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The breathtaking Road to Hana in Maui has 59 one-lane bridges, 620 curves, and a whole lot of beautiful scenery. We’ve driven the Road to Hana together 3 times now, and below is our list of waterfalls, beaches, and food worth stopping for.
Interested in a video of our top 11 stops? Watch below:
- Twin Falls
- Upper Waikani Falls AKA “Three Bears Falls”
- Hang Gliding over Hana
- Braddah Hutt’s BBQ Grill
- Waianapanapa State Park & Black Sand Beach
- Koki Beach
- Ono Produce Stand
- Wailua Falls
- Pools of Ohio AKA “Seven Sacred Pools”
- Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku Falls
- Paia Town – Dinner at Milagros Food & Dessert at Ululani’s Shave Ice
What to Know Before You Go:
The narrow road meanders through the rainforest, lava-rock lined beaches, and jungle-covered cliffs, offering epic panoramic views of the vast ocean. The twists and turns make for quite a time-consuming adventure- so be sure to set aside a full day so you can fully appreciate all this drive has to offer!
Although there are a few small food trucks along the road, you’ll want to bring supplies with you for the day. We’d recommend stopping at the store ahead of time and bringing:
- Bathing suit (if you plan on swimming in the pools or waterfalls)
- Towel (to minimize dirt, sand, mud, and water in the vehicle)
- Wet shoes and/or hiking boots
- Flip flops (for the beach)
- Ziploc bag (or something waterproof) to keep your keys & wallet in
- Wallet with cash
- Bottled water
- Hiking backpack (if you plan on doing longer hikes)
- Bug spray
- Plastic or trash bag (for wet shoes, clothing, or towels)
Some people choose to take a guided van tour, which may work well for anxious drivers or those who want to just sit back and enjoy the view, but personally we prefer the flexibility and solitude of renting a car and exploring on our own. If you do rent a car, make sure you’re on the road by 7am– it’s a popular drive, and the later you leave, the more people you’ll encounter.
1. Twin Falls (Mike Marker 2)
It’s unlikely you’ll be alone at this popular stop. Twin Falls is not quite as impressive as some of the waterfalls in Hana, but we still think it’s worth the time. If you’re feeling EXTRA adventurous, you can hike to the top and jump off the top! (Take proper safety precautions first! Swim in the pool and ensure the depth is safe. And always go with a hiking buddy.)
2. Upper Waikani Falls AKA “Three Bears Falls” (Mile Marker 21)
This is by far our favorite roadside waterfall on Maui. Very properly named “Three Bears Falls”, you can see this 3-part waterfall from the road, but we’d highly recommend parking nearby and climbing down to the base of the falls. It requires climbing down a slippery rock wall about 6 feet down holding onto a chain, so wear appropriate shoes and be cautious!
3. Hang Gliding (Hana Airport)
This was an INCREDIBLE experience that we would highly recommend to anyone feeling adventurous enough to try it! Hang gliding tours are not technically allowed in Maui, but instructional lessons are- so be prepared to learn! We went with the amazing Armin, who runs Hang Gliding Maui with his wife. He was fantastic- energetic, passionate, and a great teacher. You get to fly with him along the coast, admiring the turquoise water, lava rocks, and jungle waterfalls below. It’s an unforgettable adventure for sure.
4. Braddah Hutt’s BBQ Grill (5305 Hana Hwy)
Do you like kalua pork tacos?! If so, this food truck is a must-visit! The pork is tender, the tacos are gigantic, and the pineapple salsa topping is heaven in your mouth. We really like kalua pork tacos and have tried them at numerous places on Maui, and these were actually our favorite!
5. Waianapanapa State Park & Black Sand Beach (Mile Marker 32)
Here you’ll find the striking Black Sand Beach and lots of lava rocks! This 122-acre state park features more than 30 Hawaiian historical sites, five caves and lava shelves, picnic and grilling areas, cabins, and campgrounds! Definitely a place we’d like to return to just to experience camping that close to ocean.
6. Koki Beach (Mile Marker 51)
Although Koki Beach isn’t where you want to swim or snorkel, as the currents can be strong during certain times of the year, it’s the perfect spot to have a picnic and watch surfers. The dark red sand was produced by the nearby cinder cone hill. According to Hawaiian legend, Koki Beach is where the volcano goddess Pele fought her final battle with her older sister, Namakaokaha’i, the goddess of the ocean.
7. Ono Produce Stand (Mile Marker 51)
Be sure to stop by Ono Produce Stand to grab some exotic fruits to snack on. We each got a coconut, and the fresh coconut water inside was DELICIOUS! If they have strawberry bananas or apple bananas- grab ‘em! They’re like tiny sweet bananas. So good.
8. Wailua Falls (Mile Marker 45)
Just FYI, once you hit Hana, the mile markers will start going back down again. We know by this point you’ve already seen a few waterfalls, but don’t even think about skipping this one! You will literally be able to see this amazing waterfall from the window of your car. Certainly get out and admire it up close, though- there is a very short dirt pathway from the road to the edge of the pool so you can get a closer look and even feel the spray.
9. Pools of Oheo AKA “Seven Sacred Pools” (Mile Marker 42)
This area is technically within the Kipahulu District of Haleakala National Park, therefore there is a $15 per vehicle entrance fee. The nice thing is that it’s valid for 3 days and works for the summit too- so be sure to keep the receipt! (Reminder: If you plan to visit the summit of Haleakala, they now require reservations in advance through http://www.recreation.gov). This area is home to seven freshwater pools that run down from the mountains into the ocean. This area has several short half-mile hiking trail loops that allow you to get different perspectives of the pools.
10. Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku Falls (Mile Marker 42)
If you’re looking for the best hike on Maui, this is it!
Like Seven Sacred Pools, this trailhead is located within the National Park, so you’ll need to pay an entrance fee. With 2 waterfalls and an epic bamboo forest, we promise it’s worth it! This approximately 4-mile round trip hike takes you through what feels like different worlds: sunny jungle brush, a thick bamboo forest, a banyan tree, and a boardwalk through the rainforest. You’ll see 185 ft Makahiku Falls on the way, and the end reward is the 400 ft Waimoku Falls!
Your Return Trip:
No matter what Google Maps tells you, do not take the South route around Maui to return to the West coast. A good chunk of the road is dirt, narrow, and many rental car companies don’t allow you to drive there. Simply go back the way you came and enjoy the scenery.
11. Paia Town – Milagros Food for Dinner & Ululani’s Shave Ice for Dessert
Quaint Paia is known for its surfing, turtles, cute shops, and murals. It’s a great place to grab some food at the end of your long day driving the Road to Hana. Our favorite go-to places are within walking distance of each other- Milagros Food and Ululani’s Shave Ice. Milagros has a great happy hour with excellent Mexican food and delicious margaritas. Ululani’s Shave Ice has a ton of flavors to choose from, but definitely try topping whatever you get with the coconut cream!
We hope that this article inspires you to set aside time during your trip to Maui to drive the Road to Hana! Comment below or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, or if you want to tell us what you did with our advice! We’d love to hear from you 🙂