If you drive the winding and scenic Road to Hana it is well worth taking some time to go about 10 miles (16 km) past Hana town to explore the remote and rugged Kipahulu area on Maui’s southeastern coast.
Kipahulu was an important Hawaiian farming village in ancient times and later became a sugar plantation town. After the closure of the sugar mill in 1923 the Kipahulu area became cattle ranching country and also served as a port for inter-island steamships.
The Upper Kipahulu region between Kaupo and Hana is part of Haleakala National Park. This is the site of the popular Oheo Gulch where you can hike the Pipiwai Trail through rainforest areas and a bamboo grove to the 400-foot Waimoku Falls. After the hike enjoy a swim in the Seven Sacred Pools, more appropriately called the Pools of Oheo.
Also in the Kipahulu area is the burial site of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh at the historic 1857 Palapala Hoomau Church eight miles south of Hana on a small road just past Mile Marker 41 on the ocean side of the highway.
Famous for being the first person to fly along across the Atlantic Ocean, Lindbergh lived out his last days in the Hana area with his wife Ann Morrow Lindbergh. Lindbergh’s granite headstone quotes Bible Psalm 139: “If I take the wings of morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea...”
Next to Lindbergh’s gravesite is Kipahulu Lighthouse County Park with picnic tables and shaded areas that provide a nice place to relax and enjoying the Maui day. Kipahulu means Fetch from exhausted gardens,” a reference to the area’s farming past.