Rugged West Mountains, driving the Kahekili Hwy to Maui’s other side – Kahakuloa.
Many people know of the lush green gulches and secluded scenic beauty which Maui’s north east side offers along the Hana Highway. Well, there’s more to Maui’s seclusion and gorgeous landscape in the opposite direction.
From the Kahului & Wailuku area head north on Highway 340, known as Kahekili Hwy. As you drive past Waiehu the two-lane highway starts to narrow. The road starts to wind and curves through tropical desert-like terrain. There are breath-taking views of the blue Pacific Ocean as the road cuts through steep mountain cliffs. On oneside are tall rocky wall cut outs. The other side, only a few feet from the road are instant 100 foot drop offs.
Although still classified as a highway once you get to Mendes Ranch the striped road ends and turns into what seems to be a one lane paved trail. That’s where the real fun, the real beauty starts. The windy road will take you along mountainous terrain and small stream valley’s offering one in a million ocean views.
Continuing, is the village of Kahakuloa. Kahakuloa is a small isolated village tucked away in a valley. The village is home to about 100 people most of whom are direct descendants from the village’s original inhabitants. Kahakuloa has been occupied by Hawaiian people since around 300 B.C. It was a city of refuge for the Maui kanaka maoli.
Hawaiian musicians, The Ho’opi’i Brothers are from Kahakuloa. A “must stop” is Julia’s Best Banana Bread Bakery; mouth-watering!
Continuing northwest is the Olivine Pools where you could spend hours exploring the coastal tidepools. Just up the road is Nakalele Point and Blowhole. Geyser-like ocean fountains can reach over 100 feet high.