Experience the true power of nature – The Road to Hana
Welcome to the beautiful island of Maui, where palm trees give you shade on white sand beaches urging you to dip your toe into the crystal clear waters. But after a few days broiling on the beach the urge for adventure was calling. Time to see Hana.
A small village at the south end of the island is the road that many tourists take driving down “highway” 360. The highway was literally just a small paved road going up and down the mountains/hills with 620 curves that spun my head around. There was no rush, on this road where I sometimes had to wait for oncoming cars to slowly pass me on their way back. The fresh air and the view took away any time concerns I might have had and but still time to get going – there was much to see on this trip.
A short walk into the jungle following a small river upstream is this beautiful piece of nature. Grab a drink at one of the juice stands close to the road and if you are brave enough jump in to the cool waters of this tiny lake.
Wailua Valley State Wayside
Take a short breather and enjoy the view over the mountains and the oceans where you can spot the taro fields.
Wai’anapanapa State Park
You really don’t need to remember the name (I had to look it up) but make sure to stop at this black sand beach with the most tiny black sand pebbles, a rough sea smashing into the surrounding rocks and creating freshwater caves to explore. I took my time here and enjoyed one of highlights of this trip.
A red sand beach off the beaten path and a bit harder to reach. It’s not a place to rest or picnic this is where the pure power of the ocean meets the land. Untouched by man.
Huli Huli Chicken
On my way through the landscapes of this island, the intoxicating smell of grilled chicken stopped me in my tracks and I swear it was so delicious that I would definitely rank it as one of my personal highlights. If you start earlier then all the other travelers you can be sure he hasn’t sold out by the time you get there.
Hana Bay Beach Park and Hana Town
This would be the end of the tour for most people. Hana is a little sleepy town that actually doesn’t offer much to see or do other than grabbing a bite to eat and relaxing at the beach.
Ohe o Gulch
The seven sacred pools are the furthest most travelers will go before turning around and driving back. It is a beautiful area with waterfalls and swimming opportunities but you need to drive a bit faster with fewer stops to enjoy this place fully. This is why after seeing so many waterfalls I skipped this place to take the FULL LOOP. (Dramatic Music)
95% of all travelers drive back around the area of Hana but I wanted to see the “lost road”. After doing quite a lot of research with hysterical comments of death and pestilence that will be waiting there or the mystical car rental law that forbids driving there or the legendary no cellphone reception myth or the only 4WD will make it saga…. it turned out: NONE OF THEM ARE TRUE.
The only thing I needed to consider is to have a decent car, and make sure that the days leading up to my trip were rainstorm free. That’s it.
Oh yes there is one other things: You need to know how to drive a car like a regular seasoned driver and make sure to be back to civilization by nightfall.
And for me it was absolutely worth every minute. The landscape changes quite drastically and reveals the rough terrain with mountains creating a wall to the rest of the island. Driving down the unpaved but well graded dirt passing Kipahulu, I could see the dryer flora sprouting to life. I decided to stop if I wanted to enjoy my surroundings as some parts of the road have blind turns and were very very close to the edge of the cliff I was driving on. But the beauty is to stop and stare. Nobody for miles just me enjoying the view.
How I love these moments.