Or maybe you are still undecided about whether or not you want to drive the back road to Hana, and you want to know…
What is there to see on the back road to Hana?!
Is there anything on the back road to Hana that will make the often called “scary” or “dangerous” drive worth it?!
Well, as is how it goes for driving the “regular” part of the back road to Hana (aka the part that’s not the back road to Hana), much of the drive along the back Road to Hana can be about the “journey”!
And, yes, there are many amazing views to be seen on the back road to Hana as well!
As for whether it’s worth it… well as always that will depend on your feelings, priorities, expectations, etc!! 😜
👆 Where is this spot exactly on the Hana Highway?! I created a Road to Hana map in google maps with some pictures of the back road to Hana. Look for the back road to Hana (red icons) on the map, and click around for pictures with location! See the Road to Hana map!
Below is a list of some of the stops you can make as you are driving the back road to Hana aka the backside of Haleakala!
More photos/info below, but first...
Most people do the Road to Hana as a day trip.
But you can stay overnight in Hana too so you can take your time exploring the lush and quiet East Maui!
Best places to stay in Hana:
It's very possible to do the Road to Hana on your own, but you can also leave the planning to someone else.
Road to Hana tours:
- Classic Road to Hana: Guided Road to Hana tour with lunch
- Road to Hana from above: Road to Hana helicopter and waterfalls tour
- Private luxury tour: Road to Hana private tour in luxury SUV
3+ stops on the back road to Hana
These back road to Hana stops are in order if you will be making Paia as your unofficial Road to Hana starting point. This is the Road to Hana start for the out-and-back Road to Hana drivers.
Instead of turning around once you approach the back road to Hana (like most Road to Hana drivers), you will simply keep on driving to the back road to Hana to continue the Road to Hana as a loop! (Although technically, this then becomes the back road FROM Hana since you are driving away from Hana… 😜)
If you will be going in the opposite direction, driving the Road to Hana in “reverse” or “backwards” (aka different from most Road to Hana day trippers), then Kula is your unofficial Road to Hana starting point. And in that case, the list below will be in order from the bottom up!
The unofficial start of the back road to Hana
There is no official spot that marks the start or end of the back road to Hana.
But for reference on a map, you can think of driving past the Kipahulu District of Haleakala National Park as the start of the back road to Hana.
This area of Haleakala National Park is one of the common turnaround points for many people (if they did not turn around sooner), marking the “end” of the Road to Hana.
So then, Haleakala National Park can also mark the “start” of the back road to Hana when you are making a loop starting from Paia!
And it will be the “end” of the back road to Hana when you are starting the Road to Hana from Kula!
See more about this Road to Hana stop: Things to do in Kipahulu district of Haleakala National Park
1. Palapala Hoomau Church
This is a cute Hawaiian church that you can stop by for a quiet experience along the coast.
The grave of Charles Lindbergh (famous for flying nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean alone) is also nearby.
2. Kaapahu Bay
The name of this beach is not marked well on google maps, but it seems the name of it is Kaapahu Bay.
This can be a quick stop, and you can walk across the rocky shoreline to take in the ocean views at sea level.
When you are driving from Paia, you will see the Kaapahu Bay when you drive on your first cliffside road!
You could say this is where the “real” back road to Hana begins!
It’s the start of where you’ll see a bunch of cliffside ocean views as you’re driving!
3. Alelele Bridge
Well, there is nothing in particular that’s spectacular about the Alelele Brige (maybe there’s history there), but Alelele Bridge is more so a landmark that you can look for so you can make a stop here… if you’re interested in seeing a small blackish sand beach and waterfalls!
There will be a small parking area just beyond the bridge, if you are driving from Paia.
Alelele Bridge is listed on google maps.
So it will be good if you’re paying attention to your google maps. While you likely won’t get data, GPS generally still works on the Road to Hana. Just be sure to download the free offline google maps before you go.
Directly in front of the bridge is where you’ll see the small black sand beach.
And then stopping at Alelele Bridge will be where you can stop to see waterfalls on the back road to Hana! This requires a short hike.
Off to the right of the bridge as you’re facing the mountains, you’ll see a trail.
That will lead you to Alelele Falls!
See more about this back road to Hana stop: Alelele Falls Trail
4. Huialoha Church
The Huialoha Church is another cute Hawaiian church.
This is located on a small peninsula for a quiet experience on the back road to Hana. This is the Mokulau Peninsula.
I believe this is located on private grounds, but it seems that you are welcome to enjoy the beauty here.
So it will continue to be this way for others to enjoy, be sure to do as the signs say! (Basically be respectful and leave everything the way you found it.)
The road to the church (and peninsula) is chained, but you can remove it to drive down. Just be sure to put the chain back.
Alternatively, you can park at the gated off area and walk down instead.
This is where you can also see the Mokulau islets that look like small rocky islands in the ocean.
See more about this back road to Hana stop: Huialoha Church
5. Piilani Highway
Well this isn’t any particular one stop, but you will end up on the Piilani Highway naturally as you continue driving away from Hana.
The Hana Highway becomes the Piilani Highway.
There are a number of places where you can pull over and take in the views.
While you are on the Piilani Highway, you may see COWS roaming the fields in Hawaii!
👆 Explore the Road to Hana map on google maps. For stops on the Road to Hana on the map, you can click to see only the section of the back road to Hana.
And those are some stops to make on the back side of Haleakala!
See more for planning your Road to Hana day:
- The big list of Road to Hana stops
- Road to Hana waterfalls
- Road to Hana beaches
- Road to Hana food
- Road to Hana hikes
- Things to do in Hana
- Things to do in Waianapanapa State Park
- Things to do in Haleakala National Park near Hana
HAPPY DRIVING THE BACK ROAD TO HANA!
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