17 Road to Hana Stops You Don’t Want to Miss

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The Road to Hana on Maui is one of the most scenic drives on the planet, winding 65 miles through incredibly lush rainforests, past rushing waterfalls, and along the dramatic Pacific coastline. It goes without saying that there are countless places to explore along the drive—but here are the 17 best Road to Hana stops to make the most of your time on this iconic road trip. 

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Road to Hana in Maui, cutting through a tropical jungle
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The Road to Hana is a must-do on any Maui itinerary, with a whopping 620 curves and 59 bridges, many of which are one-way and date back over 100 years. 

Between the occasionally nail-biting one-way bridges around blind curves, out-of-this-world scenery, and endless opportunities to explore, this experience is DEFINITELY more about the journey than the destination. Accordingly, planning on which stops you want to make along the way is definitely key to ensuring you have the best trip possible. 

With that, let’s dive in! 

Best Road to Hana Stops

1. Paia

  • Mile Marker: 0
  • Cost: Free

Paia is the cuuuuutest lil’ surfer town in Maui and the official start to the Road to Hana. Its downtown area, filled with colorful murals and small, locally-owned shops, is the perfect place to mosey around and grab breakfast before kicking off your journey. 

Surboards in the town of Paia at the start of the Road to Hana in Maui

My husband, Justin, and I stopped at Paia Bay Coffee Bar on multiple occasions during our last trip to Maui—the adorable coffee shop is dripping with laidback island vibes and the Veggie Bagel was the perfect grab-and-go breakfast. 

Tip: While it might not sound like it would take all day to drive 65 miles there and back, cruising along the Road to Hana, especially if you plan on making stops, is absolutely an all day affair—I’m talking, like, 12+ hours. Accordingly, I’d suggest starting early—i.e., no later than 8 AM.  

Other than a handful of coffee shops, most of the shops and restaurants in Paia won’t be open at that time. You may want to plan to stop and explore some of the cool businesses in town, like the Aumakua Kava Lounge, on your drive back to your accommodations for the day.  

2. Ho’okipa Beach Park

  • Mile Marker: 0
  • Cost: Free

Ho’okipa Beach has a long stretch of white sand and offers beautiful views of the West Maui mountains to the north. 

This beach is renowned for being an awesome place to spot sea turtles, especially in the evenings, when they like to crawl on shore and bask in the sun. It’s not unusual to see upwards of two dozen turtles on the beach at one time! 

Woman surfing at Ho'okipa Beach Park along the Road to Hana in Maui

Even if you don’t see any honu, you can see something else that’s equally cool—big wave surfers! Ho’okipa Beach Park is known for its ENORMOUS waves, which can reach up to 15 feet tall. Justin and I had so much fun sitting on a grassy hill overlooking the beach, as brave souls took on the enormous waves. Just make sure not to attempt surfing here unless you actually, like, know what you’re doing. 

3. Twin Falls

  • Mile Marker: 2
  • Cost: $10 per car for non-Hawaii residents

This trail leads to a number of absolutely beautiful waterfalls, including Caveman Falls. This dramatic cascade falls over a cavern dripping with lush greenery into a turquoise plunge pool, just begging for you to swim in it. 

The hike itself is generally pretty easy, but you will have to cross a couple of streams, which can be up to four inches deep, depending on recent rainfall. Accordingly, I’d suggest wearing hiking sandals on this trail—my husband and I both have a cult-like love for our Teva sandals, like this pair for men or this pair for women

Woman standing in front of Caveman Falls in the Twin Falls of Maui

While the trail itself is absolutely beautiful, with lots of impossibly dense greenery and tropical flowers, the waterfalls are DEFINITELY the highlight here—be sure to wear a swimsuit so you can go swimming in the plunge pools beneath their cascades. And pack along plenty of bug spray—you are in a jungle after all!

Tip: On the first Saturday of every month, Twin Falls only admits Maui residents. If your heart is set on swimming in these falls (I don’t blame ya!), be sure to schedule your trip for another day. 

4. Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees 

  • Mile Marker: 7
  • Cost: Free

One of the the most under-the-radar Road to Hana Stops is this unique grove of colorful eucalyptus trees, located here. This species of trees, which kind of look like a vibrant Monet watercolor brought to life, is actually native to the Philippines and was introduced to Hawaii as a wood burning source to support the production of sugar cane. 

