Kaupo Coast, Maui
excerpt from Maui Trailblazer guidebook:
“Begin early morning. Take Highway 37 past Kula and continue as it becomes Highway 31. For many visitors the Kaupo coast will be Maui’s most pleasant surprise – gulches becoming canyons along a rugged wilderness coast rich with archeological sites and all of it under the towering relief of Haleakala.
After rounding the bend at Kula, you may wish to take a first rest stop at Sun Yat Sen Park at mile marker 18. But save a refreshing wine-tasting and historical tour at Tedeschi WInery, just down the highway, for the homeward leg. Don’t miss it – the sublime, parklike grounds were a favorite stop for Hawaii’s last king, David Kalakaua, as well as author Robert Louis Stevenson.
A couple miles past Tedeschi, which is on the grounds of Ulupalakua Ranch, the road narrows, and you start to pick up views down to the lava flow on the Kinau Peninsula at La Perouse Bay. Cinder cones rise frm the desert flora of the slopes. The road begins a long descent, passing the Lualailua Hills and reaching near sea level at Manawainui Gulch.
The highway stays near sea level for the next several miles. Stop at will. Along this coast you can truly explore. You will most likely want to see the petroglyphs at Nu’u Bay. After Nu’u, the highway climbs to Pu’u Maneoneo, where you can hope out of the car for a perspective on where you’ve just been.
For the next several miles, the partially paved road winds through ranchlands, passing St. Joseph’s Church and reaching the sanctum sanctorum of this coast, the Kaupo Store. Hours are iffy. From here, adventurers wanting the area’s best hike can try the Kaupo Trail, that scales Haleakala and reaches the park through the Kaupo Gap.
About a mile from the Kaupo Store is the quaint Huialoha Church. Recently the access road was chained off to deter visitors. Drive down the main highway for a better view of the chuch and it’s rugged beach.”