There is a lot of information out there about the Road to Hana and what some of the “musts” are along the way. So, what’s worthwhile and what’s an overcrowded tourist trap? Lucky for us, one of our team members here at Hawaii Chee is also a Operations Director for a well regarded hiking company on the island.
We asked him to reveal his favorite stops and spots. We mixed his list with ours and are proud to offer our top choices.
Bamboo Forest Hike (Na’ili’ili-haele)
Also called the “four waterfalls hike”, this is a muddy and adventurous hike through thick bamboo. After trekking across a stream, you’ll soon see a breathtaking waterfall, followed by another one that features a glorious swimming hole a few minutes later. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can climb up several waterfalls, including one with a ladder, and swim through a ravine to see all four waterfalls.
Insider Tip: Wear a swimsuit on this one and expect to get muddy. Pay close attention to the water levels and weather to avoid any scary flash flooding situations.
Red Sand Beach
This beach is tucked away in a cove and features stunning deep blue water against dark red sand and jagged cliffs. To get there, you’ll have to find the Hana Community Center and walk through their grass field on the makai (ocean) side of the center. The trail is only about a quarter of a mile around the cliff side to get to the beach and has a spectacular viewpoint of the entire beach as you walk in.
Insider Tip: Wear shoes with good traction as the trail is narrow and along a cliff side.
Venus Pool is just past the town of Hana and a short walk from your car. You’ll see cars pulled over alongside a bridge and a large grassy field off to your left as you are driving away from the town of Hana. The walk down can be treacherous so only come here if you are an experienced hiker.
If you feel comfortable with the trail and want to try and brave it, you’ll be amazed at the roaring ocean slamming against the outer rock formation of the pool. Enter the area on top of the cliffside overlooking the pool. There are plenty of opportunities to cliff jump from 10, 20, or even 30 foot heights.
Insider Tip: Don’t come here if it’s been raining or you’ve heard there is a swell as it can be dangerous if a flash flood occurs. Bring a towel to sit on and some beverages or snacks to enjoy while you are there. This stop is less about a hike and more about relaxing and swimming. Most importantly, be respectful to locals that frequent the beach, many of whom have been enjoying the spot for years and have only recently started sharing it with tourists.
Pipiwai Trail and Seven Sacred Pools
These stops are in the same location within Haleakala National Park, so you will need to pay a small fee to enter. The Seven Sacred pools are only a short walk down toward the water and are beautiful but unfortunately overcrowded most of the time. Pipiwai Trail can get crowded as well, but is well worth it for the view of Waimoku Falls at the end. This four mile round trip hike takes you through lush bamboo forest on a well maintained trail with views of the forest and a huge banyan tree along the way.
If you’ve researched Hana and seen pictures of a breathtaking waterfall, it’s probably the Waimoku Falls. The falls are the perfect end point to one of the most beautiful hikes in Hawaii.