Hawaii May 24, 2017
A Drive Down Hawaii’s Loneliest Highway Will Take You Miles And Miles Away From It All
You will certainly find breathtaking natural beauty wherever you look across the Hawaiian Islands, and the best way to witness these incredible views for yourself is to take a drive along one of Hawaii’s most scenic roads and highways. Living in the shadow of Maui’s famous Hana Highway is the island’s Kahekili Highway – a road just as pretty and perhaps even more dangerous than its famous neighbor. This is easily the loneliest road in Hawaii, and it is an absolute must-visit for anyone who loves long, winding drives along the coast.
Meandering along Maui’s northwestern coast, Kahekili Highway, also known as County Route 240, is notoriously narrow and winding, especially on the stretch of highway between mile markers 6.9 and 16.3, where the changeover from state to county maintenance occurs.
Far less travelled than most highways on Hawaii, Kahekili Highway stretches between Honokohai and Waihe’e, serves as the back door to west Maui, and is home to such points of interest as Honokohau Bay, Nakalele Blowhole and Kahakuloa Head.
The road is marginally maintained, features several blind turns and one-lane bridges, and is often only wide enough for one car to traverse at a time between rock walls on one side and sheer cliff drop-offs on the other.
On many tourist maps, Kahekili is marked as though it’s any other state road, but it’s not: the cliff-hugging road with no guardrails may seem like a faster route from Kapalua to Kahului, but it is most certainly not, at least not in terms of drive time.
You see, Kahekili is not exactly a highway, as speed limits are often capped at a mere 15 miles per hour.
This is about as remote as it gets on Hawaii, and while the views of the rugged and undeveloped west Maui landscapes are second to none, this highway is not for the faint of heart, nor for aggressive and impatient drivers, or those afraid of steep drop-offs and heights.
Some rental car companies won’t even let you drive this road, but if they do, be sure to rent a small vehicle - a truck or van would be a nightmare. It is also advised that you never drive on Kahekili Highway after dark, or when it has been raining, as visibility and road conditions become poor.
The drive is not only treacherous and terrifying, but perhaps one of the most adventurous and picturesque as well - and it’s sure to get your adrenaline pumping.
Love Hawaii’s scenic highways? Be sure to add
these 15 breathtaking scenic drives across the islands to your Hawaii bucket list.