Hi there!

 

So you have decided to do the most famous drive in all of Maui!

It’s the Road to Hana!

 

Where does the Road to Hana start? How long to drive from the road to hana start? How much time to Road to Hana start. Driving from Paia. maui hawaii travel blog

 

The vast majority of people who drive the Road to Hana do so as a day trip.

And the vast majority of the people also do the Road to Hana as an out-and-back drive.

The start of the Road to Hana as referenced below will be if you decide to also do the Road to Hana as an out-and-back drive, as opposed to the Road to Hana loop.

 

 

So…

Where do you start the Road to Hana?

Where does the Road to Hana start? How long to drive from the road to hana start? Driving from Paia. maui hawaii travel blog

 

For reference on a map, the unofficial start of the Road to Hana is the town of Paia.

 

Where does the Road to Hana begin and end?

Unofficially, the Road to Hana begins in Paia and the Road to Hana ends in Hana or Kipahulu.

 

How long does it take to get to the start of the Road to Hana?

It will depend on where you are coming from, but getting to the start of the Road to Hana from the popular areas of South Maui and West Maui will take around 40 minutes to 1 hour.

Driving from South Maui and Wailea to Paia is around a 40 minute drive. (map)

Driving from West Maui and Kaanapali to Paia is around a 1 hour drive. (map)

Driving from West Maui and Kapalua to Paia is around a 1 hour drive. (map)

Driving from Haleakala National Park summit to Paia is around a 1.5 hour drive. (map)

Time approximate and can vary based on traffic, etc!

 

 

What time should you start the Road to Hana?

If you have a full day of Road to Hana stops planned, then think it’s best to plan so that you are driving by Paia by 8am.

So this would mean that if you are starting the Road to Hana from West Maui or South Maui, you may want to try to start your drive by 7am.

On the first day I drove the Road to Hana on my own, I was staying at a Maui hostel in Paia the night before.

 

Where does the Road to Hana start? How long to drive from the road to hana start? Driving from Paia. maui hawaii travel blog
👆 The famous surfboard fence of Maui can be found in Paia near the start of the Road to Hana at the Maui hostel of Paia.

 

And I left Paia right at 8am. (I had the radio on in the car and actually heard them announce that it was 8am!)

I made Haleakala National Park my first major stop on the Road to Hana.

So I basically drove straight through from Paia to the Haleakala National Park coast. (I think I made a quick stop at Wailua Falls which are roadside waterfalls on the Road to Hana.)

Of course traffic can vary, but I encountered minimal traffic by starting the Road to Hana at 8am from Paia.

 

 

What’s the latest you should start the Road to Hana?

If you are on Maui for just a short time and can’t dedicate a full day to the Road to Hana (or don’t want to), is it worth it to do the Road to Hana if you start the drive in the afternoon?

Well as always…

It depends… 😜

Although you should know that it seems most people say that it’s not worth it to do the Road to Hana if you don’t have a full day.

But still, it depends on what all you want out of your Road to Hana drive!

As everyone also says… the Road to Hana is about the journey!

And the “journey” can start within an hour of driving past Paia!

So it will depend on how much you want to stop, and what your priorities are.

The Road to Hana means a drive in East Maui.

And East Maui is different from West Maui and South Maui!

So even just driving a few hours in East Maui can allow you to experience a different part of Maui!

And driving for a few hours in East Maui does not require a full day on the Road to Hana.

So it is just about your priorities, and your expectations.

If you are starting the Road to Hana in the early afternoon, you may not be able to get to do as much as people who start early in the morning.

But it will still give you a chance to get a taste of East Maui!

East Maui is the only place on Maui where there’s a section of road that you can see multiple waterfalls within a 20-30 minute drive, for example.

 

More for your Road to Hana drive

 

Below will also be a list of some of the earlier stops on the Road to Hana, along with approximate time it takes to drive to get there from the start of the Road to Hana.

 

 

🌴

 
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More photos/info below, but first...
Side note!

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:


 

 

Here are some of the first stops once you start the Road to Hana!

Where does the Road to Hana start? How long to drive from the road to hana start? How much time to Road to Hana start. Driving from Paia. maui hawaii travel blog

 

There are a few stops you can make before this (see the big list of Road to Hana stops), but this will get you a little more into East Maui.

The time listed is approximate drive time to get there directly from the unofficial start of the Road to Hana.

This time can vary greatly based on traffic! You might add on 30 minutes of the listed time for planning purposes.

 

 

1. Waikamoi Nature Trail

How long to get from Road to Hana start to waikamoi nature trail bamboo forest? paia to waikamoi bamboo forest. maui hawaii travel blog

 

This is a hike through a forest where you’ll get to see different kinds of trees, including bamboo trees.

If you won’t be making it all the way to the “end” of the Road to Hana where the famous Maui bamboo forest is, here is a small bamboo forest that you can see.

 

How long to get from Road to Hana start to waikamoi nature trail? paia to waikamoi nature trail. maui hawaii travel blog

How long to get from Road to Hana start to waikamoi nature trail bamboo forest? paia to waikamoi bamboo forest. maui hawaii travel blog

 

You’ll also find picnic tables along this trail for what can feel like a private picnic spot! (As long as no one else is hiking this trail and has taken the picnic spot!)

 

How long to get from Road to Hana start to waikamoi nature trail? paia to waikamoi nature trail. maui hawaii travel blog

 

Maybe the Waikamoi Nature Trail will take you 20-30 minutes.

If you are short on time and are indifferent to seeing a bamboo forest, then maybe save this for the way back if you see that you have time.

Otherwise, if you are up for an adventure hike, then there is also a small bamboo forest in the West Maui mountains that you can do on another day and make it a West Maui mountains hiking day!

 

Paia to Waikamoi Nature Trail: 45 minutes (map)

 

 

2. Kaumahina State Wayside 

How long to get from Road to Hana start to kaumahina state wayside? paia to kaumahina state wayside. maui hawaii travel blog

 

This can be a bathroom break or a short stop at a small overlook.

Paia to Kaumahina State Wayside: 55 minutes (map)
 

 

3. Honomanu Bay

How long to get from Road to Hana start to Honomanu Bay? paia to honomanu bay. maui hawaii travel blog

 

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.

 

How long to get from Road to Hana start to Honomanu Bay? paia to honomanu bay. maui hawaii travel blog

 

Paia to Honomanu Bay parking along Hana Highway: 1 hour (map)
See more about this Road to Hana stop: Honomanu Bay

 

 

4. Keanae Peninsula

How long to get from Road to Hana start to keanae peninsula? paia to keanae peninsula. maui hawaii travel blog

 

This is a great scenic lookout area.

You can drive down to the end of Keanae Road directly off the Hana Highway.

You’ll come across the first lookout.

 

How long to get from Road to Hana start to keanae peninsula? paia to keanae peninsula. maui hawaii travel blog

 

And then you can keep driving further down where you’ll pass a famous banana bread stand.

Banana bread is a thing on the Road to Hana, and the Keanae Peninsula banana bread stand is among the most famous.

A loaf of banana bread at Aunty Sandy’s will cost around $7. If you only want one loaf, you need to bring cash.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Stop by earlier rather than later (as in, not on your way back) since this might be closed by 3pm.

And then drive further to the end of the Keanae Peninsula where you’ll find another lookout.

You can see old lava flows along the coast.

You’ll also find a cute Hawaiian church here.

 

How long to get from Road to Hana start to keanae church? paia to keanae. maui hawaii travel blog

 

 

 

Paia to Keanae Peninsula: 1 hour 10 minutes (map)
See more about this Road to Hana stop:

 

 

No matter what time you start the Road to Hana, I think you need to at least make it to the Keanae Peninsula.

Going to Keanae won’t get you all the way to the town of Hana, but it can give you a sense of what East Maui and the Road to Hana is about!

That said, there are some roadside waterfalls along the Hana Highway coming up past the Keanae Peninsula that require minimal effort to see, so you might want to keep driving a little further!

Think of getting from the start of the Road to Hana to the Keanae Peninsula as being a 1.5 hour drive… could be shorter, could be longer!

Keanae to Hana is about a 1 hour drive.

 

 

5. Upper Waikani Falls

How long to get from Road to Hana start to upper waikani falls? paia to upper waikani falls. paia to three bear falls. maui hawaii travel blog

 

These are waterfalls on the Road to Hana that you can see as you’re driving across the bridge.

They are also called the Three Bears Falls.

Paia to Upper Waikani Falls: 1 hour 15 minutes (map)

 

 

6. Puaa Kaa State Wayside

How long to get from Road to Hana start to puaa kaa falls? paia to puaa kaa falls. maui hawaii travel blog

 

You can make this a Road to Hana bathroom stop or another Road to Hana waterfalls stop. (Or both!) This is a Hawaii state park site.

Paia to Puaa Kaa Falls: 1 hour 25 minutes (map)
See more about this Road to Hana stop: Puaa Kaa Falls

 

 

7. Hanawi Falls

How long to get from Road to Hana start to hanawi falls? paia to hanawi falls. maui hawaii travel blog

 

More waterfalls on the Road to Hana!

You can see these from the bridge as you’re driving by, or you can get out of the car and take a short trail to get a little closer to them too.

Paia to Hanawi Falls: 1.5 hours (map)
See more about this Road to Hana stop: Hanawi Falls

 

 

8. Makapipi Falls

How long to get from Road to Hana start to makapipi falls? paia to makapipi falls. maui hawaii travel blog

 

More waterfalls on the Road to Hana, but these are waterfalls to view from above!

Paia to Makapipi Falls: 1.5 hours (map)
See more about this Road to Hana stop: Makapipi Falls

 

 

9. Nahiku viewpoint

How long to get from Road to Hana start to nahiku viewpoint and wayside? paia to nahiku viewpoint and wayside. maui hawaii travel blog

 

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.

 

How long to get from Road to Hana start to nahiku viewpoint and wayside? paia to nahiku viewpoint and wayside. maui hawaii travel blog

 

 

 

Paia to Nahiku Viewpoint parking: 1 hour 40 minutes (map)
See more about this Road to Hana stop: Nahiku Viewpoint

 

And that’s a bit about the start of the Road to Hana!

 

 

Things to do along the Hana Highway that are near the start of the Road to Hana but best saved for sunset on your way back to Paia:

 

 

Or Paia is close enough that you can save it for another day, like as your sunset activity after a day in the West Maui Mountains!

 

 

See more for planning your Road to Hana day:

 

HAPPY DRIVING TO THE START OF THE ROAD TO HANA!

 

 

Road to Hana map

best road to hana stops map. road to hana map. hana highway. 👆 Explore the Road to Hana map on google maps!

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ALOHA!