The road to Hana can either be full-circle, or there and back. We decided to make the circular route, which lead us passed the green pastures and landscapes to the bare and dirt and rocky backside of Haleakala. This was our last day in Maui, so it also allowed us to fit in other popular sights on the way back to the airport.
Oheo Gulch and Waimoku Falls - With the advantage of staying in Hana for the night, we arrived before the crowds. The pools are about 10 miles past Hana and can be reached with a short, easy 20-minute hike. There are seven waterfall-fed pools, large enough for swimming and wading. We spent some time viewing the pools and taking pictures, and then began the four-mile roundtrip hike up the Pipiwai Trail. The hike is considered moderate, and can take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour to reach the 400 foot high Waimoku Falls, depending on how many stops you make along the way. Waterfalls, a bamboo forest, bridges and bountiful plant life can be seen along the way. Between the pools and the hike, we spent a few hours in the area. See my journal on the hike for more details.
Tedeschi Winery – Maui’s only commercial winery is located in Upcountry, at 'Ulupalakua Ranch. The winery offers tasting from 9am-5pm. (except for major holidays). They also offer free daily tours at 10:30am and 1:30pm. The wine tasting was enjoyable after such a busy day and there were several people in the tasting room. Our favorites were the Ulupalakua Red and their most popular selling Maui Splash, a fruity, pineapple and passion fruit wine. Bottles of wine start at $9 and the winery offers packaging for visitors to take back on the plane ride home.
Haleakala – Our final scenic stop was at the 10,000-foot volcanic peak of Haleakala, said to be the world’s largest dormant volcano. The winding drive up Haleakala leads through various climates, from the warm base just beginning the drive, to the chilly top of the summit, ranging between 32 and 65 degrees, depending on the time of arrival. Be sure to bring a sweater or jacket. At the top of the summit, there is a visitor’s center and observation center with lookout points. You’ll find dramatic views of valleys and caverns immersed in clouds and on a clear day you can see all of Maui. The park is open 24 hours a day. There are restroom facilities and water fountains at the visitor’s centers. There are also camping accommodations for both tent campers and those who choose to rent cabins.
Summary: The last two days of our road trip to Hana and beyond were busy and action packed. They were our favorite part of the Maui portion of our 10-day trip to Hawaii. There was an abundance of beauty to take in and many memories kept alive in our minds and in living color with the help of our camera. This was an adventure that should not be missed by anyone.
**Don’t forget: Food or drinking water, sun block with bug repellant, a jacket/sweater, hiking shoes, and a camera.