The Road to Hana Highway is by far the most epic road trip route on the stunning Maui island. The hardest part about this drive is picking which Road to Hana stops you should see in a single day – because there are so many incredible ones to choose from!
In this post, we share 8 of the best trails and attractions along the Road to Hana in Maui. These are some of the most popular stops that you should not miss and can easily squeeze into a day trip.
Don’t stress anymore about research because we got you covered! Here is what to expect, what to pack, and tons of tips from our personal experience to make the best of your time on the Hana Highway road trip.
Here are 8 of the best Road To Hana stops in Maui that you should not miss:
Best Road To Hana Stops In Maui:
1. Twin Falls Maui Waterfall
- Length: 1.8 miles out and back
- Elevation gain: 350 feet
- Trail difficulty: Easy
- Time needed: 1-2 hours
- Location: 6300 Hana Hwy, Haiku, HI 96708
- AllTrails Map: Twin Falls Trail
Kick off your Hana Highway road trip by stopping at the Twin Falls Maui Waterfall. This is one of the shortest and most beautiful hikes in Maui that visits two stunning waterfalls. The Twin Falls Maui Waterfall is one of the first major Road to Hana stops so many people hike this trail.
The Twin Falls Maui Waterfall is located on a private farm that is open to visitors. There is a large designated parking lot for hikers in front of the Twin Falls Maui Farm Stand which is a charming little stand selling fruit, juices, and smoothies.
The hike to the waterfalls is straightforward and follows a wide path through a lush jungle. The first waterfall is located 0.2 miles into the trail to the left and can be hard to spot so don’t miss it!
There is a viewpoint that overlooks the waterfall but if you want to get a closer look, you can take a steep trail down to the waterfall base.
The second waterfall is located further up the main pathway. You will need to cross a few creeks to get there and you might get your feet soaked so wear water shoes or hiking sandals for better traction!
The second waterfall is located at the end of the trail and has a large pool which provides a wonderful place to jump in for a refreshing swim.
2. Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees
The next stop on our Road to Hana trip was to check out the Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees. These Rainbow Trees are located next to the Hana Highway just past mile marker 6.5. There is no visitor parking lot here so you’ll need to park along the road whenever you see some space.
These colorful trees are situated right next to the highway so you can quickly park, jump out of the car and see them within a few minutes. There is one large grove here with around 20 Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees, but there are more trees further up along the highway.
The Maui Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees are made of many different colors due to peeling tree bark. The green layers are the newest ones while the maroon, orange, and red are the oldest layers.
When driving the Road to Hana be sure to keep an eye out for these trees and don’t miss them! Maui’s Rainbow Trees are so unique and a lot more colorful than I expected them to be so it’s worth a stop.
Location: Rainbow Trees, Haiku, HI 96708
3. Aunty Sandy’s Banana Bread
After spending several hours driving in a car, stop for a quick snack at the famous Aunty Sandy’s Banana Bread stand.
This is one of the most popular Road to Hana stops because who doesn’t enjoy warm, freshly baked banana bread?!
To get to Aunty Sandy’s Banana Bread stand you will need to go on a quick detour from Hana Highway. Turn left onto Keanae Road and the snack stand will be to your right soon after.
This banana bread stand is visited by tourists all day long so there will most likely be a line – but it moves pretty quickly. We ordered a couple of banana bread loaves to share in our group and everyone loved it! The banana bread is so soft that it simply melts in your mouth followed by a slightly crisp crust.
The banana bread loaves cost $7 each. If you’re extra hungry, you can also order smoothies, sandwiches, soups, and hot dogs from this local food stand.
- Hours: 8:30 am to 2:30 pm
- Location: Aunty Sandy’s Banana Bread
4. Kopiliula Falls
Kopiliula Falls was an unexpectedly stunning waterfall along the Road to Hana drive. This is not a popular stop and is easy to miss if you’re not keeping an eye out for it.
Parking by Kopiliula waterfall is very limited and you might need to walk a bit along the road to see it. The best view of this waterfall can be found up the road overlooking the bridge and plunging waterfall tiers.
Location: Kopiliula Falls, Hawaii 96790
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5. Hāna Farms Roadside Stand & Restaurant
If you’re looking for a convenient spot to grab food along the Road to Hana drive, The Bamboo Hale at Hāna Farms is a roadside restaurant making it easy for visitors to stop for lunch.
The Bamboo Hale is an open-air restaurant made of locally grown bamboo. This unique outdoor restaurant specializes in pizza, sandwiches, traditional Hawaiian plates, and salads with fresh ingredients from their own garden.