Rainbow eucalyptus trees along the Road to Hana in Maui

To be honest, these trees are kind of hard to find, even if you know what you’re looking for. Use the Google Maps location linked above, park on the right side of the road (being mindful of “No Parking” signs), and look for the paths on the left side of the road. It’ll take you straight to the trees!

5. Honomanu Bay

  • Mile Marker: 14
  • Cost: Free

If you want a black sand beach that you have a good chance of getting all to yourself, head to this dramatic bay, surrounded by impossibly lush greenery. The only road that leads to the beach is a muddy, unmaintained mess that you almost certainly can’t take without violating your rental car agreement, but you can walk 0.5 miles from here down to the beach.

View of black sand on Honomanu Bay from an overlook along the Road to Hana in Maui
Photo by crbelletee of Deposit Photos

To be honest, the best thing to do at Honomanu Bay is  just to soak up the views—its shores are rocky (so not exactly the best for laying on) and its waves are generally on the dangerous side. However, given that it’s not super easily accessible, there’s a pretty small chance you’ll encounter any crowds here—something that’s pretty uncommon along the popular Road to Hana.

If you don’t have the time or energy to walk to the beach, there are alternatively some pull offs with beautiful views of the bay around Mile 13. 

6. Ke’anae Peninsula 

  • Mile Marker: 16 
  • Cost: Free

Don’t miss the hairpin turn off to this beautiful peninsula, a rugged volcanic headland that juts out into the Pacific and is known for its lush taro fields, dramatic coastline, and tragic history. 

In 1946, a 35-foot tsunami unexpectedly crashed against the peninsula, killing 24 people and washing away everything in the village, but for an old stone church from the 1800s. 

Volcanic rock and palm trees at the Ke'anae Peninsula along the Road to Hana in Maui

While the historic town’s past is incredibly sad, it’s definitely still worth a stop to gawk at the powerful waves crashing against the volcanic cliffs. Plus, there’s a little fruit stand right near the old church, called Aunt Sandy’s, which offers shave ice and some of the best banana bread along the Road to Hana. 

7. Ching’s Pond

  • Mile Marker: 16.8
  • Cost: Free 

This little swimming spot consists of a turquoise pool, surrounded by rocky cliffs that are covered with dense greenery. While you’ll find tons of swimming spots along the Road to Hana, this one is perfect for adventurous travelers, with a small waterfall and concrete platform to jump from (although there’s lots of random rocks that you could possibly hit whilst jumping, so please be careful!). 

Small waterfall at Ching's Pond along the Road to Hana in Maui
Photo by Andrew K. Smith under the CC BY 2.0 DEED License

To be honest, this place is mostly frequented by locals and there’s been some reports of tourists getting the cold shoulder here. I’d really only recommend hitting up this spot during working hours on weekdays—otherwise, there’s so many other beautiful places to enjoy along the Road to Hana where you won’t feel lowkey unwelcome.

8. Upper Waikani Falls

  • Mile Marker: 19.5
  • Cost: Free

This gorgeous set of waterfalls—also known as the Three Bears Falls—is one of the most popular Road to Hana stops, given that you can drive right up to its overlook. Some folks quickly stop to grab a photo here or, alternatively, there’s a few parking spots on the right hand side of the road, a couple hundred feet up, if you want to park and get a better look.

Upper Waikani Falls along the Road to Hana in Maui

Some folks choose to scramble down to the plunge pool along a sketchy trail, but I really wouldn’t recommend it—there’s barbed wire fencing and “No Trespassing” signs to keep people out. We love getting those sweet Instagram pics as much as the next person, but let’s remember to prioritize being respectful of Hawaiian land and its owners.

9. Pua’a Ka’a State Wayside Park

  • Mile marker: 22.5
  • Cost: Free

This state park is good for two things—public restrooms and an easily accessible waterfall that’s perfect for a quick dip. 

Waterfall at Pua'a Ka'a State Wayside Park along the Road to Hana in Maui

Because of its accessibility, the park is a popular stop for several of the Road to Hana tours, so it’s not unusual for the waterfall’s plunge pool to be on the more crowded side. However, I personally think it’s worth a stop to see if you happen to get lucky and hit it during a quiet window.

10. Coconut Glens

  • Mile Marker: 27
  • Cost: $8 for two flavors (cash only!)

Coconut Glen’s is a Road to Hana institution, serving coconut ice cream and fresh coconuts out of a colorful VW bus.

