Decisions, decisions. Decisions can be tough, but they have to be made. During a recent getaway to Maui’s Grand Wailea to celebrate my birthday, I was given the rough task of figuring out what to do for the last day of our visit. The options were tough, either a drive up to Haleakala National Park to see the sunset or a drive through the waterfall filled Hana Highway. Sometimes, the decisions that we have to make in life are rough.
Michelle and I have experienced both experienced Haleakala and Hana Highway. And so we knew the pros and cons of visiting each. This is the though process that was going through my head:
- At an elevation of over 10,000 feet, the vistas from the top of Haleakala are unlike any that you will see in all of Maui.
- The drive up Haleakala is “easier” than the drive to Hana.
- The drive up Haleakala and back is shorter than the drive to Hana and back.
- It’s cold up there.
- The high elevation would make us prone to headaches and elevation sickness.
- If we stayed for sunset, then we would be stuck driving down Haleakala in the dark.
The Road To Hana
- The Road to Hana is waterfall heaven. There are waterfalls in almost every conceivable nook and cranny. Some are visible from the road, and others require a short hike.
- Fresh fruit and banana bread stands can be found throughout the highway. You’ll be able to stock up on healthy snacks during the drive, not so much on Haleakala.
- The road can become dizzying for some. If you’re prone to motion sickness, or easy get car sick, then the road to Hana might not be the best idea for you.
- The drive through Hana Highway can be intimidating. Many locals become agitated by slow moving cars with gawking passengers. Pull on the side and let these speedsters pass.
- If you were to drive without stopping it would take about 5 hours to drive to Kipahulu (one way), which is about 10 miles south of Hana town. Sight seeing would likely tack on another 2-3 hours to the trip. Remember, you’ll need to reverse track and drive back the way you came.
So what did we decide on? We went with Haleakala. We concluded that the view from 10,000 feet would be unlike any other on the island. Also, the drive up is much shorter, relative to a drive through Hana Highway. Did we make the right decision? We felt that we did. Was the view worth it? Of course it was. Check out some of the views that we had from the top of Pa Kaoao (White Hill).
Explorers: Coty Gonzales and Michelle Sagucio.