I got their Harvest Salad with pork which came out to around $19. All of the plates were beautifully presented and tasted so delicious.
After eating your meal, you can also browse through their adjacent market that sells local goodies and fruits.
- Tuesday to Thursday & Sunday – 11 am to 3 pm
- Friday & Saturday – 12 pm to 8 pm
6. Black Sand Beach at Waiʻānapanapa State Park
If there is one place that you should visit along the Road to Hana, it’s the Black Sand Beach at Waiʻānapanapa State Park!
This is truly one of the most remarkable places in Maui but to visit the Waiʻānapanapa State Park you will need to make an entrance reservation ahead of time. If you don’t have a reservation, you will be turned away which can feel pretty devastating after driving all day to get there.
Reservations for the Waiʻānapanapa State Park can be made here: Gowaianapanapa.com
You will need to pick a time slot and enter information for every person in your car. You can book the reservation up to 14 days in advance and no later than 1 day before your visit (no same-day reservations are allowed).
We booked our reservation a couple of days before driving Road To Hana and most of the time slots were already taken up so don’t put this off until the last minute!
The black sand beach at Waiʻānapanapa State Park consists of volcanic sand that looks very contrasting against the green vegetation and turquoise ocean. There is a small cove where visitors can lay out, swim, explore sea caves and go on a short coastal trail.
Location: Waianapanapa, Hana, HI 96713
7. Wailua Falls
While most waterfalls along the Road to Hana require a decent hike to visit them, Wailua Falls is an exception. Located next to the Hana Highway, visitors can park at the nearby parking lot and see this towering 80-foot waterfall from a viewpoint within a few minutes walk.
If you want to jump in the waterfall for a refreshing swim, access down to the waterfall is short and easy from the Hana Highway. The hike to the waterfall is slick and slippery so hiking sandals with good grip can be helpful here.
Location: Wailua Falls, Hawaii 96746
8. Pīpīwai Trail
- Length: 3.8 miles out and back
- Elevation gain: 900 feet
- Trail difficulty: Moderate
- Time needed: 2-3 hours
- Location: Pīpīwai Trail, Hana, HI 96713
- AllTrails Map: Waimoku Falls via Pipiwai Trail
Pīpīwai Trail is a stunning jungle hike that travels to multiple waterfalls, across bridges, and through the popular bamboo forest. This is considered to be one of the best hikes in Maui so be sure to set aside some time to explore it!
To hike the Pīpīwai Trail you can park at the Kīpahulu Visitor Center. This trail is part of the Haleakalā National Park so you will need to pay the $30 vehicle entrance fee.
I have an annual US National Park pass that costs $80 but allows unlimited entry into any National Park for a year, even ones in Maui. We hiked several trails at the Haleakalā National Park on this trip so the pass paid itself off within a few days.
Due to time constraints, we didn’t get to hike all the way to Waimoku Falls at the end of the Pīpīwai Trail. We did hike a portion of the Pīpīwai Trail up to the bamboo forest and got to see the Falls of Makahiku and a giant Banyan tree.
It’s impossible to see everything along the Road to Hana in one day so you really have to choose what to see and what to skip!
The Pīpīwai Trail is not a technical or difficult hike but the pathway is very slippery, especially after rainfall. Along this trail, you’ll encounter exposed tree roots and rocky sections so good hiking shoes are recommended.
Many people get injured on this trail from slipping and accidentally falling so extra caution should be used around cliffs, waterfalls, and steep drop-offs.
If you have extra time after hiking the Pīpīwai Trail, be sure to stop by The Pools at ‘Ohe’o which are located a short walk from the Kīpahulu Visitor Center.
Getting Around In Maui
The easiest way to visit the Road to Hana and other points of interest in Maui is by having a rental car. Most attractions in Maui are pretty spread out so having a car is a must if you want to explore outside of your hotel.
Most rental car agencies are located at the Kahului Airport so you can easily reserve a car for when you land.
We recommend booking car rentals with Discover Cars which offers the best car rental deals and 24-7 support!
Driving The Road To Hana
I’m not gonna sugar coat it – driving the Road to Hana can be an intimidating experience. The Road to Hana is a very narrow mountain highway with sharp turns that often turns into a one-way road.
Most visitors start the drive in Kahului City and end it at the Pīpīwai Trail. This route covers around 60 miles of a windy coastline with steep cliff drop-offs.
The drive itself takes around 2.5 hours each way (without any stops) so you can expect to spend a lot of time in a car. Road to Hana travels next to the ocean providing stunning views along the way but the drive is slow and challenging. You’ll constantly need to pass other cars, pull over, cross one-way bridges, and squeeze into tight parking spots.
