Hana - better on weekdays?

Old Aug 30th, 2004, 08:58 PM
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Hana - better on weekdays?

Is it better to drive to Hana on a weekday than on a Sunday? Or is the traffic about the same any day?
Thanks.
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Old Aug 30th, 2004, 09:54 PM
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Don't make no nevermind.
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Old Aug 31st, 2004, 03:32 PM
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Going on a Sunday would fit my plans better, but am willing to switch days if needed. Thanks for the info.
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Old Sep 8th, 2004, 09:29 PM
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I drove the Road to Hana this past Saturday, with 3 teens. We drove all the way around, including over the bumpy and gravel parts of the road. (Do feel free to ignore the admonitions on some of the older maps and brochures that state that driving this road violates your rental car contract -- ask at the rental car place if you want to be sure, but this is not the treacherous trip that the maps make it out to be!)

It was probably close to noon that we hit the road after a stop in Paia. There was traffic, but we were rarely in a long line of cars, it seemed well-spaced. Not a lot of traffic the opposite way at first, though we ran into more later in the afternoon.

We stopped at the Black Sand Beach before Hana, and the Seven Sacred Pools, and neither were over-run with people. One thing I noticed along the highway was a lot of "Road Work Ahead" signs, but there wasn't any road work going on at all. So maybe the road work is just on the weekdays, and that would be more of a concern for me when it comes to traffic.

Shelley
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 04:55 PM
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Thanks - I think I will try it on Sunday. I hadn't thought about the lack of construction work on weekends! So used to constant weekly construction here on the east coast.
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 05:00 PM
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FWIW we drove to Hilo on a Sunday and after our helicopter ride there we could not explore it because most of the stores close early on Sundays. I am not sure about Hana but it may be worth looking into, depending of course on the time of day you plan to arrive. JM2C. Have a good trip.
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Old Sep 9th, 2004, 05:20 PM
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I find that Saturday and Sunday are better days in general, since many of the weekly rentals and vacation packages begin on Sat or Sun. Traffic to and from the airport is heavier on those days, but we notice a definite slowdown in foot traffic and beach goers, road to Hana travellers, etc., especially on Sundays. Many people are just arriving. Don't worry about things not being open--there isn't much to be open in Hana. The hotel and the associated Hana Ranch properties are open 7 days, so is Hasegawa's. Tutu's is usually open, but some days they are not. The Kaupo market (Beer-Wine-Sake) is closed on Sundays, but they are often closed randomly during their normal business hours, and it's not like they have anything you really need anyway.

As for the construction, there are more signs than actual road work going on. They are replacing two bridges this summer, one in Kipahulu, the other near Keanae. I do not know the status of either. I'll be driving to Keanae on Monday. I'll post if there is anything significant going on.
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Old Sep 10th, 2004, 07:26 AM
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Seattlewriter:
Could you comment further on your drive around the southern loop, the back side of Haleakala? Which direction did you take it (to or from Hana)? Road conditions, blind turns, much oncoming traffic, scenery? Was it a time saver, or just an opportunity to view the southern side of the island? I assume you drove in a rental sedan and not a 4WD vehicle, correct?
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Old Sep 10th, 2004, 09:00 AM
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In reply to ForkinMouth:

I was driving an SUV but had previously had gotten another rental SUV stuck in 4WD a few days before, so didn't want to chance that mode. So I left it in 2WD the whole time. Most of the people on the road were driving standard sedans though. I would have felt comfortable doing so. Maybe not a really small car though; I imagine you'd feel the bumps a lot then.

I took the road from Hana, heading west, then near the Tedeschi Winery is where it starts to turn north along the backside of the mountain. It could certainly be done the other direction but then I think you'd run into more oncoming traffic, plus a lot of the areas did not have guard rails on that side. I get kind of bothered by heights and that was another incentive for me to be driving on the inside lane, all the way around!

There were some blind turns; I'd honk before turning and go slowly. Never had any close calls. There was some traffic going eastbound, but more going the same direction as me. Though not a lot. A few times I pulled over to let others go by -- I didn't like being the "trailblazer" with cars behind me, and my kids pointed out that if I let the other cars go first, then they would face any oncoming traffic first too. (how considerate!)

I had read the description of the road in Maui Revealed, which includes a map that shows the mileposts of the most challenging stretches of the road. I found it pretty accurate. About 5 miles of part gravel and pavement, and another 10-15 miles of very bumpy pavement.

The scenery was one incentive to go that way. It changes from lush green rainforest to more barren, rough land -- lots of rock formations in the water, bigger waves, cows grazing on the hillsides. I don't think I'm describing it very clearly! I wanted to see more of Maui's variety and this was a good way to do that. I was kind of surprised that I could see water views all along the way, even after heading north, we were up high enough that we almost always saw the ocean.

After the rough section of the road there were a lot less turns and curves than on the first part of the road to Hana.

When we stopped at Oheo Gulch/Seven Sacred Pools, I asked the park ranger how long it takes each way. From there he estimated 2 hours going westbound (continuing around the loop), and 2.5 hours if we turned back and went the same way we came. So if you're going that far, then you would save some time taking the route that I did.

Shelley
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