5 Hana views and the fun ways to find them

Heavenly Hana. From the surf and sand to the lush, tropical foliage that surrounds its many waterfalls. Only 50 or so miles from bustling Kahului, it’s another side of Maui. The legendary Road to Hana has a view at just about every turn. Trouble is there are a lot of turns. The Hana Highway, HI-360, has 620 curves and 59 bridges. But the views don’t end when twisting stops and you arrive in Hana. I don’t think there’s a bad view in Hana, but some just seem to stand out. Especially when getting to the payoff view adds to the fun.

Hike to Fagan’s Cross

The view looking up toward Fagan’s Cross is worth a picture, but the view looking down toward the sea is worth many more. It’s a short hike up from the Travaasa Hana parking lot. About a mile, but up is a key word in the sentence. Don’t get me wrong, it’s doable and for the most part on a paved trail, but you might huff and puff a bit. When you do, just stop, turn around and look toward the water. It’ll provide instant gratification and motivation to speed up and get to the top.

Fagan’s Cross

Giddy up to the coast

Catching site of Hana’s scenic coast is easy to do from the car, which makes lazy sightseeing easy. Consider trading one Mustang for another and you get access to a whole new course and view. No previous riding experience is needed to join a trail ride with Travaasa Stables. The horses know the way to the best views. Guide Peter Enriques is a wealth of information on what to see and where to eat during your visit. His spirited ranch dog Hale typically comes along for the ride.

Giddy up to the coast

Climb and splash at Hana Beach Park

There’s a little bit of everything at Hana Beach Park. A favorite of locals and visitors alike, along with soft sand and warm water, the park is home to the local canoe club, and the bustling Barefoot Café. It would be easy to just park yourself at the beach with a good book, and watch folks jump from the weathered pier leftover from sugar plantation days.

Climb and splash at Hana Beach Park

It would be easy, but not nearly as much fun as putting a towel and snorkeling gear in your backpack and making your way along the beach behind the pier. It’s nice to have your hands free, because you have to make your own trail at some points, climbing over rocks and tree limbs. When you reach the cave said to be the birthplace of Hawaii’s beloved Queen Ka’ahumanu, start looking for a dry spot for your pack and carefully make your way to the water. (Don’t worry about missing the cave. It’s fairly obvious and there’s a big metal plaque.) The payoff comes with your first splash. Tropical fish and coral in all shapes and colors are plentiful. What you won’t see are crowds, that is unless you count those caused by schools of fish.

Wander to a waterfall

In theory, the payoff of the hike along the Pipiwai Trail in the Kipahulu District of Haleakala National Park is the 400-foot Waimoku Falls. But if you ask me the four mile round trip trail gives the falls a serious run for its money. There’s streams, bridges and a bamboo forest that when you’re deep within its midst, makes you feel like you’re on another planet. Do everything you can to fit this hike into your Hana itinerary.

Wander to a waterfall

Silent soaring

The view is constantly changing as you climb the Hana skies in a motorized two-seat glider. Experienced pilot Jan “Hans” Pieters takes passengers along the coast, above waterfalls, beaches and the Haleakala crater before gliding home to the Hana Airport.

Silent soaring - photo courtesy Brian Welsh

Comments (1)

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  1. Peter Mead says:

    love this post, I could see myself enjoying Hana’s scenic coast. Would think about it, if easy to do from the car. Always great for sightseeing IMO.

    Love the blogging :)

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