Hoaloha Jeep Adventures

December 17, 2021 1 min

The Back Road to Hana

Updated: December 17, 2021
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Everyone knows the Road to Hana and how amazing it is, but did you know that the road continues beyond Hana? It snakes behind the Haleakala and driving down this road, the back Road to Hana, is an adventure in of itself. So if you’re the type of person who likes going off the beaten path, then going through the back road to Hana is something to consider.

What to Expect

The back road to Hana, also referred to as highway 31, is unlike any other road on Maui. You will see windswept plains that make you feel like you’ve reached the end of the earth. It’s pretty remote, with no shops, hotels, or resorts. 

But that’s not to say that this area is not as impressive as other parts of the island. You will still see scenic views here as well as volcanic structures. Some parts of the road here are unpaved and can get narrow into one-lane paths. Some parts get windy or are on a cliffside. And some of these narrow, windy parts of the road don’t have a guard rail, so we advise extreme caution when driving here. 

The back road to Hana starts in Kula town 15 minutes past Makawao and is considered part of the Upcountry region. Going through this road is also a great way to experience the backside of the Haleakala. Driving through this road, from Kula town to Kahului, would take about 4 hours straight. But if you’re making stops along the way (and trust us, there are some exciting places you can check out), it can take as long as the classic road to Hana experience – around 10 to 12 hours. 

Interesting stops

Driving down this road that’s less traveled also has its reward: you get to see unique and exciting stops you may not know about otherwise! So make sure that you fill up your gas tank. 

Ulupalakua Ranch Store – Here, you can go for a quick restroom break and buy some snacks for the road. Shortly ahead, there’s also a winery, Maui’s only one, where they make pineapple wine!

Kahikinui Wind Turbines – About 40 minutes into your drive, you’ll spot these tall turbines situated ideally in this windy area of the upcountry. 

Alelele Falls – You can hike to these beautiful cascading waterfalls in 15-20 minutes from the road is one of the best waterfalls in Maui. You can take a refreshing plunge in its cool waters.

Laulima Fruit Stand – You can take a break after your waterfall dip at this fruit stand selling fresh fruits, smoothies, and coffee, all grown locally on their farm.

Kipahulu entrance to Haleakala National Park – This is one of the highlights of the back road to Hana, as you can see the O’heo pools right away and access the Pipiwai trail.

Back Road to Hana - Hoaloha Jeep Adventures

Tips to driving the back road to Hana

Raring to drive to the back road to Hana? A few tips before you embark on that journey.

  • Check that going through the back road to Hana will not breach your rental contract as most rental car companies forbid tourists to go through here. To make it easier for you, book a private jeep instead from Hoaloha Jeep Adventures as they can take you there, no problem.
  • Drive with caution, especially in the parts where the road gets narrow and twisty and in parts with no guard rails
  • Take your valuables with you if you’re leaving your vehicle, as break-ins do happen.
  • Carry cash with you since most places in this part do not accept credit cards.
  • Malama Aina – take care of the land. Don’t litter, respect the signs and stay on trail.