Driving the Reverse Route on the Road to Hana

The reverse route is just what it sounds like. Start your trip from the “Backside” from Kula and travel counterclockwise. So it is advisable? It depends. Why? One thing to consider is that you will be traveling on the right hand side of the road on some of the most scariest narrow sections of the ‘backside’. While traveling the regular route, you will be hugging the mountain side of the road on the one-lane blind corners. On the reverse route, you will be hugging the side of the road closest to the cliff. The other thing to consider is that you will be traveling against the majority of traffic. You will reach the Kīpahulu section of Haleakalā National Park before the tour vans, busses and visitors who take the traditional clockwise route and thus, avoid the crowds during peak hours.

Sidenote: You can not reach the ‘backside’ directly from Wailea.  Even though State Route 31 (Pi’ilani Hwy) is the same highway in Wailea as the ‘Backside’, there is a closed section.  You will need to drive back towards Kahului and take (Route 37 Haleakalā Highway) to reach Kula and the ‘Backside’.