The Road to Hana in Photos

Some posts on this site contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!). Read the full disclosure policy here.

Read any Maui guidebook and it will tell you about the iconic and picturesque road to Hana. It’s a must for most travelers and I had already gone half-way earlier with Carol from NYCityMama which was great because I learned two things:

1) It isn’t at all scary like everyone says. The road winds around mountains but there are lanes and guard rails.

2) I needed a guidebook to find all of the stops you are supposed to make, there are no signs so Carol and I couldn’t find a single waterfall.


I would not make that mistake with my mother.


Our first stop was to get Maui Revealed that readers recommended on Maui on my Mind. It’s a great guide for the road to Hana because it tells you what mile marker to stop  and what to expect so you can choose how adventurous you want to be.


road to hana

At the two mile market we hit a tropical fruits stand with smoothies, it was by a look off so we thought it would be fun to get one and walk out to the look off.

We were totally duped, it was just down a flight of stairs and looking out to what we had been seeing from the highway.



Around the 6 mile mark we saw a man with these parrots, other cars had stopped and a family was talking to the guy. Apparently he was offering to have your photo taken with one of them for $20 – the money went to his bird “sanctuary” – who knows if it was legit but I snapped a photo and told my mother to run to the car.


road to hana

A little past mile 11 we stopped and walked five minutes into the woods to see pool and small waterfall called Haipua’ena Falls. A nice couple offered to take our photo and ignored my instructions to put us on the left so we wouldn’t obstruct the pool and waterfall – oh well.

road to hana

At mile 12 we stopped at  Kaumahina State Wayside with questionably clean washrooms but hey you can’t be picky in nature. We had brought some Surfing Goat Dairy cheese, crackers and fruit so stopped for lunch to enjoy the view.


road to hana

The 18 mile marker is the Wailua Valley State Wayside. We climb some stairs for another great view.

When we come down another driver has made it impossible for me to turn around so I ask if she can move up to the disabled parking spot while I turn around.

She is very annoyed but I’m not backing out onto the highway and snark back that she needs to move up. We leave happily, she probably stays grumpy for the rest of the day.


halfway to hana

We make it Halfway to Hana, which is actually two-thirds of the way.

If South East Asia has the banana pancake trail I would say Maui has the banana bread trail, every place says they have the best but apparently this is the original.

It’s pretty good although not as good as my grandmother’s.


Kahanu Garden

After thinking we are lost and driving through a washed out road we finally find Kahanu Garden at mile 31.

We pay $10 each not to see the garden but Pi`ilanihale, a gigantic ruin made from lava rocks and could possibly be the largest ancient place of worship in Polynesia.

It’s massive but they have trees in front obstructing/protecting it.

Hopefully in the future they’ll learn more about it so visitors will have more to do than simply look from afar.


black sand beach


Our final stop in Hana County was at mile 32 for Wai’anapanapa Black Sand Beach, we had been driving nearly five hours and regretted we didn’t have more time because it was a beautiful beach. There’s camping available at the park and it seems like a fantastic place to spend a few days.

But we have to move onto Hana because we have 4 days planned there and I’ve been told there’s no wifi – eek!



Join the Conversation

  1. Cason Harley says:

    It is very enjoying tours story of Hana which i have enjoyed with you. Also enjoying the beautiful photography of Hana tourist spot. I realize your feelings and think for visit to Hana. Thanks for this nice post.

  2. Spectacular photos! You didn’t have any aggressive locals trying to pass you on blind curves, did you?

  3. I am not sure I would agree that it is not scarey…coming around a mountain curve and not being able to see what is coming is a bit unnerving but after awhile you do get use to it and I did have an excellent driver so all in all it was well worth the trip!

  4. No wifi – that’s either eek – or a blessing (if one can only lean back and enjoy it). Maui looks very pretty.

  5. These are gorgeous shots. You must have had such an adventure with your mom. I’m glad she could share some of Maui with you.

  6. Ava Apollo says:

    So how much banana bread have you eaten?

    1. Ava Apollo says:

      Because, if memory serves, when I was last there it was probably a loaf a day for me. So good!

  7. D.J. - The World of Deej says:

    What an awesome day with your mom. My parents drove the road to Hana a few months back and raved about it…

  8. I also went to Hawaii with my parents! I didn’t read it in your post, but did you find some hidden hiking trails? (Short ones – doable for older folks like my rents). The only time we found The Road to Hana scary was when we had to drive BACK from Hana at night. TIP for future travelers: Try not to linger too long and get back to town BEFORE sunset.

