Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > America - USA > Hawaii
Reload this Page >

Consolidated "Road to Hana" thread

Consolidated "Road to Hana" thread

Old Aug 14, 06, 8:14 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: NYC
Programs: UA 1P
Posts: 448
Consolidated "Road to Hana" thread

Hello,

How long of a drive is it from OGG to Hana? I've heard from 2 hrs to 7 hrs and mapquest.com is reporting a little over 2 hrs. Oh, and we'll take the more direct route going down but on the way back we'll come around the backside (non-coastal) side of the mountain.

TIA.

DJ.
deejboram is offline  
Old Aug 14, 06, 9:14 am
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist & Moderator: CommunityBuzz!, OMNI, OMNI/PR, and OMNI/Games
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Southern California
Programs: DL: 3.8 MM, Marriott: Lifetime Titanium
Posts: 24,571
Originally Posted by deejboram
Hello,

How long of a drive is it from OGG to Hana? I've heard from 2 hrs to 7 hrs and mapquest.com is reporting a little over 2 hrs. Oh, and we'll take the more direct route going down but on the way back we'll come around the backside (non-coastal) side of the mountain.

TIA.

DJ.

Pretty much depends on whether you plan to drive straight through without stopping or rubber-necking along the way. And the weather...it ALWAYS rains but sometimes it really rains...can play a factor. And the time of day and time of year you go will affect your travel time as well as the more folks on the Hana highway, the slower the go.
You might make it in 2+ hours but I'd suggest planning 3-4+ hours so you can see a few of the sights.
And you can't always plan on coming back via the "shortcut". On our last visit, the Hana side had nearly 7" on rain that day and police were blocking that route even for the locals due to washouts and mudslides.
The Seven Sacred Pools were one huge pool/waterfall that day.
Enjoy your drive!
Cholula is offline  
Old Aug 14, 06, 9:16 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: NY
Programs: AA Gold, SPG Gold, HH Gold
Posts: 280
Originally Posted by deejboram
Hello,

How long of a drive is it from OGG to Hana? I've heard from 2 hrs to 7 hrs and mapquest.com is reporting a little over 2 hrs. Oh, and we'll take the more direct route going down but on the way back we'll come around the backside (non-coastal) side of the mountain.

TIA.

DJ.
If you do the drive properly, you'll make a bunch of stops to visit waterfalls, view the scenery, explore the really small "towns" (all of like one church and half a dozen houses, it seems), and the various, numerous state Wayside Parks. Last time I did that drive, I started from Paia (not OGG) first thing in the morning (~8 a.m.), and I did not get to Hana until about 5 p.m. I also stopped at one of the black sand beaches along the way so some sunning and a swim. So that was nine hours for me.

No gas stations until you hit Hana. So fill up as much as possible before you leave Paia. Once you pass that town, there won't be any more chances for fuel.

On the way back, I also returned via the "backside" of Haleakala (South Hana Highway, aka Route 360) because I was returning to the upcountry (Makawao) -- so that was definitely the shortest route for me.

The biggest downside of my trip was not leaving time to really explore -- and not just look at -- the Seven Pools and the "back" part of Haleakala National Park. I just did not have the time to explore and still make the drive to the upcountry before it got dark. In retrospect, I should have just crashed at someone's house (a B&B -- really just a room in someone's house -- there are lots of them available on the "outskirts" of Hana) and started over again in the morning.

You're observation of South Hana Highway as being the "non-coastal" side is only about half correct. About half of that drive will be very close to the water before the road starts to head upland.

I drove on South Hana Highway during the dry season, so I had no road issues. Going in the wet season, the road could be gone completely -- and totally impassible -- as rain water gushes down the backside of Haleakala.

This side of Maui is big cattle coutry. That was my biggest delay -- waiting for the cattle to get out of the road (one recalcitrent cow stayed in fron of my car for 10 minutes before moving).

And it will take quite a while just to get back to the upcountry (Kula) -- about 2 hours, depending on how many stops you make. So wherever you're staying, figure you're going to need to add the distance between that place and Kula, and the two hours for the drive from Hana to Kula. For example, if you're in Wailea, you've got to go all the way down to Kahului and then all the way down to Wailea -- that's probably at least 90 minutes from Kula -- because there is no road that connects anywhere near the towns on Maalaea Bay.

The final caveat -- and this is important -- is that I did my trip in a car I borrowed from my grandmother, and not in a rental car. So I could "legally" make the trip. Last time I checked, if you're renting a car, every rental car company agreement you sign will prohibit you from driving on the South Hana Highway -- primarily because of the likely occassional bad road conditions (many sections are just dirt, with lots of dips and divots), and the extremely variable nature of the roads when it rains. In short, way too much liability for them. So if you have one of those agreements, take a chance, drive there anyway, and get stuck, Big Rental Company won't assist you. You'll be on your own to get extracated/towed, and make repairs, if necessary.

