Top 25 Road to Hana Stops: Secret Beaches, Waterfalls & More

Best Road to Hana Stops blog post cover image.  Text overlaying an aerial image of a white car on a bridge with a waterfall behind it along the Road to Hana Maui.

The Hawaiian island of Maui is home to one of the most famous scenic drives in the United States called “The Road to Hana.” The Hana Highway is a 65-mile stretch of winding, corkscrew road that journeys through lush rainforest and otherworldly beaches.

While every Hawaii bucket list includes driving the Road to Hana, few visitors will have time to see even half of the incredible stops along the route.

We have created this guide to the best Road to Hana stops to make sure you do not miss any of the breathtaking (and often hidden) gems along the way. In the sections below, you will discover photos, descriptions, locations, maps, and general wisdom for your road trip adventure.

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Road to Hana Stops, Advice, & Overview

25 Best Stops on the Road to Hana (in Driving Order)

  1. Baldwin Beach Park
  2. Paia Historic Town
  3. Kaulahao Beach aka Kuau Beach Park
  4. Mama’s Fish House
  5. Ho’okipa Beach Park
  6. Twin Falls
  7. Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees
  8. Waikamoi Nature Trail & Waikamoi Falls
  9. Garden of Eden Arboretum
  10. Ke’anae Arboretum
  11. Upper Waikani Falls
  12. Pua’a Ka’a Falls
  1. Hanawi Falls
  2. Makapipi Falls
  3. Honokalani Black Sand Beach
  4. Kaihalulu Red Sand Beach
  5. Hamoa Beach / Koki Beach Park
  6. Waioka Pond (Venus Pool)
  7. Wailua Falls
  8. ʻOheʻo Gulch: Seven Sacred Pools
  9. Waimoku Falls
  10. Bamboo Forest
  11. Alelele Falls Viewpoint
  12. Huialoha Church
  13. Manawainui Gulch

**The first 5 stops are on the natural route along the Hana Hwy, but come prior to Mile Marker 0*

  • A young woman stands on the beautiful golden sand of Baldwin Beach on the north shore of Maui.
    1. Baldwin Beach

Self-Guided vs Guided

Even if you’re not usually a tour person you may want to consider it in this case. The Road to Hana has been nicknamed the “Divorce Highway” due to the arguments it’s caused between some couples! While not necessarily a dangerous road, it can be taxing on your nerves with around 620 curves and 59 bridges (of which 46 are one-lane bridges).

With this in mind, a tour can be a great option, allowing you to sit back and enjoy the best Road to Hana stops without the stress of driving this narrow, windy road. Booking a tour also includes all the permits you require, as well as often including breakfast and lunch. The downside to tours is that you will typically visit fewer stops and are limited to day trips only.

Below are some of the best Road to Hana tours:
  • Road to Hana and Ka’eleku Cavern Small-Group Luxury Day Trip: 5/5 ⭐
    In addition to exploring the wonders of the Road to Hana, you will also tour the mysterious Hana lava tube; Ka’eleku Cavern. With up to 8 guests in a comfortable limo-van, you can avoid the crowds and enjoy the comforts of this luxury tour.
  • Private Road to Hana Tour: 5/5
    Create your own custom itinerary and include the Road to Hana stops you’re most excited to see with a private tour. Sit back and relax, letting your knowledgeable guide drive you through this incredible part of Maui.
  • Small-Group Road to Hana Adventure: 5/5 ⭐
    Enjoy this iconic Maui road, stopping at all the best sights with up to 10 guests. On this 10-hour tour, you will learn about Hawaiian culture and history from your professional guide, as well as have the option to take a dip in the ocean at the black sand beach or take a splash into a cascading waterfall.

Duration

There are too many stops on the Road to Hana to see in just a day trip. If possible, try to arrange your Hana itinerary to include at least one night to allow yourself time to see it all.

If you can arrange a permit, our recommendation is to camp at Waiʻānapanapa State Park. This is a great halfway point and an incredible place to watch sunrise. Read more about reservations and requirements in our complete guide to Waiʻānapanapa State Park permits.

When to Begin

You will want to leave as early as possible, not only to allow more time but to get ahead of the crowds. This tiny road gets extremely backed up and offers very few places to turn around. Getting ahead of the pack means you will not struggle as often with parking and traffic jams.

The other option is to leave late in the afternoon so that you are well behind all the day-trippers. Of course, this is only an option for those planning on staying overnight.

Driving Route Options

A  view along the Hana coast from the Road to Hana in Maui.

