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Day Trip Itinerary - Too ambitious?

Costa Mesa...
Level Contributor
23 posts
Day Trip Itinerary - Too ambitious?

Hi everyone!

My fiance and I are planning the Road to Hana in mid-January. We will make it a day trip and want your advice on my itinerary.

We are in our late 20's/early 30's, active and enjoy hikes with waterfalls. Should I add anything or take anything out?

7:00am – leave hotel (Royal Lahaina) and head to Paia Town

8:00am – Mana Foods (get snacks and lunch for the road)

Twin Falls

Halfway to Hana Stand

Upper Waikani Falls (3 Bears)

Coconut Glenns (Ice cream)

Wai’anapanapa State Park (Black Sand Beach)

Thai food by Pranee or Bradduh Hutt (Lunch)

Hamoa Beach

Oheo Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools)

Pipiwai Trail

Edited: 29 December 2017, 06:57
Birmingham, Alabama
Level Contributor
5,877 posts
38 reviews
68 helpful votes
1. Re: Day Trip Itinerary - Too ambitious?

Are you planning on just seeing Hamoa Beach or going swimming/hanging out? I would want to be to the Pipiwai Trail at least by 2 pm ... probably earlier ... so I would suggest leaving earlier. If you are just stopping to see most of these things then yes, this may be doable. The Pipiwai will be your wildcard if you don't want to be driving back in the dark. You could just not opt to do it if you don't get there in time. Or you could leave earlier. Mana Foods is fine but why not just grab a sandwich or something the day before and pack it from the hotel so you don't have to stop? (And so you could leave earlier, potentially)

Costa Mesa...
Level Contributor
23 posts
2. Re: Day Trip Itinerary - Too ambitious?

Thanks! We'd probably want to hang out at Hamoa Beach for a little. I'm guessing 45 minutes or so. Great idea on packing a lunch and snacks the day before. That'll save us some time. I definitely want to explore the Pipiwai trail. So many nice photos!

Costa Mesa...
Level Contributor
23 posts
3. Re: Day Trip Itinerary - Too ambitious?

Would you suggest that we drive straight to the Pipiwai Trail and do the Road to Hana backwards?

Maui, Hawaii
5 posts
4. Re: Day Trip Itinerary - Too ambitious?

Rather than turning back, I highly recommend continuing and drive the back side (south side) of Haleakala. It is one of our favorite drives on the island. Its completely different from the drive there. Sounds like you have a pretty jammed pack day. The whole drive itself will take a few hours. I personally like to not rush things and be a little bit more relaxed. Definitely start your drive early though.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
480 posts
5. Re: Day Trip Itinerary - Too ambitious?

I don't think I'd follow the advice of "Discover Maui" - that so-called backroad is forbidden by every single rental car company, I believe. Also, you are talking about January, when it will get dark quite early. Not sure it is wise to take the remote (and illegal by all rental car companies) back road in January.

Level Contributor
50 posts
28 reviews
8 helpful votes
6. Re: Day Trip Itinerary - Too ambitious?

We’ve done the road to Hana three times over a period of years and have always gone the back way home. Yes, a risk if you would happen to have a problem but the tour buses go that way and it is faster. Once you get past the “bad” stretch it’s not as curvy and is quite a change in scenery from the trip out. Having said that, I would try to find out about the condition of the road and probably wouldn’t choose that route if there had been a lot of rain.

Costa Mesa...
Level Contributor
23 posts
7. Re: Day Trip Itinerary - Too ambitious?

Thanks, everyone! I map quested everything and took out Hamoa Beach. Here is an updated itinerary.. thoughts?

5:45am – leave hotel in Lahaina

6:45am - Twin Falls

8:00am – leave Twin Falls

8:45am - Halfway to Hana Stand

9:00am – leave halfway to hana stand

9:15am - Upper Waikani Falls (3 Bears)

10:15am – leave Waikani Falls

10:45am - Coconut Glenns (Ice cream)

11:00am – leave coconut Glenns

11:30am - Wai’anapanapa State Park (Black Sand Beach)

12:00pm – leave Wai’anapanapa

12:15pm - Thai food by Pranee

1:00pm – leave food and head to seven sacred pools

1:30pm - Oheo Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools)

2:00pm - Pipiwai Trail

4:00pm – head back to Royal Lahaina (3 hour drive)

*Sun sets at 6pm

Maui, Hawaii
5 posts
8. Re: Day Trip Itinerary - Too ambitious?

@DawnB263 Oh that's good to know! I didn't know the back side was forbidden by rental car companies. I know the road weren't as well paved a few years back but I driven through there just this last year and the road is pretty smooth from the Pools all the way back. Maybe too many people decide to go off-track and that's where they get stuck?

Edited: 29 December 2017, 11:41
Destination Expert
for Maui
Level Contributor
23,253 posts
19 reviews
59 helpful votes
9. Re: Day Trip Itinerary - Too ambitious?

Just a note, Jenny...you can add about 30% more time to whatever mapquest/google/gps tells you about onisland travel. Also in January you may well have to deal with rain and road closures that would make it a less than enjoyable trip. Keep an eye on the weather and plan accordingly.

Level Contributor
76,360 posts
18 reviews
16 helpful votes
10. Re: Day Trip Itinerary - Too ambitious?

The backside has had huge sinkholes, washouts, landslides, and rockslides over the last 6-7 months. Parts of it are also seriously undermined and subject to frequent closures.

The Pools of Oheo are still closed.

I would go to the Pipiwai first and work your way back from there.