Drive past the Blow Hole and to the Big Rock (Kahakuloa Head Rock). Most say don't go past the Big Rock, because the road becomes dangerous to drive. The road to Kahakuloa Head Rock is fine with many places to pull off and sight see, but do that on the way back because all the pull offs are on the right side of the road and it's just easier.
We drove to Hana and around Haleakala and that wasn't bad. I never felt like we should turn around. But based on what the locals told me and what I saw we turned around. I wouldn't drive past Kahakuloa Head Rock.
I am sure others will post that have additional info on this drive.
If you want to see some beautiful natural landscape and views, and it sounds like you are comfortable driving, drive the road to Hana, visit Oheo Gulch . Talk to the ranger there, he / she can let you know the conditions on driving around Haleakala for that day (previous rain, forecast, etc).
Check your rental car contract, it is a narrow road that many prohibit. They will not come to your rescue if the car breaks down.
It's a paved rode the whole way, but a good long section of it is only 1 lane, with steep dropoffs to the ocean below. So ,if you go, be prepared to go slow, honk as you go around corners, and back up to the nearest "wide" spot, if you do meet another car. As Mamma mentions, check with your rental car company to see if it is even allowed by your contract.
All major rental car companies will prohibit you from driving this road. Basically you can go as far as the blow hole and then you will need to turn around. This is a cliff side, white knuckle drive that I went on once by mistake and won't ever again!!
The short answer is NO! Turn around at the Blow Hole. This road is not designed for through traffic ... and trust me ... it won't be "fun." Maui isn't Disneyland.
"Maui isn't Disneyland."
who EVER said or implied it was?
The "Disney comment" on this site is right up there with the "adult in the room" comment so often and inappropriately made re national politics currently.
Here is some balance:
If you don't drive often. Stay away. But the odds of serious injury, dying or getting caught by (choose rental car co) on that road vs any road in the US are tiny. Yes, you will be violating your rental car agreement for about 15 minutes. Kind of like speeding, etc. We all do it.
There are 4 or 5 of the most wonderful people you will ever meet in Hawaii that are also vendors.... and they are waiting for you $$ in Kahakuloa.
BalanceEdited: 01 August 2011, 02:31
i dunno....mauna kea kinda looks like the matterhorn at d-land. i love the yeti's....i scream like a little girl every time they pop out at ya!
Patrick - the "Disneyland comment" is used ALL THE TIME by many posters when the issue of recklessness comes up. Folks who think that nothing bad can happen to them on vacation. Just because you are unaware of the analogy - doesn't mean it isn't used or appropriate.
HappyTraveler is wise to ask ... kudos, HappyTraveler.
I'm amazed that this hasn't made the top questions yet. Given that it's basically the same discussion every time someone asks, it seems like a waste of energy to do it from scratch every time ...
OP, if you run a forum search for
you will find a lot of prior topics here at TA.
From youtube and a site I like for Hawai'i Roads:
7 minute video of drive -- doesn't get to the end
map and photos, Hawaiian Highways site, good description
my least favorite spot (from photos):
I have driven a lot of cliffside roads, and I could drive this road without freaking out -- unless I had to back downhill on a narrow sketchy part. I had to do that once on a one lane road in Northern California, and it was horrible.
Granted I was driving a stick and the clutch was going out, so that made it a lot worse, but I don't think it's a fun situation. The people taking that video lucked out.
There may be a handful of people who are happy to see your money (and seeing money makes people VERY friendly), but what about the other people who live there and need to use that road and have to contend with tourist cars? I bet they don't love seeing you all.
Imagine how bad that road would be to drive if a lot of visitors drove it starting out in Wailuku. Ugh. Can you imagine the road bumper to bumper with two way traffic like the Hana Highway? It would never work. The more people who drive it, the more strain is put on it, because ... very simply ... one lane roads without frequent pullouts cannot sustain regular two way traffic. It's simple physics ... exacerbated by the fact you are on the edge of a cliff.Edited: 01 August 2011, 03:57
Loved the video KamaainaK. I got to see the views that I didn't see when I actually drove it. My eyes were too glued to the pavement.