Technically, the Road to Hana begins at Mile Marker 0 just before Twin Falls waterfall and ends at Alelele Bridge where Hana Hwy becomes Piilani Hwy. The road is extremely windy throughout, but becomes most harrowing beyond Kipahulu.

Depending on comfort driving narrow roads (and rental car contracts), the majority of travelers only go as far as ‘Ohe’o Gulch in Haleakala National Park, then turn around. Others venture as far as Alelele Falls Viewpoint or Kaupo before doing so.

The other option is to continue onward without ever turning around. The Piilani Highway forms a loop that journeys through upcountry Maui before returning drivers to the center of the island. Time and comfort permitting, this is the option we recommend.

Map of the Best Road to Hana Stops

To help you visualize your journey, we have created an interactive map of the best Road to Hana stops.

The stops have been numbered and listed in the order that you will arrive at each assuming a clockwise route.

Click here to open the map in a new tab or on the image below.

Google Map of all the best Road to Hana stops

Best Road to Hana Stops in Driving Order

The Hana Hwy is known as one of the most scenic drives in the entire country. A tropical rainforest gives life to incredible scenery, but Maui’s volcanic origin also lends a hand to the otherworldly landscapes you will find.

With so many beaches, waterfalls, and other natural marvels to discover, the following are the best of the best stops on the Road to Hana. For convenience, they have been listed in the order that you will discover them (driving clockwise).

*The first five come prior to Mile Marker 0 but are still on the natural route along the Hana Hwy.*

1. Baldwin Beach Park

A young woman stands on the beautiful golden sand of Baldwin Beach on the north shore of Maui.

Considered by most to be the best beach on the Maui north shore, and indeed one of the best beaches in Hawaii, suffice to say that Baldwin Beach Park is a must-see.

Soft golden sand and tropically-colored waters fill the foreground while the West Maui Mountains loom majestically in the distance.

Find out more about this incredible beach in our
COMPLETE GUIDE TO BALDWIN BEACH PARK

2. Paia Historic Town

This small tourist town on the North Shore of Maui is packed with charm. The Paia Fish Market and walkable boutique shops are the main attractions, but those with the time will find plenty more to discover.

Paia Beach is also within walking distance and is a nice place to relax in the sun and sand.

3. Kaulahao Beach (aka Kuau Beach Park)

Kaulahao Beach is a haven for honu (the adorable Hawaiian green sea turtles) and is a very quick stop along the Road to Hana. At any given time, visitors can expect to see 10+ sea turtles sleeping comfortably on the beach.

Despite its proximity to the highway, Kuau Beach Park is often overlooked and considered one of the Top 10 Secret Beaches of Maui.

Learn more about this Road to Hana stop in our
COMPLETE GUIDE TO KAULAHAO BEACH

4. Mama’s Fish House

Mama's Fish House Beach is located on the Hana Hwy but is missed by many who drive the Road to Hana.

There is no missing this iconic restaurant as you drive the Road to Hana. A large roadside boat beckons in visitors with the promise of unbeatable seafood.

The restaurant itself is considered one of the best in Maui. However, there is also the publicly accessible Mama’s Fish House Beach available to non-customers. This secluded shoreline is among the top destinations for watching sunset in Maui.

Learn more about this Road to Hana stop in our
COMPLETE GUIDE TO MAMA’S FISH HOUSE BEACH

5. Ho’okipa Beach Park & Viewpoint

A view of tropical Hookipa Beach Park from the Hookipa Lookout on the Road to Hana Hwy.

The final stop on the Hana Hwy before passing Mile Marker 0 is another turtle and surfer sanctuary called Ho’okipa Beach. Travelers can quickly observe the scenery from the Ho’okipa Lookout, or venture into Ho’okipa Beach Park for a closer look.

Literally, hundreds of honus can be spotted from either location, protected by a cove and lifeguard who keeps tourists at a respectful distance.

Find out more about seeing the turtles and visiting this beach in our
COMPLETE GUIDE TO HO’OKIPA BEACH

6. Twin Falls Maui Waterfall

A long exposure photo from Twin Falls, the most popular waterfall stop on the Road to Hana in Maui.
Photo by: Prab Bhatia

The first stop on the officially-designated Road to Hana is a small waterfall known as Twin Falls. There is a 55-space parking area that costs $10 per vehicle and cannot fit oversized vehicles.

The hike to Twin Falls is 1.8 miles roundtrip and most people spend 1-2 hours there. This will have to be carefully factored in if you plan on driving the entire road in one day.

7. Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees

Just past Mile Marker 7 are the now-famous rainbow eucalyptus trees. They are visible from the roadside but often missed.

There is no official parking area nor entry fee. Roadside parking is available but very limited, so it is best to arrive early.

8. Waikamoi Nature TraiL & Waikamoi Falls

The impressive Waikamoi Falls on the roadside of the Hana Hwy in Maui.
Photo by: Phil Lau

There are going to be a lot of stops on the Road to Hana featuring waterfalls. As a tropical rainforest at the base of the tall volcano known as Haleakala, this is to be expected.

Waikamoi Falls will and Nature Trail is the second cascade you will encounter on the Hana Highway. It is located right off the roadside and requires only a minimal walk to reach the first tier. The second tier (featured in the photo above) is much taller and more impressive and is located just upstream.

9. Garden of Eden Arboretum

The entrance gate to Garden of Eden Arboretum in Maui.

Open from 8am-4pm daily, the Garden of Eden Arboretum features 26-acres of nature trails through tropical blossoms.

This popular tourist draw owes its fame to the Jurassic Park film, which filmed its opening scene at this location. The Garden of Eden offers a quiet, beautiful place for a stroll, but is not recommended for travelers with only a day available for the entirety of the Road to Hana drive.

10. Ke’anae Arboretum

The 6-acre Ke’anae Arboretum is FREE and open 8am-4pm daily. It is generally smaller and less impressive than the iconic Garden of Eden Arboretum, but the free admission is a big upside.

This arboretum is another famous place to see the rainbow eucalyptus trees for which Maui has become associated. Despite Hawaii’s reputation as the rainbow state, however, these trees are not native to any of the Hawaiian islands.

11. Upper Waikani Falls

Landscape photography of Upper Waikani Falls, one of the top stops on the Road to Hana.

Upper Waikani Falls is one of the most iconic stops on the Road to Hana, though the “stopping” part is often problematic.

The waterfall is plainly visible through the window as you drive over a small bridge just 0.5-miles past the Wailua Valley State Wayside. This is the closest place to officially park, though there is no walking trail on this dangerous road.

12. Pua’a Ka’a Falls

The two-tiered Pua'a Ka'a Falls is one of the best waterfall stops on the Road to Hana in Maui.

Three hair-raising, corkscrew miles later and you will arrive at our personal favorite waterfall on the Road to Hana. Pua’a Ka’a Falls is a two-series cascade nestled into the lush Hana rainforest.

Parking is available at Pua’a Ka’a State Wayside Park but, like everything else on the Road to Hana, fills up quickly.

13. Hanawi Falls

The two series Hanawai Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in Maui and Road to Hana stops.
Photo by: Carl Larson

Hanawi Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls on the Road to Hana, located just beyond Mile Marker 24.

There are two separate falls at the same roadside location bursting through lush greenery. From the right angle and with enough volume, visitors can capture both series as they converge into the Makapipi Stream.

14. Makapipi Falls

A drone photo showing Makapipi Falls at sunset on the Road to Hana in Maui.

Like many of the best Road to Hana stops, the actual “stopping” part is challenging at Makapipi Falls. You will first drive over the waterfall and may not realize this towering falls is just below you until you have cleared it.

An extra-large shoulder is available for parking and fits about 8-10 cars at most (when parked respectfully.)

15. Honokalani Black Sand Beach (PERMITS REQUIRED)

The most popular Road to Hana stop on the entire highway is Honokalani Black Sand Beach, located within Wai’anapanapa State Park just before the town of Hana. This incredible beach demonstrates the endless artistry of nature and what happens when a volcano meets a rainforest.

DO NOT SKIM PAST THIS PART!

As of April 19, 2021, advanced permits are required for visiting Black Sand Beach! This includes separate parking, entry, and camping permits. If you wish to include this stop on your Road to Hana itinerary, first read this complete guide to Waiʻanapanapa State Park permits and reservations to ensure you do not miss out.

Find more information on this destination in these visitor guides:
Honokalani Black Sand Beach: The Complete Guide
Waiʻānapanapa State Park: Permits, Reservations, and Camping Guide

Honokalani is one of the only black sand beaches on Maui, with Oneuli Beach being the far-less famous alternative. There are also a handful of black sand beaches throughout Hawaii with Big Island being home to the majority of them.

16. Kaihalulu Red Sand Beach

Our absolute favorite Road to Hana stop is also the best secret beach in Maui. Kaihalulu Beach, also known as Red Sand Beach, is a hidden cove within the town of Hana and is one of the only truly red sand beaches in the world.