But if it works out, it's a great trip to do. Many sections of the Hana Highway are one lane, which can make travel excruciatingly slow (for example if you get stuck behind a truck). That's the main reason it takes so long to get there. Also, I wish I'd made the return part of the trip longer, staying at one of the cheap B&Bs on the outskirts of Hana, and spending a full day exploring the backside of Haleakala Park and the Seven Pools -- which are supposedly an amazing sight after a significant rain.
BriGuy is offline  
Old Aug 14, 06, 9:22 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: NY
Programs: AA Gold, SPG Gold, HH Gold
Posts: 280
Originally Posted by deejboram
mapquest.com is reporting a little over 2 hrs.
That's two hours as the nene flies

Speed limit is usually 15 mph. Hana Highway has some tremendous hairpin turns. The road also narrows from two lanes to one in some places. (The cars in both directions have a stop or yield sign, and then take turns going.)

Unless your objective is just to get to Hana -- and ignore everything about the journey there -- you'll probably spend the good part of a day getting there, between stops and sojurns.

Done right, the drive to Hana is less about the destination and all about the journey. Enjoy!
BriGuy is offline  
Old Aug 14, 06, 9:27 am
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: NYC
Programs: UA 1P
Posts: 448
Wow!

Thanks for all the info. We're only going to be on Maui for 6 days (5 nights) so, thus far I've talked my partner to spending at least 2 nights in Hana at the Hana Treehouse ( http://www.hanatreehouse.com/ ). She really likes "rustic" but some of the rustic treehouse places were charging similar amounts for a LOT less than what we'll get here.

BriGuy,

You have any rec's for a cool place to stay on the "backside" of the mountain? As you can see, we're trying to spend as much time away from the "glit & glamour" as possible.

Danke,

DJ.
deejboram is offline  
Old Aug 14, 06, 9:31 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Central New Jersey
Programs: UA-Platimum 2 MM, HH-Gold, MR-Lifetime Gold, Hyatt-Discoverist
Posts: 6,233
As others have said, it's not the distance between OGG and Hana, it's the road itself. With no traffic, no stops and generally ok weather--plan on minimum drive time of at least 2 hrs. There are lots of 1 way small bridges where if someone is coming towards you, you'll have to back up, also many many hairpin turns, rough roads, intermittent rain (you are in a rain forest) etc. Also, even if you don't stop for the views & waterfalls, others in front of you will-- and you'll have to slow down getting by them.
mauld is offline  
Old Aug 14, 06, 10:43 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: NY
Programs: AA Gold, SPG Gold, HH Gold
Posts: 280
Originally Posted by deejboram
Any rec's for a cool place to stay on the "backside" of the mountain?
I have not been to Hana since 2001, so my perception of what's "there" has changed radically.

For isolation while retaining comfort, Ala Aina Ocean Vista has been recommended to me a few times by those I trust (http://www.hanabandb.com/index.html). I have not stayed there, but my friends who did loved it, and I'll strongly consider it for my trip there next year.

Downside is that this place, as most places near Hana, are requiring two-night minimums at this point.

BTW, the Treehouse looks tremendous! But it's probably not an option for me unless my wife and I can escape without the kids
BriGuy is offline  
Old Aug 14, 06, 10:57 am
  #8  
Senior Moderator, Moderator: Coronavirus, United MileagePlus, Carbon Conscious Travel, FlyerTalk Cares
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1.7 MM/Plat; AS MVP 75K; AA gold; Fairmont & Starwood platinum; Hyatt diamond; Kimpton IC Elite
Posts: 17,442
Originally Posted by deejboram
Wow!

Thanks for all the info. We're only going to be on Maui for 6 days (5 nights) so, thus far I've talked my partner to spending at least 2 nights in Hana at the Hana Treehouse ( http://www.hanatreehouse.com/ ). She really likes "rustic" but some of the rustic treehouse places were charging similar amounts for a LOT less than what we'll get here.

BriGuy,

You have any rec's for a cool place to stay on the "backside" of the mountain? As you can see, we're trying to spend as much time away from the "glit & glamour" as possible.

