Even the most far-flung reaches of Maui are accessible. Sort of. The back road around the northern tip of the island from Kapalua to Wailuku snakes through a rugged landscape relieved occasionally by patches of emerald green taro fields, bizarre rock formations and goats foraging the cliffs. The drive begins on Highway 30, north of Kapalua.
The road is paved, but narrows to less than two lanes in many areas.
Past Kapalua’s pineapple fields, there’s a side road that leads to D.T. Fleming Beach Park in Honokahua Bay. Past that is Honolua Bay, considered the best winter surfing spot on the island. Beyond that is Honokohau Valley, a small settlement of residents, recognizable by a tropical fruit stand. Highway 30 ends here and turns to Route 340 as you head out of the valley. About a mile down the road, you’ll see a sign for Nakalele Point, the site of a lighthouse of the same name and a blowhole powered by surf.
Continuing on, you’ll approach the picturesque fishing village of Kahakuloa, one of the oldest communities on Maui. A few miles past the settlement, at mile marker 11, the pavement begins to widen. As you come around Waihe’e Ridge near the Boy Scout Camp, you can see views of the northeastern shore from Kahului to Ku’au Bay. Soon you will approach Wailuku and the return to civilization.