What We Missed on the Road to Hana

Today’s post was sponsored by Valley Isle Excursions.

When we told people we were going to Maui, one of the first things out of everyone’s mouth was “you have to drive the road to Hana.” Since we were traveling with a six year old, we weren’t really sure we were going to make it all the way to Hana, but we knew we were going to try. Our goal was to make it as far as we could, swim behind a waterfall and take in some beautiful views. So we picked up a tour book, downloaded an app, and bought a CD audio tour to help us find some of the sights along the drive.

What we missed driving the road to Hana in Maui Hawaii and why we need to go back

After grabbing a picnic lunch we were on our way. Our first stop was the very popular Twin Falls. After the mile hike in, the falls themselves were a little disappointing. I guess the amount of water flowing to different falls varies depending on the weather and the day so you need to know where to go to find the real stunners. I was still happy though because I got to walk and swim behind the falls, which was one of those “bucket list” items I didn’t even know I had.

Twin Falls on the Road to Hana in Maui

Twin Falls

Our next couple of stops were also a little disappointing. The Waikamoi Ridge Trail was a great hike, although a little steeper than we expected, but the picnic area at the top was not what we had expected. We had some glimpses of views, but the facilities were lacking. The view at Kaumahina State Wayside Park was definitely better, but the bathrooms were a disaster. It would have been nice to have someone to help us find the best views, hikes, and facilities along the road.

When we reached the Keanae Peninsula, we found what we were looking for. The views were spectacular, the local families were friendly and it was the perfect way to end our day. Since we had a little one with an early bedtime and we were a little nervous about driving that narrow, winding road in the dark, we decided to head back to our suite at the Sheraton Maui.

What we missed driving the road to Hana in Maui Hawaii and why we need to go back

Keanae Peninsula

But….we left with some regrets.

It would have been nice to see the black sand beaches of the Waianapanapa State Park.

What we missed driving the road to Hana in Maui Hawaii and why we need to go back

Black sand beach of Hana. Photo by Doug Bowser.

I would have loved to see the towering West Wailua Waterfall.

What we missed driving the road to Hana in Maui Hawaii and why we need to go back

And I really wish we could have made it all the way to Haleakala National Park to see the Seven Sacred Pools of Oheo. Even if I didn’t have time to explore the bamboo forest or see all of the park’s waterfalls, the view and a chance to swim in the pools formed from the Pipiwai Stream would be worth the drive.

What we missed driving the road to Hana in Maui Hawaii and why we need to go back

Pools of Oheo. Photo by Doug Bowser.

One way we could have done it differently is to take a Road to Hana tour with Valley Isle Excursions. Then we wouldn’t have had to worry about the drive home and our daughter could have easily slept in their comfortable, reclining captain’s chairs on the way home. Instead of hunching tense over the wheel on the 617 curves, we could have relaxed with above-the-guardrails view out the wide windows of their eco-friendly cruisers.

What we missed driving the road to Hana in Maui Hawaii and why we need to go back

Photo courtesy of Valley Isle Excursions.

We also would have had a local guide that was trained to know which waterfalls were flowing, depending on when and where the rains fall. Instead of wasting time getting out at each of the 56+ streams crossed by the Road to Hana, we could have just stopped at the most beautiful.

Our guides could have also filled us in on Maui and Hana’s rich history and told us how there aren’t really seven Pools of Oheo and they aren’t really sacred.

So next time we’ll need to turn to Valley Isle Excursions.

Valley Isle Excursions’ Road to Hana tour is $141.99 per adult and $103.99 per child (check website for current prices and specials) and includes a Hawaiian BBQ lunch.

What we missed driving the road to Hana in Maui Hawaii and why we need to go back

Photo by Doug Bowser

Note: Today’s post was sponsored by Valley Isle Excursions. All opinions are my own. Feature photo by Doug Bowser.

 

 

5 Comments on “What We Missed on the Road to Hana

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  1. Thank you for your information on driving to Hana. My husband and I are going soon and I thought about driving it but now we’ll take a tour.
    Thank you!

    Take the tour! It’s worth it. I was even tortured (was not that bad) through a sales presentation to get deeply discounted tour tickets for this. The tour driver was able to explain everything about the whole journey. We couldn’t swim in the pools because the water was too rough, but we got amazing pictures. Also, they will stop at the road side market with fresh breads, honey, sauces, etc. YUM!!

    A not to miss experience is Ark Ceramics on the way to the 7 Sacred Pools.

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