This is a tough drive so many people choose to sign up for a guided Road to Hāna Sightseeing Tour like this one and put their trust in an experienced local driver.
If you choose to drive the Hana Highway yourself, you will need to leave your hotel very early to get going (we’re talking like 6 am). I recommend leaving as early as possible to get ahead of the crowds which will also allow you to find parking much easier.
Give yourself 5 hours for the drive, plus time to see a few of the main attractions along the way. Try to be out of Road to Hana before sunset because this road can be very dangerous to drive at night.
You’ll most likely get back to your hotel at around 8 pm so be ready for an all-day-long adventure!
Where To Stay
When visiting Maui, most people stay in either Lahaina or Kihei – the two most popular hotel areas on the island. As an alternative, you can also book a vacation rental around Hana and spend more time exploring the Road to Hana.
If you decide to stay in Hana, you’ll already be at the center of the main attractions and won’t need to spend so much time driving in a car.
Check out our post next that covers 10 Amazing Places To Stay In Hana For Your Maui Adventure!
This list of the most beautiful places to stay in Hana offers a wide selection of relaxing hotels, luxurious resorts, and homey vacation rentals to ensure you’re well-rested for your Hana adventure!
What To Pack For Road To Hana
So what should you bring for the Road to Hana drive? The Hana Highway is located in a dense jungle next to the ocean so bring light clothing that you don’t mind getting muddy or dirty.
Here’s what we suggest packing for Road to Hana trip:
- The weather in Maui is mostly hot and humid. Wear clothing that is easy to layer like shorts and light tops.
- You will be trekking across muddy, wet terrain. It’s best to wear water shoes or hiking sandals with grip to avoid accidentally slipping and falling. My feet were completely soaked and covered in mud by the end of the day trip so bring an extra pair of shoes and socks to change into for the drive back.
- Wear your bathing suit! Nothing feels better for cooling off from hot weather than a quick swim in a waterfall or the ocean. I recommend already wearing a bathing suit underneath your clothes instead of changing there because you won’t have much privacy at these locations.
- It’s easy to get sunburned in Mau. Don’t ruin your vacation with a bad sunburn by wearing mineral sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses, and bring plenty of water for your trip.
- There are several porta-potties and bathrooms along this route. I always bring travel toilet paper and hand sanitizer in case they don’t have any in the visitor bathrooms.
Dramatic coastlines, black sand beaches, jungle forests, and jaw-dropping waterfalls – it’s no wonder why Maui is considered to be one of the most beautiful places on Earth!
Looking for more things to do in Maui? Here are some of our other popular Maui posts to help you with trip planning!
- 10 Amazing Places To Stay In Hana, Maui
- 30 Of The Best Things To Do In Maui, Hawaii
- 10 Incredible VRBOs In Kihei On Maui’s Sunny South Shore
- 25 Amazing Free & Cheap Things To Do In Maui
- 9 Of The Best Hikes In Maui, Hawaii For Visitors
- 16 Easy Things To Do In Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Interested in stepping up your photography game? Here is the camera gear that I carry everywhere I go to create amazing travel photos:
- Main camera: Sony a7c Camera. The Sony a7c is tiny, light, full-frame, and durable – in other words, amazing!
- Polarizer Filter: Hoya 40.5 mm Filter. Polarizing filters reduce glare in water, protect the lens from getting scratched and bring out the best colors when it’s bright outside. Having a polarizing filter is a must-have if you plan to photograph lakes, oceans, rivers, and waterfalls.
- Wide Lens: Sony 16-35 mm F4. Great for capturing wide panoramas, nature landscapes, and cramped city streets. Mounts to any Sony mirrorless camera and features autofocus, image stabilization, and incredibly sharp images.
- Lightweight Travel Tripod: Manfrotto Carbon Fiber Tripod. A good tripod is essential for capturing images in low light conditions, such as during sunset and sunrise, or creating smooth water effects when shooting waterfalls. The Manfrotto Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod is very sturdy, light, and folds small so you can take it on all of your adventures!
- Memory Cards: SanDisk Extreme 256 GB. It’s always good to bring a few extra memory cards on trips. SanDisk Extreme is ultra-fast for capturing high-quality images, bursts, long exposure night shots, and 4k videos. This memory card is also durable and reliable yet very affordable.
- Camera Batteries: Wasabi Power Battery Set. I’ve made the mistake of getting to a location to realize my camera is out of battery. Always keep your batteries charged with this camera charger set.
- Camera Bag: Lowepro adventure shoulder bag. A camera bag is something you should definitely invest in! Without having a proper place to store it I would get my camera scratched, sandy, or even occasionally drop it.
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