The Road to Hana
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When you go to Maui, you hear the stories of “The Road to Hana”. Usually you get to hear how dangerous it is, windy, twisty, blah blah blah. And you CANNOT drive/ride all the way around the island! Even rental car companies will tell you that if you go on HWY 31 and the vehicle gets damaged, insurance will not cover it (they spell that out on some of the forms for some rental companies). In a nutshell … what a bunch of malarkey. The Road to Hana is a gorgeous 1.5 lane road through lush tropical rain forest. Water falls around every corner, ferns of all sizes, ocean views that you are certain cannot be real. The road is twisty. It is usually wet. There are always tourists on it going slow because, they are looking at the scenery and have been scared to death by all of the horror stories that are just plain ridiculousness. This is not a race road, it is a great winding road with so many things to see and stop to look at, you just do. Watch out for the HUGE leaves on the road, especially in the wet areas. They are big enough that you can get both wheels of a motorcycle on one leaf at the same time. As you follow the road, you will pass a variety of road side stands. Food, smoothies, fresh fruit and coconuts. You will also most likely get rained on … several times. It will dump and soak you to the skin for 5 minutes, then 5 minutes later, you are dry and no one is the wiser you just rode in the rain. Do be wary of the locals, like locals pretty much anywhere, they drive like maniacs. The road is wide enough for safe passage pretty much the entire length.
Eventually you get to the Seven Sacred Pools. Take a short hike and swim in them. The only caution I have here … if you rented a motorcycle for a day, you really do not have enough time to get to the pools, swim and get back before the rental place closes. While it would probably take 2 hours each way if you just rode/drove – because you ARE going to stop, figure at least 4 hours each way. Or – if you go all the way around, still about the same time, maybe a little more. Rent the bike for two days and then continue (AGAINST THE RULES) around the entire island after a stop for a swim. There are many places to stop and see along the way and it could easily take you two days to see enough to be satisfied. Have a fully charge camera battery and lots of memory.
No part of this road should scare anyone. If you don’t like wet and damp roads, that may be the only deterrent. If someone tells you it is dangerous – if you have driven ANY mountainroad anywhere … you should be fine. I think it is just the joke they play on tourists.
This is HWY 31, the road you are not supposed to drive on. Most of it looks like this. Not very scenic except for amazing ocean views. A little rough in spots, not bad, view of volcanoes and volcanic by products. Have seen locals roar down this road at near triple digit speeds … this is probably why it is “so dangerous”.
Photos from chadman: