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Author Topic: Maui  (Read 2549 times)

Max Rockatansky

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Maui
« on: August 12, 2022, 09:59:00 PM »

Seems I will be going to Maui come September.  Everything is booked and ready to go for said trip aside from a reservation at Wai'ānapanapa State Park.  Considering this is four days and I have non-road people coming along I'm really trying to pair this down to the best roads on the island.  Does anyone have any input if I'm on the right track by planning for the following?

-  Hana Highway
-  Piilani Highway (the one lane segment is pretty in line with what I frequently drive in California)
-  Haleakala Highway and Crater Road (this strikes me as a Pikes Peak type low gear descent from the top of Haleakala)
-  Kahekili Highway
-  Honoapiilani Highway

The non-road people will be the car at minimum for Hana Highway, Haleakala Highway and Crater Road.  I was hoping to loop eastern Maui via Hana Highway and Piilani Highway the same day given I think that I can convince the other two people (one is my wife) that backtracking sucks.  I do have one free day to myself to get around western Maui and try to mop up anything else I can see on the island.  Is there anything major or exciting road wise I'm missing?  I prefer mountain type roads, but I was hoping there was some sort of Old Pali Highway and Farrington Highway style abandoned road out there that I just haven't found yet.  I would be inclined for some trails of note as well, I'm adept for more difficult hikes but my other party members would be more inclined for something moderate.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2022, 10:01:58 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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oscar

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Re: Maui
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2022, 10:39:02 PM »

^ You're on the right track. Honoapiilani Highway (including the partially-completed HI 3000 Lahaina Bypass) is unexciting, but it avoids backtracking on the one-lane county portion of the Kahekili Highway.

I've seen, from the Honoapiilani Highway, what might be a hikeable old alignment, in the Olowalu Tunnel area. But I've never tried to check it out.

Standard tourist advice is to do the Haleakala summit road to catch sunrise on the mountain. I did that once, waking up at 2am. My later visits have been at a more reasonable hour (sometimes around sunset, some not), and those worked too.

The Hana/Piilani loop takes you by the much overrated "Seven Sacred Pools" (more than seven, none more sacred than any other pools). I'd stop there for a pee break, and also check with a ranger about road conditions on the unpaved and sometimes impassible part of the Piilani.
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Rothman

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Re: Maui
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2022, 10:47:41 PM »

Haleakala is fine when not at sunrise.  Felt the elevation when I was up there.  Do not mistake a prairie chicken for a nene.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Maui
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2022, 11:15:03 PM »

Fortunately, I did talk my wife out of thinking competing with the sunrise crowd at Haleakala was a good idea.  We are on the same page about wanting to get a decent hike in at a decent hour somewhere near the summit. 
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oscar

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Re: Maui
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2022, 11:27:54 PM »

Do not mistake a prairie chicken for a nene.

Nene are not exactly the Einsteins of the bird world. They'll carelessly walk into traffic, one reason why they're an endangered species.
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bing101

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Re: Maui
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2022, 12:42:28 AM »

Road to Hana is one of the most scenic drives I been to in Hawaii. Hand down it is one of a coastal routes that could beat PCH.

https://roadtohana.com/
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triplemultiplex

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Re: Maui
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2022, 01:46:17 PM »

Do not mistake a prairie chicken for a nene.

Nene are not exactly the Einsteins of the bird world. They'll carelessly walk into traffic, one reason why they're an endangered species.

But the primary reason they are super endangered is because rats absolutely devastated their ground nests.  Then the invasive mongoose on the Big Island started eating them all.  Compared to that, car strikes are a drop in the bucket.

Still, you don't want to be "that guy" who runs over a famously endangered species. :P
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Sub-Urbanite

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Re: Maui
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2022, 11:59:59 AM »

The Road to Hana and Piilani Highway are exhausting. They're fine but they're just draining to do because of the mental strain of doing them – slowing down, speeding up, taking them in, tight corners, one-lane segments, falling mangoes, watching for other drivers – I've seen lots of roads like them before, but not with that many people on them.

Here's what I wrote last year about Piilani (and I'm not trying to throw shade by quoting that last line):

Well, I drove it.

Thoughts:

1. It was tighter than a Mormon’s britches. This wouldn’t be a problem if other drivers practiced some common sense, but it seems a lot of folks leave common sense behind when they travel to Maui.

1b. What’s common sense?

- Driving with your window rolled down
- Honking at blind corners
- Looking ahead on the road and stopping at the nearest pullout if there’s a car approaching
- Knowing the width of your rental car and getting it as far off the road as possible
- Not doing the drive in a *car*. This road is definitely for trucks. I saw a guy taking a Camaro on it and was really, really sad for him.

2. Functionally, it wasn’t terrifying. The cliffside portions were crazy, and, yeah, could easily cause a problem if you’re on a one-lane road, along the ocean, and people aren’t behaving nicely. Thankfully I didn’t run into that.

