10 Helpful Road to Hana Tips For Maui’s Most Famous Drive

Driving the Road to Hana Maui Hawaii

Ready for a day filled with amazing views, waterfalls, and endless adventure? Driving the Road to Hana in Hawaii is an experience you’ll never forget. Before you jump in the car, here are some helpful Road to Hana tips to ensure you have the most epic day ever!

Maui Travel Tips 

10 Helpful Road to Hana Tips 

1. Have a Full Tank of Gas

This may seem obvious, but make sure to start driving the Road to Hana with a full tank of gas! We filled up the night before so we didn’t have to search for a station in the early morning hours.

If you need it there is a gas station once you get to Hana town. However, being it’s such a remote place you don’t want to take the chance that is closed (or out of gas) when you get there.  

Prefer to just sit back and enjoy the view? Book a full-day Road to Hana Tour with Lunch & Transfer! 

Road to Hana Maui

2. Download an Offline Map 

The second of our Road to Hana tips has to do with navigation as there is no cell phone service for almost the entire drive. In fact, the only time we had any bars was when we had actually made it to the town. When traveling we always utilize maps.me which is an easy-to-use offline app.

Just be sure to download the map before you leave phone service or even the night before! It’s also wise to have a written list or screenshots of the different highlights along the route as you won’t be able to look them up.

→ Have you booked a rental car yet? Make sure you know these 6 tips for renting a car on Maui

Twin Falls Maui Hawaii

3. Early Morning Road to Hana Start

Driving the Road to Hana is one of the top things to do in Maui so try to start as early as possible. Being stuck in a line of cars and fighting for parking won’t make for a very enjoyable day! 

We started the actual Road to Hana in Maui at 6:40 am after leaving our place in Kihei town at 6 am. I would say that we were on the earlier side, but definitely not the only ones out on the road.

One of our best Road to Hana tips is to be patient. Even with the early start, you will encounter some traffic on this popular drive. Yield for others on all one-way bridges and go extra slow around corners to avoid accidents. For more of what to expect check out our full Road to Hana guide below!

→ Best Road to Hana Stops: One Day Maui Guide With Route & Waterfalls

East Coast Maui HI

4. Pack a Road to Hana Cooler

If you don’t have an actual cooler that’s okay! Just plan to have some snacks and drinks with you. We ended up only eating our breakfast and saved the food we packed for another day. Yet, we would rather have them and not need them than the other way around! 

There are some snack stops and lunch places along the Road to Hana but plan ahead. Take LOTS of water and lunch in case you miss out or are driving too early before they’re opened.

Road to Hana Waterfall

5. Road to Hana Hawaii Hikes

Dress like you are going to spend the day hiking in the jungle. You’ll want to be comfortable jumping in and out of the car as well as going on some of the beautiful walks and hikes along the drive. Sneakers are a must, and we were also thankful to have hats to stay protected from the sun. 

Our absolute favorite hike we did on the Road to Hana was the Pipiwai Trail. It takes you through a beautiful bamboo forest and ends at the astonishing 400-foot Waimoku Falls. The Pipiwai Trail is definitely one of the best things to do when visiting the island of Maui!

More Maui Hikes & Walk:  Kapalua Coastal TrailWaihee Ridge TrailWailea Beach WalkMaui Lava Field 

Road to Hana Hawaii Hike

6. Stay Beach Ready

In addition to hiking, there are some popular swimming spots along the ride. Some of the most popular are beaches on the Road to Hana are Hamoa Beach, Hāna Bay Beach Park, and the famous Black Sand Beach!

Also, when you’re all done driving the Road to Hana you can stop by Hookipa Beach on your way back to your hotel! Hookipa is known to be one of the best beaches to view sea turtles in Maui.

Hana Hawaii Beach

7. Stop at Waiʻānapanapa State Park

Due to the crowds you now need a reservation to visit the Waiʻānapanapa State Park and Black Sand Beach. You can make a reservation up to two weeks in advance so don’t wait too long! Here you can see one of Maui’s most famous beaches, go camping, and hiking.

