No trip to Maui is complete without exploring the Road to Hana. The Road to Hana is famous for the natural beauty of its unblemished landscapes. With a number of breathtaking viewpoints (waysides), lush scenery for the entire drive, endless waterfalls and your choice of red, black and white sand beaches, the road to Hana will leave you amazed.
The places listed in this article are the best stops on the Road to Hana.
**To explore the road to Hana, you will need to hire a car.
Best stops on the Road to Hana
Paia is a laid-back town with a welcoming, hippy atmosphere. Nestled amongst some of Maui’s best beaches and surrounded by sugar cane and lush greenery, the town is one not to be missed. Paia attracts many windsurfers as the region is classed as one of the world best-windsurfing destinations. When you read my recommendations below, you will see that I suggest basing yourself in Paia, however, if you are planning to stay somewhere else, make sure you allow time to stop in at Paia.
Bamboo Forest – Mile Marker: 6.7
A short way along the Road to Hana you will find the Bamboo Forest, at mile marker 6.7. If time allows, you can hike through the Bamboo forest to two different waterfalls. This was a beautiful hike that I spent one full day doing. If you are planning to do the full Road to Hana in one day you may not have time to hike to both or either waterfall in the Bamboo forest, but if you do have all the time in the world, definitely check it out.
Kaumahina State Wayside Park – Mile Marker 12
Just a quick stop at this lookout for a break and a few photos will suffice.
Wailua Valley State Wayside – Mile Marker 20-21
Take the stairs to the top of the lookout for a view of Ke‘anae Valley, Ko‘olau Gap and the village of Wailua. This is a quick stop, but well worth it for the scenery. On one side you see the luscious valley and volcano formed mountains, with two massive flowing waterfalls. To the other side, you see the mountains meeting the ocean.
Waianapanaka State Park/ Black Sand Beach – Mile Marker 32
Maui’s black sand beach is a must-see stop on the Road to Hana. This is a unique beach that you won’t experience anywhere else in the world. There are many walking trails in the Waianapanaka State Park. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the black sand beach followed by a walk on the trails or through the cave formations. You could easily spend an entire day in this State Park alone. There are fruit stalls as you drive in, so support the locals and stop to buy some fresh organic produce.
Red Sand Beach on Kaihalulu Bay – Just South of Hana Bay
The red sand beach is truly unique and magical, and also one of the least crowded beaches on Maui. Perhaps it was quiet because it was hard to find, and the trail down in steep and dangerous, but in my opinion, it was well worth it. The most magical places are the ones that are hardest to find. This bay has a rugged beauty to it.
Just passed Hana is Koki Beach. This is a great place to stop in for a swim.
Ohe’o Gulch – Seven Sacred Pools – Mile Marker 42
The reward for making it to the end of the Road to Hana is some of Hawaii’s most pristine pools. Photo from this website
Road to Hana – Travel Tips
Leave early! There is so much to see and do on the Road to Hana, so get a kick start on the day. The earlier you leave, the better!
Base yourself in Paia. Paia is a charming little coastal town, located at the beginning of the road to Hana. Staying here will allow you to get straight on the road, which is important because it is a long day in the car. You want to minimise the driving time and maximise the adventure time.
Pack a picnic – Enjoy your lunch in one of the many scenic pitstops you will be making.
Hana is famous for the road in so don’t expect anything amazing from Hana itself.
This guide names some of the best places to stop along the road to Hana, but there is much much more to explore.
Packing for the Road to Hana
There is so much to see and do along the road to Hana, so you will need to be prepared for a few different activities. This is everything to pack for the Road to Hana.
- Sunscreen and a hat – you will spend a lot of time in the sun.
- Swimmers and a towel
- Hiking shoes
- Spare change of clothes
- Lots of water, snacks and lunch
- A good playlist for the drive
- A portable phone charger
- Camera and / or Go Pro
Hire a car for the Road to Hana
A car is essential to explore the Road to Hana. Car hire starts at around $50 USD. Search for cars here.
Pin – Best stops on the road to Hana
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Disclosure: This post on the best stops on the Road to Hana contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase something I will make a small commission, at no extra cost to you.