Couple holding coconut ice cream in front of a VW bus at Coconut Glen's along the Road to Hana in Maui

The ice cream, including a coconut flavor as well as more unique ones, like banana rum raisin, is SO good—it’s actually been named one of the best ice creams in the world by Conde Nast Traveler magazine! My favorite was the coffee toffee (*insert drool emoji*). 

This is a POPULAR stop and the line here doesn’t move particularly fast—just remember that you’re on island time, baby!

11. Ka’eleku Cave 

  • Mile Marker: 31
  • Cost: $15 per person

This is one of the most unique Road to Hana stops, allowing you to explore 0.3 miles of the largest lava tube on Maui. After paying your entrance fee, you’ll be given a flashlight and allowed to guide yourself around the cave. There’s so much stuff to see, from lavacicles (which, yes, is the lava version of icicles!) and stalactites to rock-eating bacteria that glows gold and chocolate lava flows.

This lava tube is a bit off-the-beaten path, so you have a decent chance of getting to explore this geological wonder on your own. While the tunnel is quite dark (don’t believe me? Turn off your flashlight!) and even a little eerie at times, there’s a smooth and even walking path and a handrail for any nervous visitors.

Lava tube in Hawaii

12. Waiʻānapanapa State Park

  • Mile Marker: 32.2
  • Cost: $10 for non-residents; free for residents (advance reservations are required)

Just three miles north of Hana, Waiʻānapanapa State Park is home to Pa‘iola Beach—also known as the Black Sand Beach—and one of my absolute favorite Road to Hana stops. 

Volcanic sea stacks at Black Sand Beach along the Road to Hana in Maui

This beach’s dramatic jet black color is the result of a lava flow from the Haleakala Volcano centuries and centuries ago. Today, you’ll find a variety of other remnants of the cove’s volcanic history— basalt sea stacks that jut out of the turquoise water, a lava tube that leads out to the ocean, and unique volcanic arches. 

This park is also an awesome place to dive into another aspect of Hawaiian history. Waiʻānapanapa was of significant importance to the ancient Hawaiians—for example, you can now walk along the Ke Ala Loa O Maui trail, which follows along the ancient King’s Highway, used by Chief Pilani. Along the way, you’ll pass a heiau (a shrine used by Native Hawaiians), as well as stunning views of Haleakalā and the surrounding coastline.

13. Hana 

  • Mile Marker: 34
  • Cost: Free

You finally made it! 

To be honest, Hana is a blink-and-you-miss-it kinda town, with just a few gift shops and food trucks (I told ya that the Road to Hana was more about the journey than the destination!).

Colorful signs along the Road to Hana in Maui

But if you’re looking for a souvenir, it’s one of the best places to stop en route, as well as one of the best places to get an actual meal. Ae’s Thai Kitchen is a food truck serving up some KILLER drunken noodles or Hana Farms has a farm-to-table vibe and dishes up some yummy pizza. 

14. Kaihalulu Beach

  • Mile Marker: 35
  • Cost: Free

This beach, better known as the Red Sand Beach, is absolutely BEAUTIFUL, with rust-colored sand, thanks to the eroding Ka’uiki Head cinder cone; rocky volcanic cliffs; and the Gatorade blue waters of the Pacific. It’s definitely one of the most uniquely stunning beaches on Maui, which is saying a LOT, and a photographer’s dream. 

That being said, there’s some SERIOUS controversy surrounding Kaihalulu Beach. For one, the beach is only accessible by a hiking trail, which many locals argue traverses private property and therefore, should not be treated as publicly accessible. However, there’s a Hawaiian state law that prohibits any private entity from denying the public access to its beaches.

Red Sand Beach along the Road to Hana in Maui

Additionally, the sketchy trail that you take to access the beach is not maintained and has many steep drop-offs, which are eroding away further with each and every tropical storm. 

I would not recommend hiking here with children, dogs, or really, anyone who is not an experienced hiker that’s confident with tricky footing and heights. Even then, this path can be extremely dangerous during or after rain or even with one wrong step. And did I mention that, once you make it to the beach, there’s a really dangerous undertow here? 

TLDR: super pretty beach, but also pretty dangerous. Proceed with caution, friends!

15. Pipiwai Trail

  • Mile Marker: 42
  • Cost: Entrance to Haleakala National Park is $30 per private vehicle for a week or free with an America the Beautiful Pass.

Located in the Kīpahulu District of Haleakala National Park, the Pipiwai Trail is one of the best hikes in Maui, traversing incredibly lush bamboo groves (with shoots up to 60 feet high), crossing under ancient banyan trees, and passing five epic waterfalls.

