Kaupo Road Review
Also called Piilani Highway, this road winds through what locals say is one of the last parts of "real Maui." It goes all the way around Haleakala's "back side" through Ulupalakua Ranch and into Kula. The desertlike area, with its grand vistas, is unlike anything else on the island, but some of the road is in bad shape, sometimes impassable in winter, and parts of it are unpaved. Car-rental agencies call it off-limits for their passenger cars, and no emergency assistance is available. The small communities around East Maui cling tenuously to the old ways. Please keep that in mind if you do pass this way. Between Kipahulu and Kula may be a mere 38 miles, but the twisty road makes the drive take up to two hours. Fill up on gas and food, as the only stop out here is Kaupo Store, which hawks a few pricey necessities.