One of the few drives that rival the Road to Hana is around the backside of West Maui. Driving from Lahaina on Highway 30 up and around the island towards Kahului on Highway 340 affords you a chance to see many breathtaking views. The road tends to get very narrow to 1 lane and follows the cliffs around the mountains. This is definitely a drive where the driver should pay full attention to the road.
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You’ll pass through farmland, alongside rugged mountains, near the lush rainforest, along valleys, and next to the pristine coastline. You’ll pass many scenic spots including the Olivine Pools, Nakalele Point and Blowhole, and the impressive, picturesque Kahakuloa Head. Once you’ve driven all the way around and past Kahului, you’ll come to ʻIao Valley, something not to be missed.
The best way to see the West Maui Mountains is by helicopter tour. Some of the most incredible sights in all of Hawaii can only be seen by helicopter like the “Wall of Tears”, a lush cliff face with dozens of waterfalls draped over it. The West Maui Mountains are older than Haleakala therefore they’re more worn, weathered, and lush. They resemble the same kind of landscape you’d find on the Napali Coast in Kauaʻi.
Exploring the West Maui range from the ground level still offers up some incredible views. Similar to the road to Hana, the road that circumnavigates West Maui is long, winding, sheer, and narrow at times. However, unlike the road to Hana, this stunning strip of coastline isn’t quite on every tourist’s radar and since some of the best stops are invisible from the road, they can easily be missed.
West Maui Mountains Tour
Opting for a tour rather than trying to explore the area yourself is the best way to get the most out of West Maui. Not only will you hit all of the area’s top spots like ʻIao Valley, the Kahakuloa headland, Olivine Pools, and Honolua Bay, but you will also explore some of the area’s hidden gems from Hoaloha’s 4×4 convertible Jeep.
Tours allow you to focus on the stunning views surrounding you- rather than spending the drive white-knuckled behind the wheel. Learn about the history, geology, and fauna of the area, and get a more in-depth look at West Maui than any app or guidebook can offer. Home to the old capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom, some of the island’s best surf spots, and a few of the most significant places in ancient Hawaiian history, you will learn more about West Maui with a tour than you thought possible.