Bamboo shoots along the Pipiwai Trail in Haleakala National Park in Maui

The trail’s end point is the stunning Waimoku Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in Maui at a whopping 185 feet tall!

To reach the final viewpoint about 100 feet away from the waterfall’s base, you’ll need to cross a few sketchy streams. Accordingly, be sure to include appropriate footwear, like hiking sandals or waterproof hiking boots (Justin has this pair and I have this pair) on your Hawaii packing list so that you can have extra traction on the slippery river rocks here. 

16. Ohe’o Gulch  

  • Mile Marker: 42
  • Cost: Entrance to Haleakala National Park is $30 per private vehicle for a week or free with an America the Beautiful Pass.

The Ohe’o Gulch is also known as Seven Sacred Pools. However, this is a total misnomer, given there are dozens of pools and waterfalls found throughout this short and easy hiking trail

Back in the day, you used to be able to swim in the pools here, but, due to frequent and dangerous flash flooding, you’re currently not allowed to. Nonetheless, it’s still a beautiful walk to take in the views along the dramatic Hana coastline and see a different aspect of Haleakala. 

Volcanic cliffs along the Hana coastline in Maui
Tip: If you have time to do just one hike in the Kīpahulu District, I’d definitely recommend choosing the Pipiwai Trail (see above), which has more diverse and impressive scenery, than Ohe’o Gulch. However, Ohe’o Gulch is an excellent alternative for beginner hikers or to add on after you finish the Pipiwai Trail if you happen to have time. 

17. Wailua Falls

  • Mile Marker: 45
  • Cost: Free

If you’re not tired yet of absolutely stunning waterfalls that you can swim under, the 84-foot Wailua Falls is another excellent option that’s easily accessible—you literally don’t even have to get out of your car to see it! There’s plentiful parking and usually even some vendors nearby, selling coconuts or shave ice. 

Woman holding a coconut in front of a waterfall in Hawaii

Of course, much like the other easily accessible Road to Hana stops, this tends to be a bit more on the crowded side—but given you don’t even have to get out of your car to enjoy, it’s definitely worth a quick stop! 

Tips for Driving the Road to Hana

Stay a night or two in Hana

If I could give just one tip about this road trip, it would be to stay overnight in Hana for a night or two.

You’ll be WAY less rushed and actually get to make more stops on the Road to Hana without the expectation that you’ll have to make the same 65-mile drive back to your accommodations in the same evening. 

Waterfall down greenery along the Road to Hana in Maui

Plus, while the Road to Hana isn’t particularly “scary”, it also honestly doesn’t feel the safest. I definitely wouldn’t advise driving it at night—from our experience, people can drive WAY too fast and be rather careless on narrow curves and one-way bridges. 

Consider staying at:

  • Hana-Maui Resort: There’s limited hotels and resorts in Hana, but this is absolutely one of the best options, with an onsite spa, an awesome pool and hot tub to relax around, and fun activities, like lei making classes or stand-up paddleboarding. Instead of a boring ol’ room, you’ll get your very own full-blown bungalow, including a terrace with ocean views.
  • Paradise Ocean View Cottage: If you’re more of a rental home kinda person, check out this one bedroom, one bathroom cottage, with a beautiful lanai with ocean views and surrounded by over six acres of a lush jungle. The hosts also provide fresh homegrown herbs and vegetables when they’re in harvest—you’ll get the full Maui experience!
  • Stay Across from Hana Bay: This is another rental home that’s better suited for a larger group (sleeping up to four), located within walking distance to downtown Hana and its beaches. You’ll have everything you’ll need in this sweet home, including a screened in lanai and kitchen—plus an option to rent the upstairs space as well for larger parties. 

If your schedule doesn’t allow for an overnight stay in Hana, be sure that you leave EARLY in the morning on your road trip and be prepared for a loooong day. 

Bring cash

There’s lots of little cute fruit stands and shops along the way that are cash only. Don’t miss out on the FRESHEST coconut of your life, just because you forgot to hit the ATM. 

Wear a swimsuit under your clothes

There’s seriously so many epic Road to Hana stops where you can go for a swim that it would be a travesty to not be prepared. Don’t forget a towel!

Woman standing at the Caveman Falls at Twin Falls along the Road to Hana in Maui

There you have it— 17 of the best Road to Hana stops along one of the most iconic road trips on the planet! Do you have any questions about these spots or driving the route in general? Let us know in the comments below!

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