Paradise on Earth: Discovering Hāna Highway

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Garden-of-Eden

The Hāna Highway is not your average scenic drive. Stretching almost 65 miles from Kahului to the town of Hāna in East Maui, this road trip typically takes 2.5 hours to complete. It is abounding with winding, narrow roads and has over 59 bridges, 46 of which are only wide enough for one car at a time. There are approximately 620 curves that overlook breathtaking views, many of which do not have a guard rail. This isn’t the only thing that makes it an unparalleled road trip, the remarkable stories it tells will make this journey unforgettable. The Hāna Highway is full of history and legends to discover, it is best to not hurry through and focus on only your destination. Soak in the journey that is the Hāna Highway. 

History

The Hāna Highway was not created overnight but over the course of years. What started as a footpath known as the King’s Trail in the 14th century became modern road construction during the sugarcane boom of the 1800s. The roads, bridges and pathways that lead to our modern-day Hāna Highway were first built by prisoners while locals were hired to maintain these new roads. The Hāna Highway was officially paved in 1962 and today is used by locals to travel from one area to another on the island and also as a major tourist attraction for visitors looking for a historical, scenic and adventurous experience. 

Highlights 

Huelo Lookout – Located between mile marker 4 and 5 on the Road to Hāna, you will find breathtaking views of East Maui and a quaint fruit stand filled with fresh produce for you to buy. Taste fresh Hawaiian fruit, smoothies and the locally famous acai bowls.

Maui Garden of Eden – 26 acres of lush vegetation and trails to explore, the Maui Garden of Eden is one of the best-known spots on the Hāna Highway. It was one of the locations used for the first Jurassic Park movie and is a favorite stop among travelers. Visit the gift shop to discover locally made crafts and gifts to take home. The Maui Garden of Eden is located around mile marker 10.

Upper Waikani Falls – Located just beyond mile marker 19, you will discover the Upper Waikani Falls, also known as Three Bears due to the three separate waterfalls, one of them being so small it is known as the baby. Hike the trails around for better views as you discover the lush jungle surrounding the falls. Cascading from 70 feet high into the Wailua Nui Stream, it is known as one of the most popular waterfalls in the Hawaiian Islands. 

Keʻanae Peninsula – An area rich in history and abundant in coastline views, the Keʻanae Peninsula is a must-stop. Wander the paved walkway as you gaze upon traditional Hawaiian plants and flowers. Discover historic buildings, including a church that was built in 1856 as well as shop at local stands where you can purchase fresh produce and local treasures.

Waiʻānapanapa State Park – Discover black sand beach, a blowhole, lava tubes, hiking and walking trails, cliff jumping and panoramic views at this popular stop. Take time to explore the area and all the experiences it has to offer. Cabins are available for overnight stays. Enjoy the glistening waters, lush landscape and unique scenery that can only be found at Waiʻānapanapa State Park. 

Kings Gardens Maui – Experience Hawaiian rainforests, ancient Hawaiian archeological sites, historical gardens and waterfall hikes while visiting Kings Gardens Maui. Only a certain number of visitors are allowed each day, you must make an appointment to experience Kings Gardens Maui. 

 

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