Trip to Maui, Day 1

Road Trip to Hana

When I was searching for things to do in Maui almost every website first pick was “The Road Trip to Hana”. We saw it so many times, we thought of exploring this place on Day 1.

Hana is a 52-mile gorgeous serpentine road on the east side of Maui along the northern coast. On one side one can see the beautiful Pacific Ocean and on the other side the mountainous terrain. The road has 59 bridges, out of which 46 are one lane wide. We have to literally yield, sometimes at blind spots, to give way to incoming traffic. On its way it has several scenic stops. From beautiful black sand beaches to waterfalls, the road trip to Hana offers both the water lover and mountain fans a share of their love.

After a hearty breakfast at Three’s Bistro near our temporary home at Kihei, we started our journey. We struggled a bit on what to put as address on the GPS. So, here is the tip, enter Paia town as your starting address.

Three Bar’s Restaurant
Three Bar’s Restaurant

There are over 17 stops on the way. We stoped only at 6 and it took us the entire day. If you want to explore all the spots my advice is to start early in the morning, cover some select ones on your way up and stay overnight either at a camping ground⛺️ or in a hotel 🏨 at Hana. Next day you can drive downhill and explore the rest. Here are the places I explored. Hope you enjoy reading it, as much as I did writing it.

1. Paia Town

This is the last town before getting onto the 48 miles, about 5 hours, trip to Hana. We reached this quaint little place around noon. This is a good place for food, enjoy the local shops, and the bohemian weather. Since we had a late breakfast we just breezed through the place, enjoying the view from our Jeep.

2. Ho’okipa

About 4 miles up north was our first stop, the Ho’okipa beach. The word Ho’okipa means “welcoming comfort”. An apt description of the nature. This place was Mecca for surfers 🏄‍♀️. The waves were as tall as a four storey building. The sight with all surfers was such a joy to watch.

We spent some time on the rocky beach. The water was pleasant and waves 🌊 crashing against them made the view a spectacular watch.

Ho’okipa Beach
Ho’okipa Beach
That’s us on Ho’okipa Beach

This beach is also famous for Hawai’i green sea turtles 🐢. We saw several of them laying incessant on the beach. We waited for long and saw the splendor of turtles making their way to the shore with the help of the waves. A view I will remember for a lifetime.

3. Twin falls

Few miles up north was out next stop, the Twin falls. The falls were at a slight height, a small muddy trek uphill. There was a small swimming area, which we gave it a pass. However, we did go down a pebble pathway to be close to the stream. At the entrance there was a small shop selling refreshments. We enjoyed some freshly cut pineapple 🍍 and a ice cream 🍦made with sugarcane stick.

Twin Falls Entrance
Twin Falls Entrance
The Stream at the twin falls
The Stream at the twin falls

4. Waikamoi Ridge trail

One of the most fun and challenging trails I ever had. I highly recommend knee covered boots 🥾 for this trail (I had sandals). There were two loops cutting between nature, woods, fallen rocks and tree roots. One was short 10 minutes trail, and the other was 30 minutes long. My wife decided to stay in the car and me and my two kids took the long trail. The hike was steep, often climbing fallen trees and as we went up the trail became muddy, making it difficult to walk. A slip could make one fall several feet downhill. We took some pictures initially and then as the climb became harder and slippy we focused on the climb and the subsequent decent. Some of the best memories I created during this hike with my kids.

Beginning of the trail
Beginning of the trail
Trail with tree roots and mud
Trail with tree roots and mud

5. Wai’anapanapa State park

We had a quick lunch 🥗 at a small makeshift place, at Garden of Eden. Garden of Eden was a beautiful place but we decided to go to our final pit stop Wai’anapanapa Park. It was getting dark and we had to come back as well so decided to ditch other stops.

The black pebble sand beach was a treat to eyes, the trail downhill took us to the historical caves and the hike up the hill provided some breathtaking picturesque views.

Wai’anapanapa in local Hawaii language means “glistening fresh water”, because of the fresh water streams and natural pools that surrounds the place. The caves were beautiful and had a tragic history associated. A young chieftass named Popoalaea fled along with her faithful companion from the torture of her ever doubtful husband and hid in these caves. She and her companion were caught and tragically murdered in the caves.

Hana was about 15 miles away and we decided to return to the base.

By the black pebble beach
By the black pebble beach
The Caves
The Caves

Hope you like the pictures and the adventure. In the next post I will write about my experience with snorkeling. Thanks for your read.

PS. please find below the link to the Day 0 of our trip.

Trip to Maui, Day 0

Copyright © Shantanu Baruah

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