colorful stand decorated with various signs and filled with different fruits with trees in the background at Road to Hana in Maui, Hawaii, USA
photo credit: Maui 24/7 via Facebook

Halfway to Hana Stand

At a glance:  A famous stop for refreshing banana bread and other local treats.

After taking in the breathtaking sights along the road to Hana, you’ll come across the Halfway to Hana stand around Mile Marker 17. It’s a much-needed pit stop where both locals and tourists alike take a breather.

Don’t pass by without trying their signature banana bread – moist, flavorful, and absolutely delectable. It’s baked fresh daily and sold by the loaf. You’ll taste the rich, tropical flavors of Maui with each bite. Other local treats like coconut candy and shaved ice are also available. Stretch your legs, refresh, and replenish your energy for the continuing journey.

beautiful lower view of three bears falls and waikani falls in maui hawaii, USA

Upper Waikani Falls (Three Bears Falls)

At a glance:  Snap Road to Hana pictures of this picturesque waterfall cascading down the rock face.

This breathtaking trio of waterfalls, fondly termed ‘Three Bears‘, offers a fascinating display of nature’s power and beauty. Toppling from a towering cliff, each waterfall has its own distinct flow and height, creating a captivating spectacle that’s hard to ignore.

The crystal-clear pool at the bottom is often adorned by a rainbow, adding to the photogenic allure of these Road to Hana must see stops. However, remember that safety comes first. Admire the falls from a distance, as getting close can be risky due to the slippery rocks and potential flash floods.

Overlooking Wailua Falls under the clear blu skies and rainbor over the waterfalls in Kauai, Hawaii, USA

Wailua Falls (Mile Marker 45)

At a glance: Easily viewed from the road, this 80-foot waterfall is a classic Road to Hana sight.

As you approach Wailua Falls on your journey along the Maui Road to Hana, you’ll be welcomed by a breathtaking spectacle of cascading waters against the verdant Maui wilderness. This enchanting waterfall is visible directly from the highway, making it an easy and convenient stop for photos. The radiant, bountiful waters crash down 80 feet into a sparkling pool below.

If you have a keen eye, you might even spot a rainbow forming amidst the waterfall’s mist on any sunny day, creating a stunning multi-color display in the Hawaiian paradise. Remember, however, that swimming or hiking around the falls is not recommended due to its possible flash floods and treacherous conditions.

Koki Beach

At a glance:  Known for its reddish-colored sand,  admire the views and relax on this scenic beach.

Feel the warmth of the sand beneath your toes as you stroll along the shoreline. The unique, reddish hue of the sand sets Koki Beach apart from any other, infusing the landscape with a surreal beauty. Listen to the rhythmic symphony of Pacific waves or indulge yourself in an adventurous surf.

Afterward, enjoy a peaceful picnic, basking in the idyllic surroundings. Photography enthusiasts will find countless memorable moments to capture, from the magical sunsets to the vibrant beach flora.

hamoa beach in hawaii
photo credit: My Own Maui via Facebook

Hamoa Beach

At a glance:  Often considered one of Maui’s most beautiful beaches, perfect for a swim, sunbathing, or simply admiring the scenery.

Without a doubt, Hamoa Beach is a genuine treasure coveted by both locals and tourists. For centuries, its untouched natural beauty has been preserved, making it an ideal refuge for lovers of tranquility. The dazzling blue water against the backdrop of greenery concocts an image reminiscent of a painter’s classic masterpiece, often leaving visitors awestruck.

To add to the blissful experience, a dip in the crystal-clear water, under the warm Hawaiian sun, provides an unparalleled sense of relaxation. Whether to cool off after a day on the Road to Hana, to work on your tan, or to marvel at nature’s artwork, a stop at Hamoa Beach is sure to enhance your Maui experience.

Hana Lava Tube

At a glance:  Explore this unique natural Road to Hana cave formed by lava flow.

While traversing the Maui road to Hana, a visit to the intriguing Hana Lava Tube mile marker 31 is indisputable. This magnificent cavern offers an intimate glimpse into the geological history of the island. Formed over millennia by slow, creeping lava, this tube provides a unique insight into the raw force of nature.

