Ahh, the road to Hana. On our first two trips to Maui we purposefully avoided the road to Hana. Why? Well, Scott doesn't like driving around just to look at things while on vacation. And the fact that there were Road to Hana signs, brochures, and guided CD's posted all over the island it seemed only logical that we should avoid the activity that everyone else was doing. Right? Right.
But on our 3rd trip we I decided that we should cave in and just do it. Cross it off the list!
So, on Monday morning we hopped in the car, stopped in Pa'ia for sandwiches and made our way down the road to Hana.
Our first stop was Twin Falls. Of course! (Scott grew up in Twin Falls, Idaho. This one was just a tad different.) There was a 1.5 mile round trip hike to the falls with some smaller waterfalls along the way.
This was taken early on in the drive so at this point everything was super exciting.
I loved that the trail had us walking along this irrigation channel (a little fuzzy, but you get the idea)
And now, a bunch of photos with a waterfall!
This waterfall is actually named Caveman Falls. The first waterfall (with my goofy face) is Twin Falls, which really doesn't make any sense to me. We're just going with it.
Looking at it from a distance . . . . so lush and green.
And heading back on the trail
Our next stop was Wa'anapanapa State Park. Come on, try to say that out loud. I know you want to!
This park holds Maui's famous black sand beach - Pa'iloa Beach. I loved the stark contrast between the black beach and lava rock and the bright green foliage. My camera just wanted to eat it up!
The beach wasn't really made of sand, but rather tiny black pebbles. Scott was really excited to see this beach. He collected a small handful of the sand/pebbles to bring home (hope that was legal). And while shopping later in the week we bought a photo print of this beach to hang in his office. He thought it looked very manly.
There was also a freshwater cave at the park, which we checked out, but it wasn't as impressive as we had hoped.
Our last stop was at Kipahulu, Haleakala National Park -- which is actually a few miles past Hana. There is a trail here that came highly recommended by my parents and friend Jenn. We arrived at 2pm, a little bit later than we had wanted, so we had to take the 4 mile round-trip hike in super speed so we could get back to the car for the 3 hour drive home. We didn't want to be driving on those tiny, windy (and sometimes one-lane) roads in the dark. :)
It was a beautiful hike with waterfalls,
a huge banyan tree,
bridges, cascading pools, a stream, and the most unique path through the middle of a bamboo forest.
And at the very end we reached the towering Waimoku Falls. The water falls 400 feet down a sheer lava rock wall. The hike takes you to the base of the waterfall, in a tight space, so there was no way for me to get a shot of the whole thing.
This hike was most definitely our favorite part of the road to Hana.
Our second favorite was the scenic drive home
BACK SIDE OF HALEAKALA
We decided to take the advice of family/friends again and drive the "back" way home from Hana. Most people will drive to Hana, and then turn around and go back the way they came. Honestly, the thought of going back the same way sounded like torture to us -- all those one lane bridges and everyone trying to head home at the same time. Ack!
The back way home has it's own challenges -- 4 miles of unpaved roads and some one-lane blind corners on mountain cliffs (honk your horn!). But we were up for that adventure.
We are so glad that we did because we got to see a whole other part of Maui. So different from the lush beaches & forests we had encountered for most of the day, but beautiful all the same. And less traffic!
If we ever did the road to Hana again we would definitely drive this road to the Pipiwai Trail (our favorite part) and then turn around and come back the same way. We didn't find as much on the north and east side of the island that excited us, so cutting out those miles (hours) seems the smartest thing to do.
We rounded the corner back towards Lahaina just as the sun was setting. I was getting pretty good at being a front seat photographer!
The road to Hana is very curvy and I tend to get car-sick. I had some Dramamine pills in my hand to purchase at the Hana Picnic Company in Pa'ia when the girl working there recommended the natural brand. I took her advice (considering that Dramamine can make you sleepy) and they worked wonderfully! I didn't get queasy, light-headed, or sick the entire day. I also used them when we went on a whale watching boat and I was perfectly fine.
Anyways, just thought I would share this tip -- Hyland's motion sickness tablets .