Monday, January 21, 2019

Maui :: Pipiwai Trail and Road to Hana

     What do you do when you've got 48 hours on Maui?  Why you go and fill up every second of your time with stuff to do, of course!  I've been meaning to write this blog post for a while, but got too busy for my own good.  Don't worry, I remember every detail of this day, and rest assured, if you don't read about it, you'll see it in photos!  Personally, I prefer the photos. 😉

     For one of my free days, I took my friend Mike hostage (joking - he went willingly - sucker!) and we set out early one morning to hike the Pipiwai Trail.  The shortest distance from where we were (Kahului) was to drive the southern portion of Maui, and not the northern roads.  It just makes one big circle around the coast of Maui, and both end up in Hana if you drive long enough.  Even though I am crazy, I wasn't insane enough to drive to Hana knowing how little time we had.  I figured we could get a taste of this road to Hana, and also be able to hike to a nice waterfall in the process.  

     The road started off like any other road, and soon became a two lane road (below).  It took us through some gorgeous countryside and honestly, this was probably the most enjoyable part of the drive.  It was so peaceful not to see people and cars everywhere.  We've made a good decision, I thought. 

     So I'm ashamed to admit this, but I prefer to drive smaller cars.  I didn't feel comfortable driving a large SUV in a place I've never been to, so the lady at Hertz kindly allowed me to release my hold on a Jeep and rent one of my go-to rental vehicles - a Nissan Versa!  Don't hate.  While this car may not be fast, it is a fun, zippy little drive.  I could park it anywhere, and after the drive to Pipiwai Trail, I was SO thankful I chose this car!

     We really enjoyed pulling off on the side of the road to take pictures.  Knowing there wasn't a caravan of cars behind us really made this easy to do.

     As we kept driving, the condition of the road changed a little.  It became less paved, and honestly looked like it needed some maintenance.

     However, it was worth it to be greeted to views like this!  It was a bit scary to drive the one lane portion of this road (you can see it closer if you click on the picture below) where you're right next to the ocean.

     There were parts of the drive that made me really nervous.  While it was easy enough to observe the rules of the road for parts where there was only one lane, the condition of the road really concerned me.  I knew we had a spare tire, but imagine if we got two flats?  I've actually had this happen can could only imagine how long it would take a tow truck to come get us.  Eventually, we saw this sign and breathed a sigh of relief.  We were very close to the trail head at last!

     After a small bit of driving, we got to the visitor center of the park.  After we paid the $25 fee, we parked, did a quick restroom break, and began our little adventure.  Seeing this map below, I thought to myself, Okay - not too bad.  We can totally do this!

     Then you see signs like this, and you think, Someone must've been dumb enough to do these things, or maybe there really are some dangers here!

     A little less than 10 minutes into the hike, Mike decided he needed to go back to the visitor center.  I agreed it was a good idea for him to head back because the ground was pretty slippery in some spots, and he was having trouble maneuvering the trail.  We didn't want to risk an injury so Mike headed back and I decided to finish the trail on my own.  

     There was some lovely foliage, which is to be expected on Maui.  I remember scrolling through my photos and noticing that the only pop of green on my iPhone camera roll were the photos I took on this hike with my phone!

     I've never been to Vietnam, but this portion reminded me of how Vietnam is portrayed in a lot of war movies.

     The trail was really easy to follow.  This was the first (and only) waterfall I saw.  There was another one at the end of the trail, but I knew I wasn't going to do the entire trail.  I stopped to take a few photos, and trudged on.

     I think during another time of day (and maybe having a different lens on me) this picture could've been pretty cool.  This thing was humongous!

     Eventually, I made it to one of the things I wanted to see - the bamboo forest.

     Again, what I loved about this was that there was hardly anyone around - okay, except maybe for this dude that walked into my photo.  I wish I had more time to just chill here all day, but I had to get back to Mike, and I could feel something biting me and knew I had made a bad decision not to bring bug spray.

     It was all downhill heading back to the visitor center where I met up with Mike again.  We were both tired, and I was already starting to itch from the bug bites.  Sadly, there wasn't any food for sale at the visitor center.  This was so disappointing, not only because we were both thirsty, but because they'd make a killing on selling water alone!

     Once back in the car, we drove until we came across this little fruit stand that also sold drinks.

     After we paid highway robbery prices for a small glass of iced tea, we were on the road again!  Definitely make sure you bring enough snacks and drinks if you're considering driving around Maui.  There isn't much available in terms of convenience stores.  And in case you're wondering, you won't find a gas station either - at least not along the road we took!

     Here are a few more lovely stops on the way back.

     So what did we learn from this little adventure?

1)  Bring more drinks and snacks.
2)  Make sure your spare tire is in good condition and inflated.
3)  Have a full take of gas before you head out.
4)  Always use bug spray

     Seriously, BRING BUG SPRAY!  Whatever bit me, it was no joke!  I looked like I had chicken pox for a good two weeks after this! 😬  

     Thanks for reading!  😉


  1. should've bought the aloe vera for the bug bites. nice photoes. i miss hawaii. must go back.

    1. I used calamine lotion and it seemed to help. Luckily I only have minor scarring in some places 😬