Danke,

DJ.
By all means, stay in that area for at least a couple of nights. Are you talking about the Treehouses of Hana? I would recommend against staying there as they have been periodically shut down for code violations. (He is finally rebuilding them in hopes of reopening soon, but I don't know how that's going.) I know the person who built them and they were his first project done on a shoestring. He even admits they're not great. His later projects in China are far better. I will send you some ideas of places to stay later today. A huge benefit to staying in the area is you can get to places such as O'heo Gulch before all the folks from Wailea and Kaanapali arrive. I've been at the pools by 8 or 9 a.m. and had them completely to myself. By noon they're packed.
l etoile is offline  
Old Aug 14, 06, 11:31 am
  #9  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Berkeley, CA USA
Programs: Piggly Wiggly "Shop the Pig!" Preferred Shopper
Posts: 48,291
Be sure not to lock your keys in the car, as one woman I met did half way to Hana. I called the police for her, and they said they don't help in such non-emergency situations. Then I called a towing company. They said it's too far out to go without prepayment.

I'm assuming she somehow survived, but I don't know how she got out of that mess.
dhuey is online now  
Old Aug 14, 06, 11:32 am
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: NYC
Programs: UA 1P
Posts: 448
Letiole,

No. I'm not talking about this guy's treehouses ( http://www.maui.net/~hanalani/ ) I'm talking about this lady's house that's built in a tree so she calls it a treehouse ( http://www.hanatreehouse.com/ ). Her place is a bit more "upscale" and even has a japanese furo soaking tub! But, she only charges a little more than the first guy. I've been reading the archives and searches on Hawaii and I know you're a Hawaiian powerhouse with the info. And we're trying to spend 4 of 5 nights in Hana. So, maybe 2 on the East Side and then 2 on the South side of the mountain? That'll at least get us around the 2 night minimum stay req.

We were going for "budget/rustic" places but found the reviews for places < $150 not too nice so we figured we'd have to at least go with "regular" accomodations.

Thanks!
deejboram is offline  
Old Aug 14, 06, 11:38 am
  #11  
Senior Moderator, Moderator: Coronavirus, United MileagePlus, Carbon Conscious Travel, FlyerTalk Cares
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: SFO
Programs: UA 1.7 MM/Plat; AS MVP 75K; AA gold; Fairmont & Starwood platinum; Hyatt diamond; Kimpton IC Elite
Posts: 17,442
Originally Posted by deejboram
I'm talking about this lady's house that's built in a tree so she calls it a treehouse ( http://www.hanatreehouse.com/ ). Her place is a bit more "upscale" and even has a japanese furo soaking tub! But, she only charges a little more than the first guy.
Ahhh ... I haven't seen this one before. It looks and sounds great. Thanks for turning me on to someplace different. I'll send you more soon ...
l etoile is offline  
Old Aug 14, 06, 2:25 pm
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Pittsburgh
Programs: MR/SPG LT Titanium, AA LT PLT, UA SLV, Avis PreferredPlus
Posts: 28,208
We took the tourist route last summer, stoping at all the waterfalls, parks, beaches, etc., and it took about 5 hours out to Hana. We headed straight back to catch a flight, having lost track of time a bit, and I think it was just under 2 hrs. - we hit no major traffic problems. That was at a pretty good pace coming back, until my little one started getting car sick.
CPRich is offline  
Old Aug 15, 06, 8:58 am
  #13  
dc3
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 246
The weather is the main time factor. If it is rainy/raining it is very slow. Also depends how often you stop. If it is dry I would strongly suggest going past Hana and back around the other side. Road is not compeletly paved, so when it rains there is a problem.
dc3 is offline  
Old Aug 15, 06, 9:22 am
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: LAX/TPE
Programs: CO Platinum 1K, United 1K, SPG LT Platinum, National Executive Elite, Platinum TSA Hater
Posts: 36,088
Originally Posted by BriGuy
...
The final caveat -- and this is important -- is that I did my trip in a car I borrowed from my grandmother, and not in a rental car. So I could "legally" make the trip. Last time I checked, if you're renting a car, every rental car company agreement you sign will prohibit you from driving on the South Hana Highway...
I wouldn't worry about the rental car issue on the Pi'ilani Highway...the road has more rental cars than local cars. You need to be prudent and careful while driving, and there are some pothole and gravel spots, but the drive is fine - as long as the roads are dry. If it's been raining, stick to the Paia-Hana route only.
bocastephen is offline  
Old Aug 24, 06, 9:36 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Southern California
Programs: AAdvantage, HHonors
Posts: 251
The drive is easy

A few things to remember from the traveling curmudgeon:

1. If you decide to take pics of the coast or waterfalls, please please please pull over safely. Too many tourists literally stop in the middle of the highway and it is quite dangerous while people are coming around a hairpin turn

2. Additionally, don't drive in the middle of the road. I encountered way too many tourists driving in the middle of the road, or on wrong side of the road, as they gazed up from their convertibles looking at the trees and such

Lots of the locals drive fast on the backside, so watch for that. Enjoy the drive, that's part of the fun!
lance6 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: