Conquering The Road to Hana

Updated: Jan 7

If you've heard of Hawaii, (which hellooo, if you haven't, it's time to move out from that rock you've been living under) then you've probably heard of Maui. And if you've heard of Maui (and maybe planning a trip to go?!) then you've probably heard of The Road to Hana.


I'm going to say this now - if you are on the fence about spending one of your precious days in Maui traversing the road to Hana, this is your sign TO GO!


Sam and I had 7 beautiful days in Maui and one was spent driving our rental Jeep (named Coco - short for Coconut) meandering the breathtaking highway.


And when I say breathtaking, I mean literally breathtaking. Out of fear for one - the "highway" is very narrow road with 620 curves and 59 one lane bridges beside extreme cliff drop offs and altitudes. And two, THE SCENERY. The incredible lush jungle, stunning seascapes and gorgeous cliffsides. It takes your breath away.



The entire road is an adventure and every corner is a surprise. Here are some things we suggest you do a in order to make the best of your time during your time.


WHAT TO BRING:


A camera - that's a given. You're going to see things you'll never want to forget.


A GoPro - another given. We used our GoPro Hero 7 Silver (excellent quality pictures/videos/sound and cost less than the newer models with comparable features) but if you don't have one, don't stress! Try this waterproof case that came in handy a million times for us on our trip when we didn't want to take the time to set our GoPro up.


Water- And lot's of it! You're going to be active during this trip and also Hawaii is HOT and HUMID! Hydrate people! This is my favorite water bottle - it holds 64oz and keeps everything ice cold!


Snacks - There are a number of stops along the highway where you can get treats like smoothies, banana bread, fresh fruit, one plate lunches etc. But bring some of your own that will sustain you and keep your energy up! We brought granola bars and peanut butter sandwich's.


Water Shoes - You are going to get wet and walk on uneven and slippery surfaces on some stops. Spend the 15 bucks. Trust me. I used this cute pair. Bonus: They fold up really small, perfect for packing!


A beach cover up or quick dry clothing - for when you're out of the water and have to walk back to your car and also as something comfortable to wear in between stops.


Finally, Reef Safe Sunscreen and Sunnies! Protect yourself and Hawaii's precious reefs. We love this brand - the bottle turns blue when harmful UV Rays are present.


WHAT TO DO:


Disclaimer: there is a TON of stops on the road to Hana. DO NOT try to do them all in one day. Pick a handful that sound like something you want to do and stick with it. Start early and save a couple things you want to see for the way home. It is a looooonggg ride back, so you'll want something to break the drive up. Here are some of the things we did:



FIRST STOP - The town of Paia


This adorable surfer town was chock full of cute shops and restaurants. We briefly stopped at Island Fresh Café to grab made to order smoothies and snap an Instagram worthy shot. Click here to view our post of the most Instagramable places in Hawaii!

SECOND STOP - Twin Falls


There is a cute food truck here which we bypassed and followed the clearly marked trail towards Twin Falls. You will pass a beautiful bamboo forest on your right - take a second here to listen to the sound of the trees gently drumming - its just magical. The hike is mostly flat but can be long, especially in the heat. But hang in there, it's worth it! You will be rewarded with a large clear freshwater pool and two beautiful waterfalls feeding into it.


Feel free to zoom in to see Sam trying poorly to keep his eyes open for this picture 😂



THIRD STOP - Waikamoi Ridge Trail


This was a bit harder to find but was shortly after mile marker 9. There is a small parking lot there and will lead you right to the walking trail. You know you're in the right place when you see a small sign close to the beginning of the trail claiming "Trees at Work". You will be surrounded by all kinds of plant life, bamboo forests, rainbow eucalyptus trees and giant palms. There is a picnic table right at the beginning of the hike for you to enjoy a packed lunch or a quiet spot to enjoy the scenery.



FOURTH STOP - Chings Pond


This is a GORGEOUS pond where locals like to hang out, jump off the bridge and plunge into the clear cool water. Thrill seekers stop here! There is also a small trail to the left of the bridge for those who would

rather gently step into the pond.




FIFTH STOP - Halfway to Hana


This is a cute roadside stand with lots of food options and picnic tables. We grabbed shave ice here and it was one of the best we had in all of Maui and Oahu. I grabbed lime, strawberry and passionfruit flavored syrups. DELICIOUS. Sam also got some Kona Coffee ice cream and it was equally as delicious. He said it was the best coffee ice cream he has ever had - and that is saying a lot. Sammy likes his coffee ice cream.


SIXTH STOP - Three Bears Falls


Our favorite stop on the road to Hana. The view from the highway is gorgeous, but GET DOWN THERE! The hike is easy and 100% worth it, PLUS not a lot of people make the hike down. We had the whole thing to ourselves when we went.


SEVENTH STOP - Waiapanapa Black Sand Beach


And it literally is a black sand beach people. It's beautiful. This is a popular spot, plenty of parking and restrooms. There's a large flight of stairs to get down there, (I think it was 115 steps?) and the beach is small but it was gorgeous.

There is a small cave immediately to your right once you come off the stairs that brings you to a lava tube you can venture into. It opens to a private little inlet that's quiet and magical.


FINAL STOP - Hana


We drove around Hana a bit, and tried to find the Red Sand Beach to no avail and then turned around to do the road all over again and head back to the hotel.


It is a long day. The drive is thrilling, exhausting and rewarding. If we had the choice, we would do it all over again. Go my friends. Soak up all that Hawaii magic.


Now let us know what your favorite stops are on the Road to Hana!

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Hi! I'm Keely!

Hailing from a small town in the smallest state, my husband Sam and I quit our 9-5 jobs and decided to follow our dream to see the world! We love to find hidden gems, eat delicious food and stretch our dollar (euro/yen/whatever!) so we can indulge on unforgettable experiences. Come down the rabbit hole with us!

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