The scenic road to Hana is one of the top tourist attractions on the Hawaiian Island of Maui. The town of Hana is not the focus of attraction, but the road itself. The Hwy. 36, called the Hana Highway, is full of twists and turns resembling a snake in locomotion. Although this route has riskier, steeper, and unsafe roads, yet this is the most famous road in Hawaii. The visitors love the panoramic views of the quixotic seascapes, refreshing water pools, dasheen patches, lush rainforests, and botanical gardens on the way. You will get many opportunities to take breaks during your drive and enjoy the balmy scenes from the vantage points.
If you start your tour in Paia, you need to reach Charley’s 142 Hana Hwy. at 7:00 a.m., as there will be a lot to see on your tour. Also, get your gas tank filled, as it has the last fuel station till you reach Hana. Check out the route to Hana:
9th mile marker on Hwy. 36: Going a bit past this marker, you would reach the Hookipa Beach, a surfer’s delight. Watch the crazy surfers combating with the dangerous waves that crash against the black lava rock. The beach offers good facilities, including, picnicking, parking, and restrooms.
14th mile marker on Hwy. 36: As you cross this marker, you will reach Maui Grown Market. If you have forgotten to buy something for your tour, you can buy here. After 16th mile marker, the highway number 36 changes to highway 360. It is the beginning of the Hana Highway, with the Hana Hwy. marker set to zero.
Blow up your stress with the wind while traveling on the route and take short breaks at the following points of interest on the road to Hana:
2nd mile marker: Also known as the Twin Falls stop, the place past this marker offers a view of the beautiful waterfall named as the Twin Falls. You may also find a snack stand and portable toilets here.
3rd mile marker: Just half-a-mile past this marker, you will be welcomed by the Huelo Roadside Stand. Taste tropical fruit smoothies or buy souvenirs here. A detour down a narrow road to visit the historical Kaulanapueo Church, constructed in 1853. It also has an old-time cemetery, dating back to the 1940s. Going forward on the Hana Hwy., you find yourself amid the verdant landscape of the Koolau Forest Reserve.
9th mile marker: About half-a-mile from this marker, a dirt road with a sign marking the trail would take you on the Waikamoi Ridge Trail. If you wish to sniff the fragrance of eucalyptus, or stroll through bamboos, you may choose to embark upon this 30-minute trail.
10th mile marker: Pass this marker to reach the Garden of Eden and Botanical Arboretum. This is the place where the opening scenes of the popular movie “Jurassic Park”, were filmed. The garden includes a variety of exotic species of flora. Chicken, ducks, and geese are commonly found birds in the garden.
11th mile marker: Cross this marker and find the path that leads to the spectacular Lower Puohokamoa Falls. You would love to swim in the refreshing waterfall-fed pools.
12th mile marker: After this marker, you would see a picnicking area in the Kaumahina State Wayside Park. The kids love to play in the wide green park. It has restrooms and offers a good stopover place. It is also an ideal place to click some snaps.
22th mile marker: The road past this marker takes you to the Pua’a Ka’a State Park, located right on the roadside. It has so many waterfalls and swimming holes.
32th mile marker: The Waianapanapa State Park is located right on this marker. The highlights of the park include sea caves, rock arch, black-sand beach and the ruins of the first road built around Maui – old King’s Highway.
42th mile marker: Around this marker, you would see ‘Ohe’o Gulch with seven holy pools, located at the east end of the Haleakala National Park.
45th mile marker: When you see this marker, get ready to witness the most prominent falls – the Wailua Falls that plummets 80 feet.
Some people try to cover Hana in just one day. They end up strolling for just 10 minutes and later on wondering why they chose to travel to Hana. It would take some time to explore this pristine place, to tramp to the bamboo woods, whiff the tropical flowers, or play in the clear waterfalls cascading from the tropical jungles. It is better to stay overnight to enjoy Hana’s delights. If you have less time, and you wish to complete your tour to Hana in a day, then begin your journey before sunrise, and return after sunset. The views of the waterfalls are striking on a full-moon night.
Things to do in Hana
Take the blessings at the St. Sophia’s Church, located on the verge of Hana. Stay at the Travaasa Hana luxury resort. Shop for souvenirs at the Hasegawa General Store or the Hana Ranch Store. The Hana Beach Park or Hamoa Beach are ideal places to swim and sunbathe. If you like snorkeling, visit the Waianapanapa State Park. You may also visit the Piilanihale, the largest temple in Hawaii.
- Take ample of food and water as there are no provisions en route to Hana.
- Use sunblock to prevent tanning.
- Read sign boards carefully.
Road to Hana (Hana Highway) Map
Facts about Road to Hana (Hana Highway)
- The village town of Hana was discovered in 1926.
- Owing to an increase in the traffic, the mud-and-gravel road to Hana, which was prone to landslides and washouts, was surfaced in 1962.
- The length of the road to Hana is about 50 miles.
- The road to Hana has about 620 curves and 59 bridges.
Where is Road to Hana (Hana Highway)?
Hana is a tank town located towards Maui’s eastern coastline. The drive to Hana via Hwy. 36 takes about 3 hours from Lahaina or Kihei.
Best time to visit Road to Hana (Hana Highway)
The early hours are the best time to visit Hana as it is refreshing and less crowded. The peak traffic hours are mid-morning and mid-afternoon, particularly on the weekends.
More on Road to Hana (Hana Highway)
Which are the interesting places to visit in Maui?
Haleakala National Park, Lahaina, Iao Valley State Park, Makena Beach, and Molokini.
How many visitors traverse through the Hana Highway?
Over 1,000 cars travel through the road daily.
Published On: Thursday, May 29th, 2014