2b. It was a slog though. Because it was narrow, because of the constantly watching for other drivers and thinking ahead, because of the rough asphalt (the gravel wasn’t bad) it was just … work. And to be honest, the Road to Hana is also work, it’s just work on better asphalt.

3. But holy crap it was gorgeous. To go so abruptly from the jungle of Kipahulu to the desert of the Leeward side was incredible. I am glad the road is not in perfect shape so as to keep it from being a drier version of HI 360.

So, for future travelers reading this thread, first, thanks for searching before posting. Second, you probably won’t trash your rental car doing this. Third, use common sense and assume others won’t.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Maui
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2022, 12:09:13 PM »

Thanks for the assessment, the way it reads kind of reminds me of stuff like Kaiser Pass Road during a summer weekend.  Apparently my wife wants to see a water fall that is located all the way near Hana.  The way I see it, no point in doubling back on Hana Highway when the eastern half of the island can be visited.
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Sub-Urbanite

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Re: Maui
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2022, 07:07:54 PM »

Thanks for the assessment, the way it reads kind of reminds me of stuff like Kaiser Pass Road during a summer weekend.  Apparently my wife wants to see a water fall that is located all the way near Hana.  The way I see it, no point in doubling back on Hana Highway when the eastern half of the island can be visited.

Yeah, just understand – you're going to run up against chuckleheads going the other way leaving you inches to spare between your cars. A couple times, I had to tuck in my side view mirrors to get through. I wouldn't attempt it in A) a large SUV, or B) a car. Nissan Rogue all the way. The drive was fabulous, though.
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Re: Maui
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2022, 12:49:50 PM »

A little more spare time and a little more context.

Assuming you're staying on the leeward side – whether in Lahaina or Kihei, doesn't really matter. Central Maui is the pinch point for all of it.

I highly recommend downloading the Maui tour from Gypsy Guide. A really, really good GPS tour guide that provides great context and useful driving instructions.

  • Round Hana. Start early in the morning - as early as you can - shooting to get to Hana by noon. Go around to Kipahulu, with a goal of leaving Kipahulu by 3 p.m. I want you to be clear of the long shadows by the time you pass Kaupo and the pavement improves significantly.
  • Central Maui Day, finishing with sunset on Haleakala. If you're into route clinching, you're going to have to just do some weird back-and-forth in central Maui, including the drive up to Waihe'e. (If route clinching isn't that important to you, I say skip Waihe'e). I think sunset on Haleakala is better than sunrise, but I'm not a morning person. If you want parking, expect to be leaving Pukulani by 4 pm – that'll give you time to stop and check stuff out on the way, like Hosmer Grove and crater rim hikes.
  • North end day. Touristy stuff. Blowhole. Hikes.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Maui
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2022, 12:58:37 AM »

Just wrapped up Day 1 in Maui, it was kind of eventful.  We ended up getting in at 9:20 AM and it was pretty much a straight shot the rental car facility.  I'm to understand the dirt parts of Piilani Highway have weathered to the degree that it is currently impassable "somewhere."  To that end I'll to consider what to do with the one-lane Maui County maintained part of Piilani.  The rest of the Hawaii Route and Maui County Routes (I think, it seems to be a little clearer than O'ahu) I do have a plan in mind to get by Saturday morning. 

Anyways the eventful part of today was my initial rental car having an engine issue which reduced the power.  Fortunately, I was in Wailuku when my rental had said issue and was able to limp back to the airport for a swap out.  I ended up with an upgrade, so I guess it worked out.

All that aside did knock out a bunch of routes (State and Maui County) in the center of Maui today:

- 31 in Kihei area
- 32
- 32A
- 33/330
- 36A
- 311
- 380/3800
- 3400
- 3500

My photos are a little disorganized, but I did manage sort/snip/filter them:

https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjA836d
« Last Edit: September 22, 2022, 01:06:23 AM by Max Rockatansky »
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Maui
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2022, 01:56:10 AM »

Apparently the impassable part of Piilani Highway is between Mile Markers 31-39:

https://mauinow.com/2022/05/03/piʻilani-highway-remains-impassable-from-mile-31-39-due-to-landslides-road-damage/
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kurumi

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Re: Maui
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2022, 11:56:57 AM »

Around 2000 there were some old embossed route signs in Wailuku for HI 33 and 34. Those might be gone by now. (Oscar Voss has some photos: http://www.hawaiihighways.com/photos-Maui4.htm)
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Maui
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2022, 12:11:57 PM »

Around 2000 there were some old embossed route signs in Wailuku for HI 33 and 34. Those might be gone by now. (Oscar Voss has some photos: http://www.hawaiihighways.com/photos-Maui4.htm)

Unfortunately seems they are all gone.  Interestingly 33 has a modern shield approach Market on 32 westbound.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Maui
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2022, 03:19:16 AM »

Today we did a run on Hana Highway and back.  Specifically my wife wanted to see Waiʻānapanapa State Park which we had reservations for during the 12:30-3 PM window. 

