Road to Hana

road to hana maui hawaii

The Road to Hana is one of Maui’s major vacation attractions.

The Hana Highway is a stretch of State Routes 36 and 360 in Hawaii. This 68 mile long stretch of highway connects the town of Kahului to Hana in east Maui. The road to Hana was built originally for the use of sugar plantation workers who commuted from Pa’ia to Hana.

The drive from Kahului to Hana takes around 2 ½ hours without stops even though it is just around 52 miles because of the winding highway and passes over the 59 bridges, of which 46 are single lane. Most of the bridges can be dated back to 1910, but all except for one are still useable. Virtually the entire drive takes you through lush, tropical rainforests and the scenery is nothing short of spectacular. In 2000, President Bill Clinton designated the highway as the “Hana Millennium Legacy Trail and in 2001 it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The road to Hana is one of Maui’s more popular tourist attractions and many travel the highway each year. Large sections of guidebooks are devoted to describing the many attractions and tropical waterfalls that are found along this section of highway. Since all the beaches of Hawaii are considered to be public, some of the guidebooks offer advice about how to get around various “no trespassing” signs or signs claiming that there is no attraction that can be found near some of the scenic areas that lie on private properties.

Ohe’o Gulch lies at the end of the highway and is also known as “Seven Sacred Pools”. This series of breathtaking waterfalls actually lied within Haleakala National Park. Along the way, visitors can often see dirt roads that have been closed because of landslides and most car rental contracts prohibit driving their cars in this section. While the road is rough and slow speeds are required, it is by no means impassable. The prohibition is most likely because of the remoteness of the area. If there is a breakdown, very little traffic passes and there is little or no cell service in some places.

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