With plenty of sunshine and an abundance of rainfall (as much as 390 inches a year), West Maui was once a major Hawaiian population center and the proverbial playground of royalty (the ali'i) in old Hawai'i. Today, west Maui has become the playground of visitors from around the world and is a popular location for a Molokini snorkel cruise.
Along the shores of west Maui you'll find the resort area of Kapalua (northwest), Kahana and Honokowai (mid-way), visitor community of Napili, and while technically located within west Maui, our Lahaina and Kaanapali region (both in the southwest of this region) has been devoted a section unto itself. Ultimately, west Maui is one of the more developed portions of the island, with several resorts and small towns. The most north-western portion of this region is almostly completely undeveloped and is raw and somewhat barren terrain.
As visitors continue clockwise along west Maui, while driving north along the coastline, as soon as you begin to move east again, around the northwestern tip of the island, the road deteriorates quickly and many rental agencies prohibit your driving in this area (Kahekili Highway - State Route 340). The road improves again near Waihee Valley (popular for the Waihee Ridge Trail) as you get closer to Kahului and the rest of Central Maui. The popular trailhead can fortunately actually be accessed from good roads heading out of central Maui. Past Waihee Valley driving north however, the road quality again deteriorates quickly.