This was my first trip to Hana, which is embarrassing considering I’ve traveled to Maui every year for the past two decades. But on my rip to Maui last month, I went with my favorite guide, Mikey! I couldn’t believe how much there was to do and see on the Road to Hana. If you’re the type of person that wants to see it all, I would suggest splitting up the journey in two days by either getting a room in Hana or camping. We only had time for one day, so we left early in the morning because it can easily take 12 hours to make the trip there and back. We did our research to beforehand to figure out exactly where we wanted to stop. I wanted to share that with you all the places we visited because we loved each and every one of them! Just a little heads up before you start your drive through Hana- write down the places you want to stop and their mile markers – the service is iffy. There are no signs for the hikes or sightseeing spots – everything’s marked by mile markers.
What to Pack:
Cooler full of food and water, sunscreen, backpack, camera, change of clothes, sneakers for hiking, cash if you want to buy goodies from the food trucks, and a bathing suit.
* Note: 8 miles after Paia, the mile markers will reset to the 16th mile marker
Bamboo Forest Trail – Mile Marker 6.5
This was our first stop and a must-see on the Road to Hana. The Bamboo Forest Trail is supposedly a bit of secret/local spot, but we passed many fellow hikers. There are four waterfalls throughout this hike. Most people went to the first two waterfalls because the trail becomes much more difficult after that. This was the perfect hike to start our day long journey. As I said before, you won’t find a sign at the start of the hike and there’s not a parking lot, just a small pull off. Parking is limited but we left for Hana fairly early in the morning so thankfully we were able to park right at the entrance to the hike. Right off the road you will find a couple trails leading through the bamboo forest. You’ll hike through the bamboo forest until you have to cross a river (crossing may be difficult if there’s been a lot of rain) After you cross the river, you will soon come to a Y in the trail – stay left. After a half mile or so, the trail will bring you to the first waterfall of the hike!
We continued along the trail until we came to the second waterfall (pictured below). Just a little advice-don’t wear your fresh white tennies- the hike can be super muddy. Now off to the third waterfall! This was a perfect swimming hole.
There’s a trail to the left of the waterfall. You’ll have to climb up a fairly steep hill but you’ll find a rope that’ll help you up. You won’t have to hike much further to see the next waterfall, which was gorgeous. There’s a rope swing, which I plan on doing next time I hike this trail but I forgot to pack my swimsuit for this hike. If you look to the left of the waterfall in the photo below, you’ll see the ladder you’ll have to climb up to get to the next waterfall. Not going to lie, I was pretty scared climbing up this slippery/steep ladder.
After climbing up the ladder you’ll hike/climb up small boulders until you reach a canal. Once you get to the canal you’ll have to jump in and swim to the last waterfall. After the second waterfall, there were a lot less people hiking, which made the bamboo forest that much more peaceful.
Wai’anapanapa State Park – Black Sand Beach – Mile Marker 32A
This was a stop I was really excited to make because I really wanted to go swimming at Pa-iloa Beach – one of the most beautiful black sand beaches on Maui. With the black sand beach, a blowhole, lava caves, and a hike across a lava field, there’s a lot do and see at this stop. We only had time to walk down to the beach and up the coast to see the blowhole (that never went off while we were there). The beach was packed with fellow tourists, but I guess that’s what you get when visiting a state park in the middle of the day. Next time I travel the Road to Hana I plan to get to this location earlier in the morning to beat crowd and I will definitely will be hiking the lava fields.
Red Sand Beach – Hana
This was by far my favorite stop of the day! The beach is located in the town of Hana. The trail starts at the Hana Community Center. Follow the costal path to this hidden cove. A dramatic red cliff forms the backdrop of this little beach, giving the sand its ruby color. I felt like this was a true hidden gem on the road to Hana – where we were really able to get away from the swarm of fellow tourists. The combination of the dramatic red sand and the blue water was truly stunning. Mikey and I swam around to cool off from our day of exploring. I’m eager to go back to this beach and spend more time swimming and relaxing on the red sand.
Waimoku Falls – Haleakala National Park
The most perfect hike to end our day on the Road to Hana. We started our hike on the Pipiwai trail to see Waimoku falls. The Pipiwai Trail is 2 miles each way and I thought it was a much nicer trail compared to the Bamboo forest hike. The trail winds past several waterfalls and pools. The first waterfall of the hike is only a 1/2 mile up the trail (pictured above) called Makahiku Falls. For the next 1 1/2 miles you’ll pass waterfalls and walk through a gorgeous forest of bamboo. The trail is mostly shaded by the bamboo until you reach the dropping 400 ft Waimoku Falls. Pipiwai Trail was a beautiful hike with a stunningly tall waterfall at the end- totally worth the hike.
I hope you enjoyed following us on our adventure through Hana! I can’t wait to share more of our adventures with you all.