You can easily make it a hiking day on the Road to Hana, driving from hike to hike!
If you are the kind of person who doesn’t want to be sitting in the car all day long as you are driving the Road to Hana, then there are several stops you can make to go hiking along the Road to Hana!
Also included on the list below are walks that aren’t necessarily official hiking trails.
These might be more like leisurely walks that start near the Hana Highway. But they are walks that come with scenic views!
Some of these hikes might be 1-2 hour Road to Hana hikes, and some of these hikes might be 10-15 minute walks that can be good to stretch your legs… with VIEWS!
The most popular hikes on the Road to Hana
You will find some of Maui’s best hikes as you are driving the Hana Highway!
You can consider the Pipiwai Trail somewhat of a loaded hike in East Maui!
You can see a bamboo forest and several waterfalls.
And, when you’re done, you can go for another short hike nearby to see more waterfalls… and the ocean!
The need-to-know for this Road to Hana hike
The Pipiwai Trail is actually located past Hana town when you are coming from Paia.
For many people, this is the “end” of the Road to Hana, and it marks the turnaround point.
This Road to Hana hike requires the Haleakala National Park entry fee. If you have been to the Haleakala summit in the previous 3 days, then save your entry pass from there! You can use the same. Or, get a Hawaii national park pass or US national park pass so you can go any time!
You may want to give yourself around 2 hours to complete the Pipiwai Trail.
See more about this Road to Hana hike:
You can consider the Waianapanapa Coastal Trail another somewhat of a loaded hike in East Maui. This is also called the Piilani Trail.
Aside from the black sand beach and lava tube that opens up to the ocean that you’ll see before even starting the trail, you will be hiking across lava fields (aka old lava flows!) with ocean views pretty much the whole time!
The need-to-know for this Road to Hana hike
The Waianapanapa Coastal Trail is located in Hana.
This Hana hike requires a permit. You NEED a reservation to go to Waianapanapa State Park. The Hawaii State Parks official reservation system for Waianapanapa State Park is go waianapanapa.
You can spend 30 minutes on the Waianapanapa Coastal Trail and feel like it’s an amazing Hana hike.
And you can also spend over 2 hours on the trail for more amazing views!
See more about this Road to Hana hike:
- Hiking for 30 minutes on the Waianapanapa Coastal Trail
- Hiking for 2 hours on the Waianapanapa Coastal Trail
- Things to do in Waianapanapa State Park
Those are the top 2 Hana hikes that you need to know about to get you started! A list of more Road to Hana hikes below!
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
Hiking in East Maui near the Hana Highway: 11+ Road to Hana hikes
This is the direction that most Road to Hana day trippers drive the Hana Highway.
1. Hike to Peahi Lookout
This is not a proper hiking trail, but it’s a walk to a scenic viewpoint. You will be walking along the same road that cars drive.
It is possible to drive to the Peahi Lookout, but the road might be rough so you may not want to chance it.
So instead, you can think of this as a hike to Peahi Lookout! You’ll park near Hana Highway and then walk to it.
When you’re driving the Hana Highway and you pass by the road that leads to the Peahi Lookout, if you see that there are tons of cars parked off the Hana Highway, then this is an indication that it can be extra worth it to stop here.
That’s because lots of cars likely means that there’s good surf and surfers are out there so you can go for some people watching (surfer watching) and/or wave watching!
Peahi is the location of the famous Jaws surfing competition.
And when the conditions are right, this can also be a top spot for high level surfers to catch some waves.
Surfing season on Maui is generally in the winter months.
This is pretty close to Paia, so you can save this for another day that’s not your Road to Hana day… unless you see tons of cars! The next time you go, the surf conditions may not be there! If you are into watching surfers and you do see cars, then you may not have another chance to see people surfing Jaws!
2. Twin Falls
This is a super popular waterfall hike on the Road to Hana.
Basically the first of many (MANY!) waterfalls on the Road to Hana!
There’s a parking lot off the side of the road, and possibly the first stop in which you’ll see tons of cars on the side of the road (if none are at Jaws!) so you really can’t miss it.
You’ll then walk a short trail of about 5-10 minutes to get to the first set of waterfalls.
Then, keep walking for “caveman” falls.
You get to these waterfalls by walking further along the Twin Falls trail you just were walking, past a gated area.
It might require a couple of stream crossings, so make sure you’re wearing sturdy footwear you don’t mind getting wet! (Hiking sandals, water shoes, waterproof hiking boots, etc.) This is good for a Road to Hana trip in general because you never know what you’ll come across!
Because this is the first waterfalls stop on the Road to Hana, it also has a great possibility of being crowded.
There have been recent reports of an unpleasant parking situation at Twin Falls, so it really might not be worth it. The Road to Hana should be about enjoying the drive, and reports indicate that Twin Falls parking can be stressful! (Although it was not at all stressful or crowded when I went in early 2020…)
Also relatively new is the Twin Falls parking fee.
So as an alternative, if you like a little bit of adventure, you may consider choosing to go to the West Maui mountains waterfalls on a different day instead of spending your Road to Hana day at Twin Falls.
Twin Falls is also pretty close to Paia, so you can save this for another day, and maybe the afternoon is less crowded. (Do note the closing time of Twin Falls, though! It might be 3:30pm.)
See more about this Road to Hana hike: Twin Falls
3. Waikamoi Nature Trail
This is a hike through a forest where you’ll get to see different kinds of trees, including bamboo trees.
So this is a smaller bamboo forest to see if you don’t want to drive all the way to Kipahulu.
You’ll also find picnic tables along this trail.
This is a kind of hidden beach in the sense that it’s not located right off the main road. It requires a walk or drive on a kind of rough road to get to the beach once you turn off the Hana Highway.
