Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Traveling the Road to Hana and the Other Side of Haleakala National Park

Last week for Travel Tuesday, I showed you the Sunsets of Haleakala National Park on top of the old volcano craters.  Which you can see HERE if you didn't catch it.

This week I'd like to show you the other side, which is a bit more of what you could say is the tropical lush side.  However, to get to the other side of the Haleakala National Park you need to take the Beautiful Road To Hana:) - Additionally, I am also offering a small other day excursion to Iao Valley Monument State Park.


When you first start down this road, your first (if like me) will be, I'll wait and do most of these pullout views at the end of the day on my way back.  Wrong, take the time to do most of them on the way.  I found I never had time on the way back because it was getting dark to stop and see any of the ones I thought I'd grab on my way back down the road.





The pictures above are some of Maui's Black Sand Beaches.  They are beautiful, but not really great for the bear feet.  This particular beach was in the Wai'anapanapa State Park.  I highly recommend this being one of your stops, for a little hiking and exploring.  They have Black Sand Beaches, Sea Caves, Hiking Trails, Beautiful Vista's, Blow Holes and more!
Just a note on this particular beach, the undertow is pretty strong.  If you venture out into it be prepared for it!  Additionally, keep the flip flops on for the most part when walking on these beaches, they aren't the soft sand you think:)


This is one of those sea caves.  You can walk down into.  You won't want to actually get too close to the waves as there is a strong undertow, but its fun to go down in.  It's easy to miss if you don't see people coming out of it.  But its right on the side of the black sand beach in Wai'anapanapa State Park.


Like I said the state park is full of hiking, this is one of the beautiful views from one of the trails I went on.


Another view, from walking around on the walking trails.  This one is the view from up near the blow hole.  I just love the Pacific Blue on the Black Volcano Rock with the Lush Greens!


Some of the views from the trails are like this one.  They have such strong currents, they don't recommend swimming.  I believe I also remember seeing a sign that the waters below these rocks are always filled with a few different types of sharks.


One thing I love about Hawaii, is the tree's.  This one was one of my favorites out on the trail.  If I hadn't of just ran a marathon the day prior to this hike, I probably would have climbed this tree for a picture!!!


Another beautiful view from one of the hikes.  This was actually taken up inside Haleakala National Park.  There are several trail heads and options for day hikes.  If you have time you can do a good majority of them, they are all worth it and beautiful!!!


This is Waimoku Falls, its a beautiful 400 foot waterfall at the end of a hike in the Kipahulu area of Haleakala National Park.


One of my favorite parts of hiking Kipahulu on the Pipiwai trail, was the Bamboo Forests and walking around the trails in them.  Some of you know I do travel alone at times, and this was one of them.  Just so you know it's safe to hike in a National Park alone, because frankly you're never alone there are always plenty of other visitors.  However, this was one of those spots I stopped so I could have a few minutes alone on the trail to listen to the bamboo hit and knock around above and take a few beautiful pictures like the one above.


Now technically for tourists, the Kipahulu is pretty much the end of the road.  Because well the rental car companies make you agree you won't travel off road with their cars.  Well, I am not always one to listen to this.  So yes I will admit I drove much further and about half way down the dirt road.  (I may or may not have been the only non-local on the road.  Fortunately for me, the locals didn't seem to notice or care.  I didn't exactly flaunt I was a tourist, and thanks to my ability to quickly deeply tan, I may have looked the part.  Or possibly I was just delusional, and they just decided to be nice and let me pass.)
I will mention the other side, is beautiful lots of cliffs and on a clear day you can look over to the main island.
However, I am NOT going to recommend you take your rental car.  They are steep windy roads, and little to no turnaround points.  Technically they don't allow tourists unless you sign up for one of the jeep adventures or such, as I swear I saw a group that looked like tourists on a jeep tour when I was on the road.  I did it because well I have this incredible and yet stupid at times need for adventure and I always like to know what is around the next bend:)  Plus, I am from Utah and well 4-wheeling is in my blood, even if I was just in a little sports car:)  No worries, I didn't even put a scratch or pop a tire:)



After your long day of taking the beautiful road to Hana, if your hotel is on the beach on the other side of the Island of Maui, then take a moment to put your feet in the sand and watch one of Maui's beautiful sunsets!  If you are like me, and took way too much time exploring, you'll likely get back well after dark:)  So there is always the next day to sit and enjoy a beautiful sunset too!

Additionally, I'd like to give you a few pictures of Iao Valley, because if you are on Maui, you should go over and take a couple of hours to visit this area.



In Iao Valley, you'll find for the most part easy walking trails to different vista points.  One of the locals told me that back in these mountains, non-available by foot (for the most part) is the beautiful lush green valleys that some of the Jurassic Park Movies were filmed in.  But you'll need a helicopter to see those sites and waterfalls.

Yes, when I went I took hundred's of pictures and I am only showing a few above.  But you'll just have to plan your own trip one day, and take your camera to see everything else yourself!




MY TIPS FOR THIS TRIP

It WILL take all day, so don't plan anything else, and plan to leave early in the morning.

Fill your tank up with gas before you venture onto the scenic road to Hana

Bring lots of drinking water, hiking boots, swimsuit and a beach towel as well as snacks and lunch:)

If you are going to Maui, I recommend a week or more vacation.  There is just so much to do and see.

The roads distance may not seem like much, but you'll not be able to go much more than 10 miles an hour during the drive on this road.  For a lot of reasons, it is small and curvy, but additionally a lot of places are one lane roads, so cars from different directions have to take turns.  But that's okay, there is so much to do and see, you won't mind driving slow so you can take it all in!!!


Adding one more beautiful sunset view to end this post:)

6 comments :

  1. Just beautiful. Makes me want to go, there is something magical about Hawaii.

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    1. That is a good way to put it, magical:) Its one of those relaxing vacation spots, I love going there!

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  2. Beautiful! I am glad you recommended the flip flops. I sometimes get myself into trouble on beaches because I assume it's some sort of soft cushy thing but not always.

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    1. Yeah black sand beaches is really just small lava rock particles, but still fun to see!

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