Friday, October 9, 2015

Road to Hana

The drive down from the summit of Haleakala takes you from 10,000' back to sea level.  From the chilly dawn on the summit, I descended to the warm, humid coast.  There I met the Road to Hana.  It is about 40 miles to Hana but it is a drive that takes at least two hours.  You see the road is a narrow two lane road that winds along the coast.  You travel about 25 mph around many curves (they say it is 620 curves) as the road hugs the cliffs.  Then there are all the one lane bridges.  Yes, one lane bridges.  59 of them.  So it is a long slow and scenic drive.

It takes even longer once you start stopping.

Believe me, you will want to stop.  

There are scenic views everywhere.  A stream here.  A cliff there.  Every turn and mile has something to see.

Realistically it will take you 4-7 hours to get there.

For most people its get there then turn around and drive back to their resort.  I had plans on camping.  Just beyond Hana itself you reenter Haleakala National Park and in addition to the Seven Scared Pools there is a campground.  Here I set up camp along the coast and was able to enjoy the quiet side of Maui.


Road to Koki Beach Beyond Hana
The drive took me several hours, but as I knew I was camping, I could take my time and enjoy it.  I made every stop possible looking for walks or images.

Take  a look at the top image here, it is a view along the coast.  If you look close you can see the road cut in the trees where a narrow two lane road is hugging the cliffs.  Yes, that is the drive.
Seven Sacred Pools

Once past Hana the road becomes even narrower, really just a lane and half wide with no stripe.  When two cars go past each other you have to slow to a crawl and go very slow, each of you a time almost off the road.  In some places off the road mean hanging on a cliff.

More than once I had to back up to let someone through.

All in all a beautiful drive and the payoff of getting to camp there made it so nice.  A sure thumbs up on the drive and camping along the coast for a very different Hawaii experience.
Coast beyond Hana

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