Afternoon drive around West Maui on our last day?

The following question was answered by Shyela.


We're looking for something to do after we check out of our hotel (11AM) before we get on our flight (8:00PM). We have never gone the northern route around the West Maui Mountains. If we decide to do that how long would it take and are there any places that we should be sure to stop at?


It is about a 1.5-2 hour drive including stops for picture taking. BUT, this is a tricky one for visitors. The thing about the northern route around West Maui is that many car rental companies do NOT cover you on those roads---so though if you're not covered it is a bummer--you would be in violation of your car rental agreement if you chose to drive on this "forbidden" road. I know it makes it sound that much more tempting, but it is generally restricted for a good reason. In a "coconut shell"--it's basically a windy one lane road with no guard rails right along side very steep cliffs that drop straight into the ocean! There have been a great deal of accidents over the years so please be warned.

If you do feel inclined to visit the area we do offer a few activities that can allow you to enjoy the beauty of the West Maui Mountains in a much safer way than a typical "do it yourself tour" (which for most this usually consists of driving slowly along the road and pulling off from time to time to try to sneak a photo op along the side of the road). Most beautiful locations in the West Maui Mountains are high up on the ridges and deep in the valleys. There are horseback riding adventures with Mendes ranch (which is located on the Wailuku side of the mountains). Coming from Wailuku the route up to Mendes Ranch is full of beautiful sights and bypasses most but not all of the most dangerous narrow sections of the road. Going to Mendes it is still a two lane road. If you want to skip the road completely and see the most remote areas of West Maui you should consider going on a helicopter tour. We have a large selection of helicopter tours of West Maui.

Mendes Ranch Horseback Tour, West Maui Coastline

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I love the view of the North Shore and Haleakala from Mendes Ranch. Favorite view on Maui for sure.