Your destination will be what’s considered to be a black sand beach on Maui, although the black sand may not initially be obvious when you get there. But there’s a small patch of black sand off to the right of the bay as you’re facing the ocean.
You can park right off the Hana Highway and then walk 5-10 minutes, or you can drive straight down to the beach. It might be better if you have a jeep or 4wd, but normal cars do the drive all the way down too.
I parked on the Hana Highway, and then walked. There is limited parking here. If you pass by the Honomanu Bay Road and see that there are some spots, you may want to stop in case there are no parking spots on the way back!
See more about this Road to Hana hike: Hiking to Honomanu Bay
Side note: Road to Hana food stop to get your hiking energy?!
Next as you are driving along the Hana Highway, you will come across the turn-off for Keanae Road which will take you to the Keanae Peninsula. Aside from the scenic Keanae Point Lookout, this is where you will go to buy the famous Road to Hana banana bread! It is better to go here before 2pm to make sure they have not sold out of it for the day.
This is another little side trip on the Hana Highway in the sense that you drive down a road off the highway to get there.
First you’ll drive around 10 minutes down the narrow Nahiku Road.
You can park in front of a cute Hawaiian church and then walk around 10 minutes the rest of the way there.
Once again, there’s limited parking here. (Yes, a common occurrence on the Road to Hana!)
See more about this Road to Hana hike: Hiking to Nahiku Viewpoint
6. Kopiliula Falls
The reason I found these waterfalls is because I saw a bunch of cars parked along the side of the road with no people in sight.
So I decided to stop too.
Except, I had no idea what they were stopping for. There was nothing obvious around.
Where are all the people?! (This happened few times along the Road to Hana!)
I looked at my mapsme map, and it showed a trail to waterfalls nearby.
Then I saw a couple of people returning to their car who looked like they had just come from a trail and they confirmed there were waterfalls.
So, off I went! Honestly I was a little confused about whether or not this was passing through private property. So… at your own risk, as with everything on the Road to Hana.
Later after looking it up, I think these are called the Kopiliula Falls or they are waterfalls along the Kopiliula Stream.
In order to find these waterfalls, I highly recommend downloading the free mapsme app. Be sure that you download the Hawaii map with the app too. You won’t get data on the Road to Hana, but GPS still generally works, so you can use that to find the location of these waterfalls.
And, I actually still didn’t know where the people were, because there was hardly anyone on the trail. (I did see a few people.) So there must have been something else around too! This is how it goes on the Road to Hana!
Also as a note, I don’t think it’s a good idea to swim in any waterfalls that you haven’t previously researched or you have been told by a local about it. Some waterfalls may have greater dangers than others. So if you are looking for waterfall swimming, stick to the waterfalls that have been reported to be good for swimming. And even then, be aware that flash flooding of waterfalls is a thing on Maui!
This is the only lava tube in Hawaii that’s listed as a part of the National Caves Association. (Although certainly not the only worthy lava cave to visit in Hawaii! There’s a great lava cave hike you can do on the Big Island!)
One of the things that makes the Hana lava tube stop worth it is the educational value.
It’s a self-guided tour through a cave formed by lava flows and there are informational signs along the way.
If you are interested in learning about Maui’s volcanic landscape, then you are sure to find this interesting!
There is an entry fee to the Hana lava tube, and the cost is around $12 and flashlights are provided.
See more about this Road to Hana hike: Hiking the Hana lava tube
8. Waianapanapa Coastal Trail (Piilani Trail)
The Waianapanapa Coastal Trail is one of the best hikes on the Road to Hana.
This make it one of the best things to do in Waianapanapa State Park.
See more about this Road to Hana hike: Hiking the Waianapanapa Coastal Trail
Kaihalulu Beach is the famous red sand beach of Maui.
The trail to get to the beach may or may not pass through private property. The right thing to say is don’t go to the red sand beach.
See more about this Road to Hana hike: Hiking to Kaihalulu Beach
Side note: Road to Hana food stops to get your hiking energy?!
If you’ve done some hiking by the time you have made it to the town of Hana, then you might be ready for lunch in Hana to refuel your energy! Have a look at the famous Road to Hana huli huli chicken or the Hana Farms restaurant to fuel up for your next hikes!
10. Pipiwai Trail
The Pipiwai Trail is one of the best hikes on the Road to Hana.
This make it one of the best things to do in Haleakala National Park.
See more about this Road to Hana hike: Hiking the Pipiwai Trail
The Oheo Pools are also a part of the Kipahulu district of Haleakala National Park.
You get here by going on the short Kuloa Point Trail that will also get you to a great scenic point with ocean views.
See more about this Road to Hana hike: Hiking to Oheo Pools
If you are driving the back road to Hana, then you might want to stop off at Alelele Falls.
Or, if you have a few days in Hana (like if you’re staying at a Waianapanapa State Park cabin!) then you can make it a hike (walk) along the back road to Hana to Alelele Falls.
You can park at the Haleakala National Park Kipahulu parking lot. (Save your Haleakala National Park pass from before since there’s paid entry for this!)
And then from the national park, you can “hike” along the back road to Hana to get to Alelele Falls!
You will be walking the same road that the cars drive.
See more about this Road to Hana hike: Hiking to Alelele Falls (and walking the back road to Hana)
👆 Explore the Road to Hana map on google maps. For Road to Hana hikes on the map, you can click to see only the section of Road to Hana hikes.
And that’s a bit about hiking on the Road to Hana!
The Road to Hana also has a number of roadside waterfalls that require minimal (if any) hiking: See the list of East Maui waterfalls
Plan more of the Road to Hana:
- Road to Hana waterfalls
- Road to Hana food
- Road to Hana beaches
- The big list of things to do on the Road to Hana
HAPPY HIKING ALONG THE ROAD TO HANA!
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