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The "Over the Top Road" (Past Kapalua)

Iowa
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The "Over the Top Road" (Past Kapalua)

I hope someone can give me some insight. We are going to be in Maui for only 7 days and we plan on doing the road to Hana. In addition, in the guide book Maui Revealed they also discuss the Over the top road past Kapalua on the west side. However, they don't do a very good job of describing this road. They basically say it is very pretty, you should go from west to east(clockwise) and there are 2 sections(one is 1 1/2 miles and one is 21/2 miles) that are 1 lane only and if you meet a car and there is no turnout - the car that is going uphill is supposed to back up until they reach a turn out so the downhill vehicle can pass.

Here are my questions:

1) If you were doing Hana and only have 7 days - would you also do this drive?

2) Is it still true that the road is this narrow that 2 vehicles can not meet?

3) They don't really explain how long this road is or where you come out that I can tell -- so if you take this drive and continue to go west to east(clockwise) how many miles and how long in time approximately is this? And where do you come out at?

4) Lastly - is it worth our limited time frame to do this drive (your opinion).

The guide book makes some of the stops sound amazing - but like I said, the info is a little open ended.

Thank you so much for your help!! Aloha

Denver, Colorado
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1. Re: The "Over the Top Road" (Past Kapalua)

I've driven this road many times, so let me take your questions in order.

1) Yes, I would do this drive, but that's me - Your mileage may vary. It is very different than the Hana area as far as scenery goes.

2) Yes, it is still true that there are a couple of long single lane sections. We've encountered very little traffic on this road. We have always driven in the clockwise direction you referenced.

3) I've never clocked the distance. You measure drives on Maui in hours, not miles. It usually takes us 3 - 4 hours depending on how many stops we make. The road comes out near Waiehu Beach Park. From there you can go into Wailuku or Kahului depending on your preference.

4) "Worth" is a subjective judgment. It all depends on what you like to do. If you would rather be snorkeling somewhere or laying on a beach, that's what you should do.

There are some great sights on this road - The Blow Hole (don't get too close - its dangerous to do so), the olivine pools - (keep an eye on the ocean at all times). Julia's stand is on this road and if you take it, be sure to stop. Possibly the best banana bread on thee island according to my bride. I prefer the coconut candy myself.

When you stop, be sure that there is nothing visible on the inside of your vehicle. Car smash and grabs are known to happen here. Lock everything in the trunk.

Hope that this info helps you make your decision.

.

California
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2. Re: The "Over the Top Road" (Past Kapalua)

Turn around at the blow-hole ... and return through Kapalua.

The Kahekili Highway (340) is prohibited on your rental car agreement. Parts of the road are unpaved. It is twisty, lacks guardrails and is one-lane in some area. Bottom line - it is not designed for tourist traffic. Driving this is just plain stupid. Hawaii isn't Disneyland, and the Maui Forum has plenty of horror stories about the area. If you get into trouble - don't count of emergency services (medical or otherwise) to have speedy access to you.

Maui has so many gorgeous roads. LOTS of amazing places. There is no reason to use those that put you in danger. And note that for this road, and the back way around Haleakala, the issue is not the driver's abilities - it's the condition and structure of the roads ... falling rocks ... and the guy next to you scared out of his wits.

You won't make a dent in the number of things you can see and do on Maui with such a short trip. No need to risk your life and limb on bad highways.

Kapaa, Hawaii
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for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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3. Re: The "Over the Top Road" (Past Kapalua)

This is a white knuckle, cliff hugging drive. One that all major rental car companies prohibit you from driving. I was on that road once, never again!! Do yourself a favor and stick to the Hana Hwy.

Kihei, Hawaii
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4. Re: The "Over the Top Road" (Past Kapalua)

1) No

2) Yes

3) don't know the distance exactly but probably about 17 to 20 miles but it is SLOW going. You come out near Wailuku, Waihee actually

4) No, not with only 7 days and having done the RTH

Boston, MA
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5. Re: The "Over the Top Road" (Past Kapalua)

BLBL, The Kahekili highway is paved, the whole way, but the rest of your comments are right on target.

I've driven this road, before knowing that the rental car companies don't allow it. While parts of are quite dramatic, you can enjoy a lot of it, driving up and turning around, before it becomes 1 lane, including the Nakalele Blow Hole.

Minnesota
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6. Re: The "Over the Top Road" (Past Kapalua)

This is why people who live in Hawaii hate that book- it tells you to do very controversial things. Do people do it? Yes.... but again it is against your rental contract and it is for a reason. The road is not taken care of other then for it to be a road for people to live there. There are rock slides, very narrow one lane steep cliffs far to the bottom. etc. So yes...people on here will say to do it, but you won't get help easily and could run into trouble with the rental agency. Some people will do it, some won't. I believe there are a million other things to do on Maui without having to do things like this.

California
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7. Re: The "Over the Top Road" (Past Kapalua)

<<The Kahekili highway is paved, the whole way, but the rest of your comments are right on target.>> Well-paved ... or just paved? I'm curious. Of course, they would have to do a serious rebuild-redesign to make it less treacherous.

And rscotty is pretty funny - well, not ha-ha funny - to tell you to take the road - but warn you about the blow-hole and Queen's Bath.

Denver, Colorado
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8. Re: The "Over the Top Road" (Past Kapalua)

I wonder how many people who warn others to stay away have actually driven the road.

Perhaps it's because I'm from Colorado and am used to driving mountain roads. It just isn't that bad in my view. Yes, there can be rock slides especially if its rained recently. You take that into account and drive accordingly. I learned to keep an eye on the uphill side at all times as we have much larger and more dangerous rock slides here. I would guess my maximum speed on this road is probably around 20 mph. Average speed would be much less.

If your nervous on narrow twisting roads, I would avoid it. For us, this trip is just another day in paradise.

Iowa
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9. Re: The "Over the Top Road" (Past Kapalua)

Wow!! --- Glad I asked.

O:K -- so maybe we won't do ANY portion of it -- or maybe we will do it to the blow hole and turn around? We are staying in Kaanapali -- so the location(closeness) is intriguing because it is so close.

So based on your guys helpful advice -- a couple more questions:

Is the 2 lane road to where the road goes to "crap" pretty good? Or is it "dicey" as well? On my map it shows the Blow Hole on the part of the road where it has already turned to crap? Or does it get bad AFTER the blow hole?

Thanks again and we will heed your advice.

Minnesota
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10. Re: The "Over the Top Road" (Past Kapalua)

Goes bad after the blow hole...drive to that, view it from a SAFE distance and then turn around and go back. As you can tell this road and the back way around from Hana are hot topics here. Regulars just want people to stay safe and enjoy Maui. People who live there really don't like hearing the sad stories of bad things happening to tourists.