  9. Raymond @ Man On The Lam says:

    No Wi-Fi? Why, that’s against nature! 🙂

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Oh believe me I know!

  10. Sarah Somewhere says:

    Looks beautiful! And like you got some great weather for the drive, though I suppose every day is perfect in Hawaii!!!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      You know my Mother and I kept asking people what a bad day looked like because each one is so sunny and beautiful.

  11. Annie of TravelShus says:

    I remember that drive being unbelievably crazy scary as a kid. I’ve been back since then and you’re right, its not sooo bad but still pretty hairy. Kinda like a typical road in New Zealand!

    Worth the trip for sure!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I think they may have worked on widening the road and marking things more clearly so it may not be as dangerous as it once was.

  12. Hawaii, your pictures really emphasize the vibrant colors the islands exude…

  13. dtravelsround says:

    This trip sounds gorgeous! I would love to do it when I visit Hawaii! Great pics!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      If you do make sure you stay a night in Hana, it’s really amazing.

  14. Camels & Chocolate says:

    Hawaiian road trips are the best kind. I’m dying to visit Maui–so far I’ve only been to Oahu once and the Big Island twice. Need to expand my island travel!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      A lot of people that are from Oahu have told me Maui is much more relaxed and they love it here. But I must confess now I want to see the other islands too.

  15. When I went we continued on past Hana to do the loop around the island and that’s where it got scary! And yes, after making so many great stops along the way I really regretted not staying at least a night there to enjoy those beaches! If I go back, I’ll spend the whole time there. Thanks for the great photos!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      You’ll love an upcoming post then as we decided to do the same thing and just figure it out – wow that makes the drive to Hana look easy.

  16. Seattle Dredge says:

    Ooh, looks nice 😀 Too bad that couple ruined your photo.. tourists aren’t the best at composition, haha.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I guess we have the memories…

  17. Stephanie - The Travel Chica says:

    I always use the timer to take photos of myself because I have never met a random person that can follow my photo instructions 🙂

    Looks like a beautiful drive, and I hope you don’t go through internet withdrawal. I have a 4-day stint without internet coming up soon, and I hope I don’t freak out.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Most of the other photos we took with a timer and gorillapod, this area was a bit crazy to get into and full of water. I had no idea asking to put us on the left would be so difficult.

  18. I can’t believe I have never made it all the way to Hana even though I’ve been to Maui 4 times! I did a portion of the trip, but I hope we can fit it in our schedule on our November Maui trip.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Oh you have to go all the way and stay there at least one night, it is really a special place.

  19. friendly photo takers are always pretty terrible photographers. At least they didn’t take it from a low angle!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Oh I would have said something about it if they tried the low angle!

  20. Micamyx|Senyorita says:

    I love the photos especially the one with the parrots 😀 Banana bread trail ftw!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      You can’t go wrong with banana bread!

  21. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures says:

    Oh it’s just gorgeous! I did a big road trip around Honolulu and LOVED it!!!!! The Macaus are so beautiful.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Macaus that’s what they are! I said parrots didn’t I 🙂

  22. Love these photos. While it sucks that the lookout was nothing to see, I love the little fruit stand.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Yeah you know falling for these things is part of being a tourist, if you keep a good mind about it you can laugh afterwards.

  23. Maui Guide says:

    Did you go off to check out the Keanae Peninsula. Truly one of the best places to get Banana bread is there.

    It takes a bit of planning and discipline to limit your times at stops prior to Waianapanapa State Park. It’s all so amazing but if you do you can still see Oheo Gulch and return without it being too late.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      The nice thing was that we didn’t have to return the same day, we stayed in Hana for a few days, but it really does take discipline not to stop at each site.

  24. Ouch. Some of those prices for things make me cringe.

    I had no clue you COULD drive for 5 hours on HI lol.

  25. There are multiple magnificent lookouts at the end of the cliffs on the maikai side (oceanside) prior to that fruit stand and after. Don’t worry. I’m not going to give out the locations on this thread. If you ever return to Maui. Hit me up. And Maybe I could show you guys on your next trip. And you won’t be duped by those lookout signs.

  26. Been to Maui a few times but never had heard about the road to Hana, so I will check it out next visit.

    Cheers Sharon…

Comments are closed.

© Copyright 2021. Bacon Is Magic. All rights reserved