The HI 360 portion of Hana Highway is rugged to be sure, but it definitely wasn’t quite as harrowing as many made it out to be.  Comparing HI 360 Hana Highway to the one lane backroads I normally drive on the west coast it didn’t come off as too daunting.  Going out wasn’t too bad given most of the tourists had already left for the day I assume earlier in the morning.  There was a couple drivers heading eastbound who very obviously bit off more than they could chew and turned around between MM 8-16.  I did note a “end of state maintenance” sign for HI 360 in Hana at Keawa Place. 

Heading back west had me in the middle of a bunch of local vehicles.  They moved generally double the speed limit but some of them tended to get pushy when they caught slower drivers.  Suffice to say it was quite the contrast of seeing both variations at yield points and one-lane bridges.  The most difficult segment of HI 360 seemed to be MM 18-22 heading east and west. 

Anyways, got a crap ton of pictures today which mostly turned out in some sort of acceptable manner:

https://www.flickr.com/gp/151828809@N08/0K79tf4JZ4
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74/171FAN

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Re: Maui
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2022, 06:24:37 AM »

Well HI 360 looks safer than WV 72 south of Parsons.   Anyway I am surprised that HI 360 does not get a general 10 ton weight limit like many roads in northern PA if all of the bridges have a maximum 10 ton weight limit already.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Maui
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2022, 12:08:49 PM »

Well HI 360 looks safer than WV 72 south of Parsons.   Anyway I am surprised that HI 360 does not get a general 10 ton weight limit like many roads in northern PA if all of the bridges have a maximum 10 ton weight limit already.

I didn’t capture them but the weight limit signage on the westbound trip was better.  There was even one bridge with an 8 ton limit:

https://flic.kr/p/2nNnZH2
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oscar

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Re: Maui
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2022, 12:37:46 PM »

I did note a “end of state maintenance” sign for HI 360 in Hana at Keawa Place.

That's the end of state maintenance for the Hana Hwy. HI 360, last I checked, takes an unsigned turn before the end of maintenance sign, down Keawa Place to the (now closed) Hana Bay wharf.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Maui
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2022, 12:44:59 PM »

I did note a “end of state maintenance” sign for HI 360 in Hana at Keawa Place.

That's the end of state maintenance for the Hana Hwy. HI 360, last I checked, takes an unsigned turn before the end of maintenance sign, down Keawa Place to the (now closed) Hana Bay wharf.

Quite possible, I did observe Keawa Place to have a similar surfacing to HI 360.  Most older USGS maps display HI 36 and later 360 entering Hana via Uakea Road and making a right Keawa Drive.

Also, HI 3800 is now open between HI 380 and Kahului Airport as Mayor Elmer F. Cravalho Way.  HI 380 on Dairy Road is actually signed as a Business Route (I need to retake my photo today) now. 
« Last Edit: September 23, 2022, 01:27:30 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Maui
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2022, 02:36:38 AM »

Day 3 consisted of a trip up to the top of Haleakalā via Haleakalā Highway.  Haleakalā Highway didn't really offer much in the way of surprises given it seems to be fairly well documented.  That said, I was amused by the one-lane bridge found on the HI 377 section of Haleakalā Highway.  We opted for some hiking from upper visitor center instead of the tourist centric pre-sunrise drive (which now requires a 3-7 AM reservation):

https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjA8pCp

I did find an NPS article today on the history of the Haleakalā Highway:

https://www.nps.gov/hale/learn/historyculture/hale-highway.htm

Notably I think that I stumbled upon the construction of HI 374 in Kihei the first day of the trip.  There was a new roundabout on HI 31/Piilani Highway under construction and a new road jutting eastward.  Can anyone confirm if this is indeed the Kihei-Upcountry Maui Highway?

IMG_4138 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr
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gonealookin

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Re: Maui
« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2022, 06:02:19 PM »

Notably I think that I stumbled upon the construction of HI 374 in Kihei the first day of the trip.  There was a new roundabout on HI 31/Piilani Highway under construction and a new road jutting eastward.  Can anyone confirm if this is indeed the Kihei-Upcountry Maui Highway?

No, the roundabout being built on HI 31 in Kihei is for access to the new high school that's being built on the mauka side of the highway.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Maui
« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2022, 09:54:42 PM »

Notably I think that I stumbled upon the construction of HI 374 in Kihei the first day of the trip.  There was a new roundabout on HI 31/Piilani Highway under construction and a new road jutting eastward.  Can anyone confirm if this is indeed the Kihei-Upcountry Maui Highway?

No, the roundabout being built on HI 31 in Kihei is for access to the new high school that's being built on the mauka side of the highway.

Too bad, it almost lines up with the 374 corridor described on Oscar’s site.  No wonder I couldn’t find anything on the Hawaii DOT page.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Maui
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2022, 11:39:14 PM »

Started our blogs with Hawaii Route 3800 given that is the newest State Highway on Maui:

https://www.gribblenation.org/2022/09/hawaii-route-3800-to-kahului-airport.html
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Maui
« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2022, 09:30:51 PM »

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