East Maui is a wrap-around term for the strip that curves around the vast base of Haleakala from Pa‘ia to Kipahulu beyond Hana. The Road to Hana is its famed thoroughfare. While there are a few small inns at Paia and at Hana, most people come day tripping. The drive itself is a reason to come.
This is Maui’s wet side, so the road traverses along a jungle-clad mountainside. Every shade of green under the sun blankets the slopes. Plants have leaves as large as an umbrella. Streams cascade through crevices – sometimes a trickle, sometimes a flood. If Hollywood were choosing a jungle location, this would be it. Near its end is Waianapanapa State Park.
The down-slope region of Haleakala National Park is also the goal of many people. Unlike the cinder covered crater some 10,000 feet up, this area has streams and waterfalls and pools for hot day trippers. Just a few miles farther is the tiny Kipahulu churchyard where Charles Lindbergh is buried, and the end of the road. A few daring souls will continue on around the unpaved southeast curve of Maui to Ulupalakua in Upcountry.