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Road to Hana in Reverse

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Ontario, Canada
posts: 10
reviews: 103
Road to Hana in Reverse

I'm going to be Maui at the end of the month. I was wondering about doing the road to Hana in reverse (i.e. via Ulupalakua, then Kaupo, Hana, Kailua, etc.). From the other comments I've read most people are weary of some back roads which would otherwise be after oheo gulch.

I have a few questions:

1) Can it be done in reverse or do I face the possibility that some of the back roads would be closed at this time of year and hence I would be better off going the normal route.

2) How often do these back roads actually encounter problems? I will have a convertable not a 4WD vehicle if that makes a difference.

3) Is the road normally crowded and therefore is it worth doing it in reverse? If so I'd be getting to the tourist points/attractions in reverse order and therefore before/after most people.

Any comments are appreciated. Thank you.

LA
Destination Expert
for Kohala Coast, Island of Hawaii
posts: 9,327
reviews: 1
1. Re: Road to Hana in Reverse

It's not a shortcut.

Princeville, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
posts: 32,852
reviews: 2
2. Re: Road to Hana in Reverse

All majore rental car companies will prohibit you from driving part of this road. It's a stretch approx. 10-12 miles in, to just on the other side of Kaupo. The road conditions could be fine but the road is not regularly maintained. It's not particularly dangerous just isolated. It's a long way from nowhere!! No cell service either. It's a heck of a lot easier to go clockwise around, going no further than about Kipahulu and not pay large tow fees!!

This road can be dangerous in the winter months when it's been raining. No one should be on this road during those kind of conditions.

Ontario, Canada
posts: 10
reviews: 103
3. Re: Road to Hana in Reverse

Thanks for the comments thus far. I thought is might be nicer to go all the way around then make the drive and have to turn around. Isn't it considerably shorter to just keep going despite the back roads?

I've driven many country dirt, gravel, and heavily snow covered roads. Is the 10-12 mile stretch not really used at all even by locals? Just seems to be a waste to have to turn around at the end and do the same route back.

Thanks.

WWA
posts: 1,839
4. Re: Road to Hana in Reverse

PM sent

Princeville, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
posts: 32,852
reviews: 2
5. Re: Road to Hana in Reverse

Locals use this road all the time. It's really not that the road is so bad that the car companies don't want you on it, it's that it is so isolated and they WILL NOT COME OUT TO HELP YOU. If you have a car problem tow fees will run in the hundreds of dollars.

No, it's really not any shorter. You probably could save a whopping 20 minutes off the drive by going all the way around. Like Pareo said, it's not a short cut.

Will something happen that you will be stranded in the middle of nowhere? Probably not, as Patrick will pm you and tell you it's perfectly fine to drive this road. Just remember the green will be coming out of your pocket, not anyone elses!!

Driving this road during the winter months could add insult to injury. Frequent flash floods, washouts and rock falls are common.

Salt Lake City
posts: 7
reviews: 6
6. Re: Road to Hana in Reverse

I have driven this whole road before and ran out of time to see 7 sacred pools etc. We are going in Feb and plan to go in reverse. When we drove it before, we couldn't figure out what all the hype is over road conditions. It was just a dirt road, no big drop offs or real narrow areas. I say "go for it"!

Edited: 10:23 pm, January 01, 2012
7. Re: Road to Hana in Reverse

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Removed on: 12:07 pm, January 05, 2012
WWA
posts: 1,839
8. Re: Road to Hana in Reverse

"" Probably not, as Patrick will pm you and tell you it's perfectly fine to drive this road. Just remember the green will be coming out of your pocket, not anyone elses!!""

I purposely PM'd him so there might be less bickering. Not sure why you couldn't you just let it go? You already gave him your opinion. I gave him mine. Really don't need you giving your take on WHAT YOU THINK I SAID. OK?

What I gave him was balance.

This is not balance. It just isn't. No way is it EASIER to back track. And referring to two fees that happen a fraction of 1% of the time. No balance.

""It's a heck of a lot easier to go clockwise around, going no further than about Kipahulu and not pay large tow fees!!""

Edited: 10:32 pm, January 01, 2012
San Jose, California
posts: 1,199
reviews: 51
9. Re: Road to Hana in Reverse

My parents drove the RTH all the way around about 15 years ago, by accident. They did not know that they were supposed to turn around, and were not paying attention to the road signs.

They were scared out of their wits! And told me to never, ever attempt that drive. I have done the RTH a number of times, and always do the usual round trip.

RTH is not a bad round trip. On the way in, we listen to the CD, watch for the MM and focus on stops. On the way out, we just enjoy the drive. It is so beautiful, you do not get tired of looking out again and again.

ON, Canada
posts: 10,088
reviews: 34
10. Re: Road to Hana in Reverse

Happy Traveler ... perhaps the road wasn't in as good condition 15 years ago as it is now. There was nothing about that road that caused us any worry when we drove it this past May.