Proceeding south from Hana, be sure to take the side road to Hamoa Beach, one of Maui's loveliest beaches. Your next stop is likely to be Haleakalā National Park at Kipahulu and the Oheʻo Gulch Pools, ten miles past Hana. The pools can only be accessed by walking from the park's visitor center parking lot. The pools cascade over waterfalls from pool to pool. If the waters are flowing, you're likely to have quite a sight.
Travel books, drive guides, and rental car maps will tell you not to drive south of Kipahulu. Don't accept that as the last word. These standard publications tell you that many miles of roadway beyond this point are unpaved and dangerous. In reality, you will find about five total miles of road that, while unpaved, is well graded, and a lot of the rest of the road is paved if a bit bumpy.
The key is, if the posting on the board at the Ranger Station at ʻOheʻo Gulch tells you that the road is open to ALL vehicles, then go for it! You will be back at your resort near Lahaina, Kihei or Wailea in about 2-3 hours, well short of what it would take you to retrace your steps back along the Hana Highway. Furthermore, while a bit rough, the road has far fewer turns, bridges and curves than the road to Hana from Paʻia, and is a much easier drive.
Before you reach the unpaved portion of the road and just a little past Kipahulu, be sure to stop at the Palapala Hoʻomau Congregational Church and the burial spot of Charles Lindbergh. This is a really hard to find left turn from the highway. Look for the sugar mill ruin to your right and then the turnoff straight ahead on the left.
The total trip from West Maui to Hana and around the southern part of East Maui is about 180 miles. The trip is not easy, but it is an experience that you should not miss and one you'll never regret making.
There is so much to see and do on Maui. We've tried to show you our favorites. You certainly can't see all of these attractions in one day or even on one trip. That's one of the reasons that so many tourists come back to Hawaii again and again.