I used to live in Maui, right at the start of the Hana Highway, and driving the famous road was a weekly ritual. I recently went back to visit and found it still as breathtaking as ever. To avoid the tourist traffic (Mustangs seem to be the tourist car of choice), leave early and take the time to actually get out of the car and explore. My favorite stops are always the Garden of Eden Arboretum and Botanical Garden where they filmed the opening sequence for Jurassic Park (ok, kind of touristy, but totally beautiful and worth a stop if you’re a nature geek); Black Sand Beach where the super adventurous can swim out to the bunny ear-shaped rocks and dive into the ocean; Hamoa Beach for body surfing and Oheo Gulch, where you can do the four-mile round trip hike through a bamboo forest to the 200-foot Makahiku waterfall.
Haleakala hiking path to Waimoku Falls
2 mile journey (4 miles round trip) through tropical rainforest, including a bamboo forest section. This hike felt National Geographic photo journalism worthy
Hike the Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku Falls in Hana, Maui
After you make the long drive on the Road to Hana continue to Haleakala National Park and the Seven Pools. Come prepared and bring your towel, for a tough hike on the Pipiwai Trail through the tropical rainforest, across (dry) stream beds and into the bamboo forest. Eventually you’ll come to Waimoku Falls. It’s a beautiful waterfall and well worth the trip.