Not many visitors stop in Olowalu. This small waypoint between Maʽalaea and Lahaina is best known for the snorkeling at Mile Marker 14. The next largest draws are Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop and a stand that sells smoothies and fruit juices.
What many visitors don't realize, however, is that one of West Maui's most accessible historic sites is located just off the highway. Here, on the side of a rock face known as Puʽu Kilea, a collection of more than 70 petroglyphs sits silently etched in stone.
Located in the Olowalu Cultural Reserve, this valley once housed a thriving population of native Hawaiian villagers. Today, only a handful of native Hawaiian residents still live in the valley. Nevertheless, efforts have been taken to protect the petroglyphs and the surrounding cultural sites, and the drawings are completely free to visit for those who venture off the highway.
To reach the petroglyphs, turn off the highway at the smoothie and fruit stand next to Olowalu General store. Behind the fruit stand is a gravel road which leads to a sign for the petroglyphs.
This is one of West Maui's most overlooked sights, but it's a cultural detour that should be visited at least once by everyone who drives past the town.