The (Back) Road to Hana

Speaking of the Road to Hana (previous post) it is truly one of the top U.S. road trips to do (click here.)  It is 60 some miles of hairpin twists and turns and is crowded with other drivers depending on when you go.  Locally, I would compare it to a little like driving down Snow Hill Manor Road – very scenic with some great views of the water and the surroundings but even more twisty and turney and a whole lot longer and more challenging.  Driving-wise, the Road to Hana is a handful!

What most folks don’t know about the Road to Hana though is that while there is a front road that is the most popular and well known route to Hana, there is also a back road that is less travelled, with good reason, and not as popular.  (The rental car companies prohibit taking the back road mostly because sections of it are unpaved and other portions of it are down right hazardous.)

Ryan talked us into taking the back road to Hana and it was quite the experience.  As we first started out the views were spectacular, and the road was not too bad.  And while the views remained as such, the road itself, as Ryan warned “just gets worse and worse.” 

Here are some photos of the back road to show you what I am talking about.  I didn’t worry too much until we got to the partially washed out section shown here where Ryan locked her door and tightened her seat belt just in case we went off the cliff.  That sure made me sit up straight and focus as I negotiated my way around the turn while blowing the horn to warn any oncoming vehicles that we were on the way.

And when you’re not hooking around hairpin turns along the water’s edge, portions of the road are little more than a cow path – literally!

Thus, to drive the front road to Hana you need to pay attention and be on your game.  However, if you do the back road either to or from Hana you really need to step it up and pay double attention.  Thank God I had Ryan as my tour guide to warn me what to expect and how to proceed. 

Given that I am a Ridge boy and feel like I can drive my way in, out and around most anything, I got to confess that I wouldn’t attempt to do the road to Hana ever again.  To paraphrase, and contradict Carole, I’ve been to Hana and I don’t ever want to, need to nor have to go back again – front nor back road!

P.S. There are many Youtube videos by folks describing their trips to Hana. Here is a 12 minute one that I found where the couple do a nice job narrating what the road is like while following the route and the direction that we took (click here.)  

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