Driving the Hana Road in reverse

Old Mar 21st, 2004, 01:20 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 27
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Driving the Hana Road in reverse

We will be in Maui from 7/2 to 7/9 and want to drive the Road to Hana one of those days. I read in one guide book that it is advisable to drive the road in reverse thereby avoiding most of the traffic and also riding alongside the coast. Most quidebooks would have you drive the opposite way. Has anyone ever done it this way & would you advise it? What are the pros & cons of doing it this way. We are staying at the Maui Lea at Maui Hill in S. Kihei towards Wailea. I appreciate any & all advice. Thanks in advance.
friendlyfrank is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2004, 02:04 PM
  #2  
tmh
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 448
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's been a couple years since I did the Hana Rd but I recall few places to pull over 'to the right' when doing it in reverse. To see the falls, explore the terrain, etc it seemed as if the majority of places were on the side with all the traffic. Since everyone is going slow, there didn't seem to be a need to rush or avoid my fellow drivers. I was there in April of 2002 so don't know if that's high or low season compared to your July visit.
tmh is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2004, 02:33 PM
  #3  
mgc
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 31
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's been a few years, but if I recall correctly, there's one road in and one road out. Unless you take the unimproved road down the western side of the island, you can't drive away from Hana (i.e. in reverse). All the rental car agencies prohibit driving on the unimproved road. My college companions and I were feeling daring and threw caution to the wind. I now know why it's off limits. Most of the road is dirt, very rough, extremely narrow in many places, and traveled mostly by locals who drive very quickly as they know the twists and turns. There were several spots where it was too narrow for two cars to pass each other. When we finally got to paved roads we were SO happy! And as TMH said, almost all of the pull offs were accomodating to those who drove in the usual way. If you can find a way to Hana other than the off limits road (or if you're up for a possibly rental-car-damaging adventure) you could do it in reverse. We did it the usual way and didn't have any problems.
mgc is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2004, 02:47 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 728
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Most of the Road on the backside of Haleakala is paved-only about 5 miles of Highway 31 is unpaved, but it's gravel covered. Down side to your plan: most of the usual stops and sights are on the other side of Oheo Gulch (between Paia and Hana and its environs), and, if you meet an oncoming car, the rules of the road dictate that you (on the outside of a very, sometimes death defyingly, narrow road) pull over or back up. The scenery is beautiful. I'm skeptical that any part of the Road is "off limits", as it's all public roadway-though you would not want to develop car trouble on any part of that road after Paia and away from Hana.
hmmm is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2004, 02:48 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,113
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've always made the drive the recommended way (clockwise), and just did it for the third time about two weeks ago. The one downside that I could see with a counterclockwise route is having to squeeze by oncoming traffic on a road that is only wide enough for one car in many places -- lots of one-lane bridges and narrow, hairpin turns. We left early on our recent trip and were out to Ohe'o Gulch by about noon. On the return (we did not circle the island this time), we had a number of "close encounters" with oncoming cars, particularly in the part between Hana and Ohe'o Gulch. Assuming you start your drive in the morning, I don't think this would be much of an issue for the early part of your drive, but you will run into a lot of oncoming traffic at some point.

Also, I think to do this drive in reverse, you still have to head from Wailea towards Kahului and then upcountry towards Kula before you get to the road that takes you around the south side of the island -- i.e., you can't just drive south through Wailea and Makena.

Finally, the Maui Revealed book suggests the clockwise route because of the sun. The Hana side is shadier in the afternoon.

Whatever you decide, you will have fun. It is a drive not to be missed!
ms_go is online now  
Old Mar 21st, 2004, 03:00 PM
  #6  
mgc
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 31
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just to clarify - only the rental car company said the western road was off limits to their drivers. They didn't want anything happening to their car. It is a public through-way and anyone can drive on it.
mgc is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2004, 04:04 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 59
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
How bad is the unimproved section of the road? I live in rural Missouri and there are lots of rough, gravel roads, but I wouldn't hesitate to drive my car (not 4wd) on them
kcinmo is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2004, 04:16 PM
  #8  
mgc
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 31
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Being the country girl, I got to drive since I was used to dirt/gravel roads. The problem wasn't the road surface but the hairpin/blind turns and extremely narrow passes. There were several places where a mountain-side was a foot from my right and a steep drop off on my left, with barely room for a car to pass. We met a couple of larger pickup trucks and it was a real nail-biter. There may have been guard rails but I don't remember seeing them...
mgc is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2004, 06:29 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 41
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Drove to Hana two years ago from Kihei. I would probably go clockwise. At times it was very rainy on the Hana side which made it very interesting meeting cars on the narrow road. We did drive all the way, but roads were definitely full of potholes and loose gravel. Average 20-25 mph. Not very many places to stop for facilities, but very pretty.
Toms is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2004, 12:00 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 27
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for all of your input. I think we will do it the recommended way, clockwise. We'll make sure to leave early in the morning, maybe around 6:30. Will be using Maui Revealed as our guide.
friendlyfrank is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
bodhijack
United States
18
Nov 8th, 2006 01:27 PM
ILuvMaui
United States
9
Jan 25th, 2006 12:03 AM
Shazza
United States
4
May 10th, 2003 11:28 PM
jbsquared
United States
16
Apr 11th, 2003 01:23 PM
nancyl
United States
6
Mar 3rd, 2003 11:51 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:59 PM.