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The Road to Hana - The Reverse Route

Updated: Jan 22

Yes, it's very possible and recommended with the right weather conditions to drive the Road to Hana backwards in a drop top convertible Ford Mustang.


Yes, it's possible take the reverse route to the Road to Hana. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)

Driving the Road to Hana backwards in a drop top convertible


First and foremost is this disclaimer: I am not responsible for your personal actions if you decide to drive the Road to Hana backwards in a drop top convertible, double check your car rental agreement if it's allowed.


With that being said, I can tell you right now that I recently did it.


The first thing I did was plot the places I wanted to see. I checked out an excellent blog post by The Old Wailuku Inn, which details the "12 of the Most Epic Road to Hana Stops".


I decided that I only wanted to see the last five stops, then cap off the road trip with a nice meal at Mama's Fish House. So I plotted the stops using Google Maps, leaving from my favorite city in Maui, the ritzy town of Wailea.



Google Maps screen grab of our route to the Road to Hana backwards. (Screengrab by Digital Nomad Foodie)

The second step I took , which I believe is the most critical is checking the weather forecast. Luckily for me, the weather on that side of Maui showed mostly sunny skies until 3pm. My reservation for Mama's Fish House was for 2:30pm and I finished the entire route (including the stops) by 12:30pm.


I started at 6am to make an educated guess that many people would 1) not wake up that early because they are vacation and 2) even if they did wake up early they would start their drive to the Road to Hana the traditional clockwise route.


Stop and admire the purple flowers of the jacaranda trees along the Piicani Highway. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)

The sights and sounds along Piicani Highway


The beginning of the route has some very spectacular views of jacaranda trees along the Piicani Highway. You can see many beautiful purple flowers both on the trees and some that have blanketed the ground. If it's safe, stop along the side of the road and snap some photos, you'll enjoy them later. Make sure you do this before you start the slight climb around Haleakala because these jacaranda trees will not be there the rest of the route.


As you climb the mountain, you'll also enjoy some awesome views overlooking South Maui. You should also stop and take some photos. Once you start making the turn around the island, you'll also be able to see (if weather permits) a very clear view of Molokini Crater.


You'll see the Molokini Crater out in the distance. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)

Around this time, you'll start to see the well-paved highway slowly change to worn down asphalt and the road will narrow in a major way. It's best to take your time and really enjoy the backside of Halekala, which is very open and definitely not a jungle environment, but it looks like many parts of the Big Island.


If you have a convertible take the top down or roll down your windows so you can listen to goats. Yes, you read that right, there are wild black goats in Maui's Upcountry and you have a good chance to see them on during your drive. Stop and snap some photos of them, they are cool to listen to.


See the black goat in the bottom center of the photo? (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)

After you pass the beautiful scenery of Upcountry and the backside of Halekala, you'll definitely notice the road change into a dirt road (very funny they still call this a highway), you'll also be right next to the Pacific Ocean along with very high cliffs and falling rocks.


At this juncture you need to start being very careful and drive with caution as you'll see big rocks on the road along with blind sharp turns, so use your horn and honk.


Watch out for falling rocks! The warning signs are there for a reason. (Photo by Digital Nomad Foodie)

When you finally reach the first destination, which is the Seven Sacred Pools at Ohe'o, you'll be in the clear and on the Hana Highway. Congratulations, you're now on the Road to Hana. There are plenty of other well-established blogs out there that detail the rest of the way.


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#roadtohana #maui #hawaii