If you don’t have a reservation you will be turned around at the car park when you arrive. Make sure to plan ahead on this part of the Road to Hana in Hawaii.

→ Waiʻānapanapa State Park Information & Reservation Page

Hana Hawaii

8. Have Cash & Small Bills

While driving the Road to Hana Hawaii you’ll notice the many goodies available at Maui roadside stands. From island specialties such as banana bread and hulu huli chicken to local flowers, and seashells, you’ll find it all! If you want to try some local items as well as support the community of Hana, bring plenty of cash.

Most places we visited didn’t accept credit cards on the Road to Hana Hawaii. Don’t be stuck without cash and miss out on a delicious lunch or fruit snack on your drive! 

Road to Hana Hawaii Stand

9. Quick Road to Hana Tips

DO: Take your time and enjoy the ride.

DON’T: Stop randomly to take photos and hold up traffic.

DO: Let others pass. Especially for locals who have driven the road countless times and aren’t trying to casually sightsee. 

DON’T: Drive too fast! Use extra caution around corners. The bends in the road are sharp and you should always expect oncoming traffic. 

DO: Yield to traffic. There are endless hairpin turns and 46 one-lane bridges.  

DON’T: Make your own parking spot! 

DO: Pull over when it is safe and stop at all the roadside stands. 

DON’T: Get caught in the dark on the Road to Hana Hawaii. Plan ahead and make sure you make it back before sunset. 

DO: Enjoy the day and have fun! It’s easy to see why the Road to Hana is such a popular day trip in Maui.

Road to Hana Tips

10. Spend a Night on the Road to Hana

The last of our Road to Hana tips has to do with it being in such a remote location. For this reason, the accommodations in Hana Maui are very limited and sell out months in advance. If we could redo our visit we would definitely spend the night in Hana.

The area is so unique and there is so much to see and do. You may need to play around with the dates if your first choice isn’t available when searching! Below are some of our favorite hotel choices to check out in Hana Maui.

Another idea for staying overnight is to go camping! There are even companies like Maui Vacation Equipment that rent equipment. Just like the hotels, it’s best to book camping sites as far ahead as possible to secure your spot! 

Road to Hana Hawaii

Have any Road to Hana tips that you want to share? How about questions about driving the Road to Hana Hawaii we can help answer? Let us know in the comments below! 

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake

 Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar

Where to Stay in Maui Hawaii

For a complete look at the island check out Where to Stay in Maui: 4 Top Areas With Hotel Picks!

Ultra Luxury Four Seasons Resort MauiWailea – Known as one of the most elite hotels on Maui, the Four Seasons has three swimming pools, 5-star service, and is just steps from the beach. 

Fun Vacation Andaz Maui at Wailea ResortWailea – This modern, upscale hotel is packed with swimming pools and ocean views. 

Bed & BreakfastMaui What a Wonderful World Bed & BreakfastWailea – Get all the local charm you can handle at this unique bed and breakfast. Awesome location that will provide a homey welcome to the island. 

Remote Resort Hana Maui Resort A Destination by HyattHana – Located in the far remote part of the island along the road to Hana. Amazing resort by Hyatt offering seclusion and luxury. 

For more places to stay in Maui you can explore the latest prices here!


Road to Hana Maui HI

Hawaii Travel Planning 

Information: Explore all our articles on Hawaii, amazing destinations around the world, and more travel planning tips!

 Flights: We always find our cheap flight deals using Skyscanner. That’s how we got our flight from San Diego to Maui for under $100 USD on Hawaiian Airlines!

 Accommodation: Compare multiple sites to get to the best deal such as Booking.com and Agoda! Also,  Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget. 

 Rental Car: Hands down the best way to explore Maui Hawaii is with a rental car! We used Discover Cars to explore the island. Just make sure to book in advance because there are limited cars on the island in the high season! 

 Tours: Check out Get Your Guide to find hundreds of Maui activities. You can book a sunset sail from Lahaina, Road to Hana full day tour, or go wild and take a rainforest helicopter tour

 Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad (if you’re traveling to Hawaii from outside the USA) without protection. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.

 Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials

Maui Hawaii

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