The old saying that “getting there is half the fun” perfectly applies to the Road to Hāna. Of course, there are many terrific things to do in Hāna, but some of Maui’s best-kept treasures and views are along the way, including a dip in the Seven Sacred Pools.
The idyllic chain of lower pools cascading down to the sea in ‘Ohe‘o Gulch number way more than seven. The profuse freshwater pools carved from black lava rock are as cherished by islanders today as by Maui’s first settlers 1,500 years ago. Because they’re located less than 30 minutes past Hāna, many visitors try to cap off their Road to Hāna with this culminating spot. But, like we locals know, there’s a better way.
The pools and hikes are must-do experiences that you really don’t want to rush. I’d recommend that you enjoy getting to Hāna one day, and on another head straight to the pools to take in the peaceful waters during the quiet morning hours. That gives you time to explore one of Maui’s best hikes. Rising above the gulch 650 feet in elevation and following the stream’s sounds and falls, the 4-mile round-trip Pīpīwai Trail leads you to the island’s impressive 400-foot Waimoku Falls — well worth the 2 1/2 to 5 hours of scenic hiking to get there and back.
One stop in particular that has always captured my interest is the Hāna Lava Tube. You’ll experience the geologic past of the island firsthand. The caves can get a little chilly, so this tour is the perfect break from the heat of the day.
The best tip I can give you is to start your day early because there will be so many destinations you will want to see. Plus, you’ll have less traffic to deal with on your way back. With that in mind, make sure your camera is fully charged and ready for all the photo-ops throughout the day.