Be aware that the locals will not help you find this hidden beach as the number of search and rescue calls have been problematic. The trail to the beach is unmaintained and is continuously degrading as it endures the frequent rains of the region.

There is a lot of controversy when it comes to visiting this beach. However, we believe it is up to us as travel writers to provide all the information a visitor needs to make an informed decision, and up to the visitor to be pragmatic in their risk assessments and decision making.

If you wish to visit, make sure you do your homework first. You can find everything you need to know in our COMPLETE GUIDE TO KAIHALULU RED SAND BEACH.

Learn more about this Road to Hana stop in our
COMPLETE GUIDE TO MAUI RED SAND BEACH

17. Hamoa BEach / Koki Beach Park

Daytime photo from Koki Beach Park, considered one of the best beaches in Hana on Maui.
Photo by: Phil Romans

The Hana coastline is predominantly lava rock cliffs. Beaches are few and far between, making it a less popular destination for beachgoers than places like Kihei.

The two most notable exceptions are the sandy shores found at Koki Beach Park and the neighboring Hamoa Beach. In fact, these will be the only gold sand beaches amongst the Road to Hana stops beyond the Mile Marker 0 designation.

18. Waioka Pond (Venus Pool)

A moody day at Waioka Pond (Venus Pool) in Maui.
Photo by: Will Entropy

Waioka Pond (also known incorrectly as Venus Pool) is a natural pool sheltered by black lava rock that has become the most popular swimming hole on the Hana side of Maui.

Despite its increasing popularity, the pool is typically quiet as most people driving the Road to Hana will not have time to hike in and enjoy a dip.

19. Wailua Falls

A photo of Wailua Falls in Maui on the Road to Hana.
Photo by: Vhines200

Do not confuse the Wailua Falls of Maui with the Wailua Falls of Kauai. Maui’s version is an 80ft drop down through the jungle near the end of the Road to Hana.

It is easily accessible, though the short trail is often very slick and muddy to the frequent precipitation this side of the island receives.

As this is one of the easiest and most iconic Road to Hana stops, you may have seen it on brochure covers or other marketing materials for Hana tours and general Maui marketing campaigns.

20. Seven Sacred Pools of ʻOheʻo Gulch

Long exposure photo of the Seven Sacred Pools of 'Ohe'o, one of the most most popular Road to Hana stops.

ʻOheʻo Gulch, also known as the “Seven Sacred Pools of ‘Ohe’o”, is a popular swimming spot located within Haleakala National Park. Accordingly, you will need to pay the park fee for entrance, but there is always ample parking available.

The pools are very popular for swimming on the somewhat-rare sunny days this side of the island receives. Whether or not you have time to jump in and cool off, it is well worth stopping by for a photo of this beautiful and culturally-significant destination.

21. Bamboo Forest aka Na’ili’ili Haele (PERMANENTLY CLOSED)

As of August 2021, the popular tourist hotspot was re-designated as private property and closed entirely to the public. This closure occurred as a result of the many life-threatening situations and frequent search and rescue calls.

Unfortunately, you are no longer legally allowed to visit.

The Maui Bamboo Forest, also known as Na’ili’ili Haele, is found along the Pipiwai Trail within Haleakala National Park.

This trail is the most popular hike on the Road to Hana. The four-mile roundtrip hike has an ascent of 650 feet and delivers you to seasonal waterfalls and previously through a thick bamboo forest.

22. Waimoku Falls

The towering Waimoku Falls in Maui on the Pipiwai Trail in Haleakala National Park.
Photo by: Svein-Magne Tunli

The last stop on the 4-mile there-and-back Pipiwai Trail is the seasonal, rain-dependent Waimoko Falls. This 400-foot tall cascade falls gracefully over a rock wall through the lush Hana rainforest.

Waimoko Falls and the Pipiwai Trail are found within Haleaka National Park. Accordingly, parking is ample and easy but a NPS parks pass is required for entry. Expect plenty of company and slow-moving hikers along the ascent.

23. Alelele Falls Viewpoint

A view of the Hana Hwy from Alelele Falls Viewpoint.
A view of the Hana Hwy from Alelele Falls Viewpoint.

By the time you arrive at the spectacular Alelele Falls Viewpoint 13.5-miles past Hana town, you will have technically left the Hana Highway and begun driving the Piilani Highway.

Many people choose to turn back as soon as the road turns to gravel, while some wait until after taking in this final Road to Hana spot to turn around. Others will journey onward at least as far as Kaupo and the picturesque Huialoha Church.

From this viewpoint, you will discover breathtaking views of the harrowing road that you have just driven.

