Two zip lock bags, four fresh air stops, one restroom break and 600 turns later we made it. We survived the road to Hana with our two boys ages 4 and 7. More than 600 curves and 50+ bridges and we made it to Hana, a challenge, yes, however, some of the memories that we created along the way we will cherish forever.
The idea of a daylong road trip right in the middle of our Hawaii vacation was made possible by our seven-year-old’s desire to walk through a bamboo forest. At the end of the 3 hour drive he was treated to a 4 mile round trip hike that led him to a picturesque waterfall after his trek though the dark and damp bamboo forest. If you’re kid has a goal you have to go with it, right?
You might ask why anyone would venture on a two lane highway that curves along the coast of Maui and leads to the tiny town of Hana and the answer lies in the simple expression of a child’s curiosity and the need to create travelers. (It would be the end of me if my children considered themselves tourists)
A tourist enjoys the beaten path; a traveler seeks out the unexplored, or in the case of the road to Hana in Maui, the underexplored. Plenty of visitors embark on this day long excursion but only a few actually attempt a rigorous hike after the drive. Rarely, do any of these adventure seekers attempt it with a four year old.
Our youngest made it up and back and was excited at the opportunity to get dirty. Our oldest explored the forest with intense observation and a sense of fulfillment that only comes from achieving a goal and checking off an item in life’s to do list.
Some tips to surviving the Road to Hana in Maui:
Leave your hotel early to avoid the crowds. What this means is that you’ll be leaving your West Maui Hotel by 6 a.m. (If you attempt this trip early in your vacation it will feel like 9 a.m. because your body would have not yet adjusted to the time difference.)
Bring lunch, plenty of water and do not forget your patience. Buy some local food or make a few sandwiches.
Zip lock Bags – Just in case someone has a little trouble with the never ending turns. The bags help to dispose of any extra that might find its way out.
Go past the town of Hana and see Ohe’o Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools). If you have the energy you attempt the hike up to Wailua Falls. It is somewhat strenuous but worth the sweat. (Actually, my four-year-old made it, so you can too)
Leaving Hana do not go back the way you came, continue on Highway 60 and it will turn into Highway 31, this will lead you around Haleakala National Park and scenery that plenty of Hawaiian visitors never see.
Take plenty of pictures and then buy yourself a “I survived the Road to Hana” t-shirt. (You’ll probably never wear it )
Need more info and some pictures, check out these links: