The 64.4-mile road that stretches from Kahului to Hana takes anywhere from 2 to 4 hours to drive, as it winds along the cliff side, featuring narrow, one-lane bridges, hairpin turns, and breathtaking views that require a much longer look. Hana Highway can quite easily become an all-day excursion, and it is well worth taking the time to explore all of the treasures it has to offer.
Hana Highway, HI-360, has an incredible 59 bridges and 620 curves in total, which require a steady hand to navigate. As one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island, it is best to head out early to avoid the crowds, as visitors are encouraged to stop and enjoy all the sights that the journey has to offer. The scenery is just incredible – lush rainforests, waterfalls, tranquil pools, and stunning oceans views are all ready to be explored and appreciated. Factor in stopping off at some of the roadside food stands, filled with fresh produce and local dishes, can make the Road to Hana a lengthy trip.
With so many places to see along the way, having a map or guidebook can come in handy so that visitors can plan ahead and decide what they would like to see in advance. The variety is impressive – tourists have the opportunity to hike through bamboo forests and explore the rainforest while driving, as well as being able to take a dip in the natural pools created by waterfalls. The choices are vast, and it is worth having a plan before setting out on this adventure.
The long history of the Hana Highway dates back to the 16th century, with modern road construction beginning in the early 1900s. The Road to Hana officially opened on December 18th, 1926, but it took until the 1960s for paving to be completed entirely.
For tourists who are looking for real authenticity, the trail for the Hana Highway officially begins in Pā’ia, on the northern coast of Maui. As it has been such a focal point for tourists and locals alike, Hana Highway was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 15th, 2001, a remarkable acknowledgment of the rich history of the road and of the island itself.