GyPSy Guide provides a professional tour guide commentary along scenic drives. Our tours highlight the very best of the region with entertaining stories about history, geology, legends and local advice, so all you have to do is drive, listen and soak in the scenery.
Just Like Having A Tour Guide In Your Car™
Stories, local tips and directions as you drive, so you don’t miss a thing.
All the benefits of a guided tour, the freedom to drive yourself.
Download over wifi, tour offline. No data, cellular or wifi required, while driving.
ROAD TO HANA TOUR
ROAD TO HANA MAP
What to Expect
The Road to Hana is one of the world’s most scenic drives and a popular sightseeing activity to see Maui’s spectacular waterfalls, black sand beaches, bamboo forests, lava rock formations and amazing ocean views as you wind your way through 620 curves and 59 bridges.
If you prefer travelling independently, as your own pace, GyPSy Guide provides the best Road to Hana tour experience, along with the freedom to choose what you enjoy; squishing the black sand between your toes at Wai’anapanapa, hiking the Pipiwai Bamboo Trail, or maybe time to enjoy an extra slice of banana bread.
You can’t help but cheer on the world class windsurfers at Ho’okipa. And you won’t need to worry about photoshopping the Rainbow Eucalyptus at the Keanae Arboretum or the stunning contrast between blue water and black lava rock at Keanae Peninsular.
Take a moment to cool off with a quick swim at the pristine Hamoa Beach and see where Haleakala National Park descends from the summit to the sea and the “Seven Sacred Pools” of Oheo at the end of the drive.
With such a long day of exploring, it’s important to know the 5 “not to be missed” stops, and the many more suggestions if you have time. Part of the secret to enjoying the journey is knowing how not to waste your time, and we have tips for that as well.
On the return drive from Hana, we’ll point out the not to be missed stops again as well as tell you stories about Hawaii’s fascinating history and rich culture.
Please note #37 backside route can be plagued by road closures, mudslides and flash floods, most rental car companies prohibit driving this road and insurance is invalidated.
ROAD TO HANA DRIVING TOUR APP REVIEWS
TIPS FOR DRIVING THE ROAD TO HANA
Avoid These 5 Mistakes When On The Road To Hana
ROAD TO HANA, MAUI & HAWAII DRIVING TOUR APPS
LISTEN TO SAMPLE COMMENTARY – ROAD TO HANA
Where does the tour start?
The tour commentary begins on Highway 36, the Hana Highway, just east of the junction with Airport Road. When you reach the Hana Highway, turn right (east) and drive towards the town of Paia.
If you are starting your sightseeing drive from the resort areas like Kaanapali, Lahaina, Kihei and Wailea, you must first drive across the island to join Hwy 36 and the beginning of the tour commentary. Follow the signs as if you are driving toward Kahului Airport. You will not hear any commentary until you reach the Hana Highway itself, which is where the tour starts and you will be welcomed by the introduction.
If you would like to hear commentary all the way from resort areas like Kaanapali, Kapalua, Kihei and Wailea, we suggest purchasing the Maui GyPSy Guide App, which covers sightseeing everywhere on the island.
How long is the Road to Hana and what time should we start?
It’s about 51 miles from Kahalui to Hana and another 10 miles to Ohe’o Gulch and the Seven Sacred Pools.
There’s a lot to see on the Road to Hana, and the earlier you get started, the more you you will get to see and enjoy.
We recommend leaving the resort areas like Kaanapali, Kapaplua, Lahaina, Wailea and Kihei by at least 7.30am to maximize your day and to get ahead of the crowds. earlier, if possible.
Should I drive straight to the Pipiwai Trail and sightsee on the return?
Some people recommend driving straight to the Pipiwai Trail, at the end of the Road to Hana, and do the tour in reverse, to get ahead of the crowds. Here’s our take on this. Driving from the start of the Road to Hana to the Pipiwai Trail is about 2.5hrs, without stopping. That’s a long way and a lot of twists and turns before you’re even out of the car.
We say start early, enjoy the journey – stopping at the viewpoints along the way, hike the Pipiwai Trail, and you’ll be more relaxed for the return trip.
If you’re still convinced you’re like to do it first, that’s ok, we’ll point out the “not to be missed” stops again quickly on the return trip, along with some fascinating stories about Hawaiian history.
And you know, maybe the most relaxing way to do the Road to Hana is to stay overnight.
Should I drive the back road to Hana?
This is a great question and the answer is very important.
You might see articles or forum comments from locals that say that driving the “backside” of Haleakala to connect to the Road to Hana is better. What “locals” sometimes don’t take into account is that as a visitor you are driving a rental car. The major rental companies prohibit their vehicle being take past the Oheo Gulch area. If you had an incident, like a flash flood, or a breakdown, it will cost you thousands of $$s in recovery costs. The chances might be low, but its a risk to you and you will be deliberately violating your contact – so make an informed decision.
Can I do the tour in reverse?
Our tour is structured so we do all of our sightseeing stops on our way outbound towards Hana. For most people, they’ve enjoyed a long day of sightseeing with many stops by the time they reach the Oheo Gulch, and want to drive back non-stop. So we’ve created and interesting collection of stories about Hawaiian history and culture to make the drive back entertaining and help pass the time.
Driving to Oheo Gulch and Seven Sacred Pools requires approximately 2.5 hours. It is our opinion that’s a long time before you even start sightseeing! We think its better to make stops on the way outbound while you are energetic! Plus the sightseeing gets better and better as you continue on.
If the question is whether you will beat crowds by going to the end first – the best way to beat the crowds is to leave early! Leave your resort by 7.30am and you will be ahead of most visitors.
If hiking the Pipiwai Trail is high on your list, the advice is the same, do your sightseeing on the way out but leave early and you will be on the trail before most hikers.
What should I bring?
Its important to keep charging your device as you drive and we recommend using a DC cigarette lighter-style of charger. Plugging directly into the vehicle’s USB port is not recommended.
Cash. There are limited ATM and credit card options.
Fill up your gas tank and bring some food & drinks.
Beachwear and sunscreen.
Sturdy shoes, bug spray and bag or wipes to clean mud off shoes. Second pair of comfy pair clean shoes.
Don’t forget your smile and some aloha.
Can you swim at the "Seven Sacred Pools"?
The Pools of Ohe’o (or Seven Sacred Pools) in the Kipahulu District are closed indefinitely due to safety concerns with landslides.
The hiking trails and some viewpoints remain open. The spectacular coastline and views to the summit still make it a must see, and worth the National Park entrance fee, in our opinion.
If you have already visited Haleakala National Park summit, save your receipt (within 3 days) and reuse.