24. Huialoha Church

The scenic and historic Huialoha Church is one of the final stops on the Road to Hana in Maui.
Photo by: Alex Ust

For many, the journey ends 17 miles past Hana in the charming town of Kuapo. For those people, the historic Huialoha Church in its serene and tropical setting will be the final stop. This peaceful place feels like walking into a postcard in real life.

Be aware that the road past Hana town is extremely narrow, windy, and challenging to drive. Despite being only 17 miles from town, Huialoha Church takes about an hour to reach.

Completed in 1859, the Hawaiian villagers of Kaupo built the church by hand using coral they harvested from the ocean and used as mortar. Rocks and logs were hauled in from the mountains to complete construction.

The church is still actively used and maintained to this day.

25. Manawainui Gulch

A photo of golden hour at Manawainui Gulch, the final stop on the Road to Hana.

The final Road to Hana stop for visitors who endeavor to drive the entire loop will be at Manawainui Gulch. While most are out of time and/or energy for this final destination, it is a surprisingly beautiful sight to behold.

That said, Manawainui Gulch is likely not worthy of overly considering in your itinerary.

Road to Hana Stops FAQs

The following section provides answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding the best stops along the Road to Hana. Click any of the dropdown arrows to reveal the answers and find out more information about each topic.

What are the best stops on the Road to Hana in Maui?

The Top 5 most beautiful and popular stops on the Road to Hana are:

  1. Honokalani Black Sand Beach
  2. Kaihalulu Red Sand Beach
  3. Upper Waikani Falls
  4. Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees
  5. ‘Ohe’o Seven Sacred Pools
Where do you stop on the Road to Hana

The best stops on the Road to Hana, listed in the order you will find them (driving clockwise) are:

  1. Baldwin Beach Park
  2. Paia
  3. Kaulahao Beach aka Kuau Beach Park
  4. Mama’s Fish House
  5. Ho’okipa
    *First 5 stops are on Hana Hwy but prior to Mile Marker 0*
  6. Twin Falls
  7. Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees
  8. Waikamoi Nature TraiL & Waikamoi Falls
  9. Garden of Eden Arboretum
  10. Ke’anae Arboretum
  11. Upper Waikani Falls
  12. Pua’a Ka’a Falls
  13. Hanawi Falls
  14. Makapipi Falls
  15. Honokalani Black Sand Beach
  16. Kaihalulu Red Sand Beach
  17. Hamoa Beach / Koki Beach Park
  18. Waioka Pond (Venus Pool)
  19. Wailua Falls
  20. ʻOheʻo Gulch: Seven Sacred Pools
  21. Waimoku Falls
  22. Bamboo Forest
  23. Alelele Falls Viewpoint
  24. Huialoha Church
  25. Manawainui Gulch
How long does the Road to Hana take with stops?

Most people require at least 10-12 hours to complete the Road to Hana with stops.

This means a full day with a sunrise departure is recommended, but may still not be enough for anything but the most popular destinations on the Hana Hwy.

To truly see all of the best stops on the Road to Hana, at least 1 to 2 overnight stays near Hana is recommended.

How many stops are on the Road to Hana?

Most Road to Hana tours will only stop briefly at 5-10 destinations, plus 1-2 stops for meals. However, there are dozens of additional secret waterfalls and beaches to explore for those who have the time.

Even the most ambitious Road to Hana itineraries will recommend no more than 25 stops.

Where does the Road to Hana start and end?

Officially, the Road to Hana begins at Mile Marker 0 just before Maui Twin Falls and ends at Alelele Bridge (at which point the Hana Hwy becomes the Piilani Hwy.)

However, there are many impressive stops on the Hana Hwy prior to Mile Marker 0 to consider. Additionally, some choose to do the Road to Hana as a there-and-back staying entirely to the Hana Highway while others complete the loop via the Piilani Hwy through the Maui upcountry.

What is at the end of the Road to Hana?

The Road to Hana officially ends at the Alelele Bridge, at which point the Hana Hwy becomes the Piilani Hwy. However, many drivers prefer to drive the Road to Hana as a loop, continuing the natural route into the Maui upcountry while returning home via Piilani Hwy.

Additional Maui Guides

Makena Cove aka Secret Beach in South Maui is seen here at sunset with lava rock framing the photo.
Discover all the must-see places to visit in our Ultimate Maui Itinerary, like “Maui Secret Beach” featured above at sunset.

Before you go, you may want to skim some of the titles for other relevant Maui guides below to ensure you do not miss any epic beaches, sunset destinations, or noteworthy things to do during your visit to the Valley Isle!

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