If you’re looking for a more rural, rustic, and relaxed side of Maui, then you’ll want to check out Upcountry Maui. This area is located on the slopes of Haleakala volcano and offers stunning views of the island. There are plenty of things to do in Upcountry Maui, from hiking and biking to enjoying local restaurants and shops. This visitors guide will give you an overview of what to expect in this beautiful corner of the island!
What is ‘Upcountry Maui”?
As you move away from the beaches and into the hills of Maui, you get into what is known as Upcountry Maui. It was historically used as farmland growing taro and potato. It is away from the busy beach towns and everyday bustle that you normally see on Maui.
It is much different from the popular tourist oriented cities along the coasts of Maui. No beaches and a much more rural feel to it. The higher elevation means much different weather than the beaches down lower, so be prepared for a much different experience than what you normally would have in Hawaii.
This area includes places such as Haleakala National Park, Kula, Makawao, and Pukalani.
Getting To Upcountry Maui
The most common way to get there is taking Highway 37 out of Kahului.
You will definitely need a car if you plan on exploring the Upcountry. Rental cars, especially in the most recent years have become much harder to get. Remember to plan and book ahead to ensure you can adventure.
Staying in the Upcountry
Upcountry Maui has no resorts to stay at. The locals like it this way, so remember to be respectful when visiting and staying in Upcountry.
Your best option for staying in the upcountry is booking an AirBNB or Vrbo in a nearby town.
The next closest resort is the luxury Hana-Maui resort. It is a fancier place to stay so be ready to spend it if you plan on staying there.
- The Road to Hana
The Road to Hana, also known as the Hana Highway goes into Upcountry Maui. The 64-mile adventure takes you through some of the area’s famous towns such as Kula and Keokea.
You can view our complete guide to the Road to Hana if you’re interested in learning more.
Hiking is one of the best ways to get out and explore. It shows you what the upcountry is really like, and offers views that you normally wouldn’t be able to see.
Some of the best trails are the Waihou Spring Trail, Kahakapao Trail Loop, and the Polipoli Spring State Recreation. These are great options to experience the lesser known sides of Maui.
- Paia Town
While some might say Paia Town isn’t a part of “Upcountry”, it is still close enough to be on the list. It’s a historical town with great food, interesting shops, and a great natural food store.
The town has managed to stay away from the issues that normally crop up in places with heavy tourism. Even if you stop by for a couple of minutes, it’s worth a visit
- Haleakala National Park
Haleakala National Park is one of the coolest parts of Upcountry Maui for a few reasons. For starters, it’s home to the Haleakala volcano, which you can hike to the summit of and watch the sunrise. There are also plenty of other hiking trails in the park, as well as camping sites if you want to spend a night or two under the stars.
And speaking of stars, Haleakala is also one of the best places in Hawaii for stargazing. Thanks to its high elevation and lack of light pollution, the night sky is absolutely stunning. So whether you’re looking to hike, camp, or just take in some breathtaking views, Haleakala National Park is definitely worth a visit.
Explore Upcountry Maui!
Upcountry Maui is a special place that offers an experience much different from the stereotypical view of Hawaii. If you’re looking for a more rural and authentic Hawaiian experience, then Upcountry Maui is definitely worth a visit. Thanks for following our journey throughout this incredible part of the world – we hope you get to come and see it for yourself soon!