The cool, shadowy hollow echoes with mystifying stories of Hawaii’s volcanic past. You’ll get to follow a self-guided tour through the tube, ensuring your safety with installed lighting systems. It’s like stepping back in time, the tube serves as a vivid reminder of the island’s volcanic origins.

Waimoku Falls surrounded by lush green forest - Maui, Hawaii, USA
photo credit: Brandon Michaelcinco via Facebook

Waimoku Falls (Mile Marker 42)

At a glance: Hike the Pipiwai Trail through a bamboo forest to reach this breathtaking 400-foot waterfall.

A trip to the Road to Hana wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the Waimoku Falls. As you traverse through the serene bamboo forests on the Pipiwai Trail, you can hear the enticing sound of cascading water which gets louder and more compelling with every step you take.

When you finally emerge from the dense bamboo canopy, you are greeted with the awe-inspiring sight of Waimoku Falls. This towering 400-foot waterfall effortlessly cascades over the rugged cliffside, making it an enchanting spectacle of nature’s beauty.

Aerial View of The Pools at 'Ohe'o - Maui, Hawaii, USA

Ohe’o Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools)

At a glance:  While swimming may be restricted, admire the cascading pools and waterfalls in this National Park area.

Whether you’re there for the sightseeing or the temptation of the waters, Ohe’o Gulch in Haleakala National Park doesn’t disappoint. You will be greeted by a stunning natural spectacle – a series of magnificent waterfalls and plunge pools lined up in a row towards the ocean.

You can make your way along the rocky shoreline, feel the water spray on your skin, and listen to the thundering rush of the falls. Although swimming might sometimes be restricted due to flash floods in East Maui, the visual enjoyment is unlimited. Take in the outstanding surrounding view, capturing photos as a souvenir of your memorable Maui road to Hana journey.

Hana Town

At a glance:  Explore this charming town, experience the local culture, and perhaps grab dinner before the return journey.

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Hana Town offers an intimate look into the Hawaiian way of life. Here, you can interact with friendly locals and indulge in authentic Polynesian dishes served at quaint restaurants.

Be sure to shop for unique handcrafted souvenirs that encapsulate the spirit of Maui. If you’re lucky, you can catch a traditional Hawaiian hula performance before you leave, it’s a cultural delight not to be missed on your trip down the road to Hana.


Road to Hana FAQs

The length of time it takes to drive the road to Hana in Maui greatly depends on how many stops you make along the stunning 64.4-mile route. Typically, without stops, the drive takes about 2.5 to 3 hours one way from Kahului. However, with photographic, scenic, and culinary Road to Hana best stops factored in, such as the breathtaking Twin Falls or tempting banana bread stands, you can easily spend a whole day enjoying the adventure.

The Road to Hana, celebrated for its scenic drive, stretches across the eastern side of Maui. This iconic road weaves through the lush jungle, past towering waterfalls, and along the rugged coastline of East Maui. In essence, it's the eastern edge of the island that presents the enchanting journey that is the road to Hana.

Yes, the Road to Hana on Maui has a black sand beach! Koki Beach, located near mile marker 38, is known for its unique reddish-black sand, created from volcanic activity. It's a beautiful spot for a scenic stop and a short walk to admire the dramatic coastline.

Affordable Road to Hana Tours and Bundles

To make your Maui adventure more memorable and cost-effective, why not consider the superb and affordable Road to Hana tours available at Tripster? Enjoy a slew of options to tailor your journey according to your tastes!

And here’s the best part – for added savings, you have the option to bundle your Road to Hana tour with the hotel accommodation of your choice in Maui and also get tickets to other attractive destinations and experiences. Don’t miss out. Plunge into the stunning realm of Maui!

Ready to embark on the road trip of a lifetime down Maui’s breathtaking Road to Hana? Book now and start planning your unforgettable Hawaiian adventure today.

We’d Love to Hear From You!

What is your favorite spot along the Road to Hana? Leave us a comment below!

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Written by Nicole King

There are only two things that make Nicole really happy–books and travel! When her head’s not buried in a book, she’s most likely...

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