One of the most popular tourist activities on the island of Maui is traversing the Raod to Hana. The Road to Hana is a gorgeous drive through some of the island’s most gorgeous tropical landscapes. Plus, it ends at some pretty fascinating beaches. One can take the Road to Hana in their own car or via a tour that will include all of the popular stops. If you choose to go your own way, make sure to add the Wailua Valley State Wayside Park to your stopping list.
The Wailua Valley State Wayside is located along the Road to Hana about 31 miles east of Kahului Maui. You will find it located about halfway between the town of Wailua and the Upper Waikani Falls (another must-stop on the Road to Hana). The parking lot for this wayside park is located on the west side of the road.
Now, while Wailua Valley State Wayside Park has the word “park” in it, you should not go anticipating a standard park with standard park amenities. More like this is a place where you can simply park. You will see just a small parking lot at first, making it hard for many to understand at first glance why it’s worth the stop. There are no park-like amenities, this means no restrooms, picnic tables, or even trash cans.
But don’t let what the Wailua Valley State Wayside Park doesn’t have to dissuade you. Because what this little pocket wayside park does have is a pretty incredible view that you just might find as the best vantage point on the Road to Hana. Once you find a spot to park, look around, and you will see a massive set of stairs leading up out of the paved parking area. That’s where you want to go.
It’s not the prettiest set of stairs, nor the easiest of climbs, but it is worth it. AT the top of the stairs, you will find a little landing of sorts that serves as a lookout point. From this lookout point, you can see over the rolling hills straight to the ocean, and scan the entire coastline for all of the amazing beaches that exist along this northeastern stretch of Maui coastline. But for many, the true beauty comes when you look away from the ocean.
When you stand at the top of the Wailua Valley State Wayside Park’s vantage point and look inland, This direction reveals the fantastic slopes of Haleakala and on clear days, you will catch sight of several plunging waterfalls in the distance. You can even see a small valley that was formed after a massive lava flow carved away the land.
For those who are hungry for a bit more exploring, there is a small game trail located just off of the side of Wailua Valley State Wayside Park. However, this trail isn’t the clearest cut and is not recommended for most as feral pigs are known to wander this area and can be dangerous. Stay away from the road that is marked for official use only.
-The stairwell up to the vista at Wailua Valley State Wayside Park is not the most sturdy of structures. It likewise has no alternative. So if you or if any of your party members have a disability that prevents stair-climbing, then you will want to pass on Wailua Valley State Wayside Park.
-If you’re not keen on simple lookouts, or don’t like very far lookouts, then this stop is not for you. Consider instead making your stop in this area at the Upper Waikani Falls swimming hole just around the corner from here.