Are you thinking of driving Maui’s Road To Hana? Then you better be prepared.
Although this 70 mile/110km Maui drive serves up some of the most amazing scenery in the state, it’s not an adventure to take lightly.
So here are five mistakes you need to avoid when driving this thrilling road.
Sleeping in too late
Now’s not the time to catch up on sleep.
It’s best to be on the road, leaving your resort by at least 7:30 am. If you start late, the Road to Hana can be crowded with other drivers. That can mean that you might find yourself crawling along behind slower drivers at time. And there will also be more competition for parking spaces at the most popular places of interest.
Forgetting to pack food (& toiletries)
Although there a few fruit stands and roadside casual eateries along the way, the Road To Hana offers very few options for grabbing a full meal. So it good to stock up on drinks and snacks before setting out. But save a little room for some fresh banana bread!
And also keep in mind that Hana – with a population of about 1200 – only has a very small selection of dining choices. And while we point out the public washrooms along the way, we don’t guarantee they’re always stocked. So pack some tp and hand sanitizer.
LIKE HAVING A TOUR GUIDE IN YOUR CAR™
GPS Audio Tour
Want to enhance your vacation while exploring Maui?
Listen to behind-the-scene stories, local tips and directions that play automatically as you drive across the island.
Not everyone driving the Road To Hana is an awe-struck visitor soaking up the scenery. So if a vehicle comes up behind you and flashes their lights, pull over at the first safe opportunity.
Holding up traffic on this winding stretch of road can cause chaos, especially if drivers try to pass. So be polite and earn some karma points by letting the locals scoot by.
Returning via the ‘back side’
If you’re the adventurous type, you might be tempted to travel the “back side” (also known as the Piilani Highway, 31) of Haleakala on your return trip.
Our recommendation: don’t do it. You’ll be motoring down a remote road that is unpaved in sections, extremely windy and dotted with some major potholes. But the main reason is: All major car rental companies explicitly prohibit their vehicles from being driven there!
Why? You could easily become stranded out there if you have a breakdown, accident or a flash flood blocks the road (try googling flash flood Maui!). The chances might be low – but it does happen. Then, you are entirely responsible for the vehicle to be recovered or towed, and since its remote, it can cost thousands of dollars to get a tow truck back there.
Those who want to gaze out at remote Hawaiian scenery will probably be better off booking a helicopter tour!
Ready to Hit the Road?
Take your time and enjoy the stops along the Road to Hana. A truly enjoyable road trip isn’t about getting from point A to B, it’s about the relaxed pace, the freedom of the open road and the adventures along the way.
It provides a guided audio tour, so you can learn even more about the area as you drive. Don’t miss a thing on your drive, visit the must see waterfalls, best beaches and listen to stories about Hawaii’s culture and history. All commentary plays automatically and the apps work offline, so no data or cellular signal is required after download.
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