The Road To Hana (yes it's worth it)

by: Jamie Collins : December 12, 2022

It's All About The Journey

With approximately 600 curves and 54 bridges, the Road to Hana may not be for everyone, but if you are willing, the reward will be great and you’re sure to find your elsewhere along the way. 

The Road To Hana is all about enjoying the journey, rather than the destination. For most, Hana is not actually the destination, but rather a stop on the way to O’heo Gulch also known as “Seven Sacred Pools”. 

The Pools of O’heo are located in Haleakala National Park and are situated in a lush rainforest ravine where stunning waterfalls cascade from one pool to the next. In the Hawaiian language O’heo means “something special” and once there you will absolutely see why. 

Stops Along The Way

mm = mile marker along the Hana Highway. The markers start when you turn onto Hwy 360 from Hwy 36 so restart your odometer then. Once you hit Hana, they will begin to go back in the other direction. There are many stops along the way, but here are some of our favorites. 

Paia Town

Maui's coolest little town, with great shopping and restaurants, Paia is a great place to grab a coffee and a to-go lunch before you set off on your journey. We recommend Hana Picnic Lunch Company.

Ho'okipa Beach Park

Nestled between Paia and Haiku is the legendary local beach known for watersports like surfing, kiteboarding, and paddling, but also known for the migration of the Hawaiian green sea turtles.

Twin Falls mm2

Take a quick walk from the parking lot to the lower falls or an easy 1-mile trail to the Upper Falls for a refreshing swim and be sure to stop by the Twin Falls Fruit Stand on the way back.

Maui Garden of Eden mm10

A beautiful arboretum featuring over 700 herbaceous species and 2.5 miles of walking trails decorated by lush tropical flowers, plants, and trees. Also home to peacocks and Puohokamoa Falls.

Ke'anae Peninsula mm16

Black Lava Rock formed peninsula home to rough and wild surf, a beautiful old church, and working taro fields. Make sure to stop by Aunty Sandy's Banana Bread for a yummy road snack.

Halfway to Hana Stand mm17

If you didn't get Banana Bread at the last stop you have another chance. This is a great stop for a bathroom break, fresh fruit, and a nice place to enjoy your picnic lunch from Paia town. You're halfway there!

Pua'a Ka'a Falls mm22

If you didn't stop at Halfway, you have another chance to use the restroom, relax, or walk the trail to the waterfall and freshwater swimming hole. Also a great place to picnic.

Hanawi Falls mm24

There are 2 narrow turn-offs for parking, but be careful and make sure you pull off the highway completely. Depending on conditions this can be a great place for refreshing swim.

Wai'anapanapa State Park mm32

Don't miss this stop! Reservations are needed, but worth the trouble. Gorgeous volcanic coastline with a small black sand beach, tide pools, lava tubes, freshwater caves, and a natural stone arch.

Hamoa Beach Haneoo Rd mm52

named one of Maui's best beaches and a favorite of Ernest Hemmingway, Hamoa Beach is a 1000-foot-long crescent beach offering a quiet, relaxing Hawaiian Escape with a view.

Wailua Falls mm45

A beautiful 80-foot cascading waterfall and plunge pool located directly off the road. Definitely worth a stop and a shirt hike to stand in the waterfall mist and marvel in the natural surroundings.

"Seven Sacred Pools" mm42

O'heo Gulch is best reached early if you wish to take the 4-mile roundtrip Pipiwai Trail hike through the bamboo forest to Waimoku Falls, however views of the pools can be seen with an easy walk from the trailhead.

You made it. Now what?

You’re probably tired and ready to make the journey back. It’s decision time. Do you go back the way you came or do you complete the loop and go the “back way” towards “backcountry”? If you do not have good insurance or have a fear of small unpaved roads along cliffs we suggest you go back the way you came, however, both ways have something special to offer. The choice is yours, but again, good insurance is helpful.