Is the road open from Hana North? Last time (2007) the road was still closed from rock slides after the earthquake.
You will be advised to check your rental car contract. Most (if not all) say no off road driving, but the road around Haleakala is a road. We didn't ask, just did it. Didn't have any trouble the roads are not that horrible. If you do have trouble I don't think it would be because of the roads, just unlucky. However, I would not travel this if there has been heavy rains or rain is in the forecast.
You can ask the rangers at the Oheo Gulch how the roads are, or if there has been any rain that would present a problem. Just be careful, drive slow, use your horn on blind curves. Never did i consider turning around and going back. Plus you are on the volcano side of the road so it doesn't give you that scary feeling of looking down if you were going the other direction.
A lot to think about........huh ????
Thanks for the update. I have driven the road past Hana every time I have visited (Since the 70's) except in 2007. I love the adventure and the horn honking at the corners.
Check your rental contract carefully. Read ALL the fine print. Taking cars out there doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the road conditions. It also has to do with the remoteness of the area. If you were to have car trouble, there is no one out there to help you. A tow truck will cost you hundreds of dollars. Also taking a car out there in the winter months is really tricky. It can rain at a drop of the hat, and may not be forecast. Flash flooding is a real possibility in the winter months. The waterfalls will be amazing though. In any event make sure you do go further than Hana as the waterfalls are better past Hana. Also visit Lindbergh's grave that is in a gorgeous area. As cancun said, check with the Rangers at Oheo Gulch. They will know what the road conditions are past Oheo.
We drove the road the reverse way two days ago. We left our condo in Ka'anapali at around 10:00 or so that morning. We had no intention making the complete drive, only going to Ulupalakua and the winery. We took our time going up, stopped several times for those photo shots. We got to the Ranch store about 11:30. We were going to do the 1:30 winery tour so we drove past the ranch store and winery. The scenery was so outstanding, we kept on driving. When we saw the sign to Kaupo advising 9.5 miles we decided to keep on going; we had never made it to Kaupo the previous times we tried the circle drive. Stopped at the store, bought the t-shirt and kept on towards Hana. After more photo stops, we kept on going, and before we really knew it, we were coming up on the entrance to Oheo Gulch. We stopped at Hasegawa's store, bought some water, walked around looking at the stuff that's probably been there for over 20 years or more. We briefly discussed spending the night, but it had been raining for about the last 10 miles or so, and it looked it wasn't going to stop, so we decided to just go back home to our condo. I brought my personal GPS and it had me getting back home at around 5 pm. Made the drive with no problems, raining all the way, but did stop a couple of times for some pics. When we got to Ho'okipa the waves were kicking, so we stopped and watched them for about 15 mins. Kept on driving back, and when we got back into Kahalui decided to get something at Zippy's. We got back to our condo about 7:30 or so that night. So enough of people saying to leave early in the AM if you're going to Hana. If we had just gone to Hana and came back it would have been earlier. The backside drive takes twice as long cause the road is sooooo rough and the patch work that has been done is amateurish at best.
Our very first trip we made the complete circle counter clock wise stopping for pictures but no hiking. We did it in less tha 12 hours. All the other trips, around if the road was open, or if road is closed returning counterclock wise..it takes us 12 hours now..we enjoy hiking, longer stops...
Time for the trip will depend on number of stops, trails hiked, time spent staring a the gorgeous sights.
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