best biking trails in maui

Are you planning a cycling trip to Maui any time soon? The fabulous Hawaiian destination is an excellent area for bikers, with many fascinating biking trails to explore. Whether you are bringing your bike with you or renting a bike in Maui, you will find Maui to be the ideal spot for leisure, exploration, and adventure on two wheels. 

Where to start? With so many exciting biking trails to traverse, it can be a pleasant challenge to decide where to begin. You probably won’t have time to take in all the sights, so it would be best to make a shortlist of the best Maui biking trails and plan your expedition accordingly. 

Here we provide a rundown of some of the best biking trails in Maui so that you can make a more informed decision. Check them out! 

The Haleakala Volcano Bike Tour 

First up–and highly recommended–is the Haleakala Volcano Bike Tour. This tour starts at 6500 vertical feet, just before the Haleakala National Park Entrance (no bike tour operators are allowed to operate in the national park) and the ride finishes in Paia, 24 miles later. Altogether, this self-guided bike tour covers approximately 24 miles and will take from one hour to four hours. 

Bike tours are not allowed to operate in Haleakala national park. Instead, this tour begins just before the national park and gives a beautiful ride of upcountry Maui. This tour is possibly the best way to enjoy the most gorgeous sights that Maui offers. The descent will take 1-4 hours because people will usually stop along the picturesque up-country areas, fruit stands, and shops. The drive to 6500 feet takes 45 minutes through upcountry Maui for your once-in-a lifetime descent down haleakala. 

In any case, the effort to get to the top after your bike ride will be well worth it. It’s a 1 and a half hour drive to the summit from Paia, which we recommend after the bike tour, so you can view the magnificent sunset, because they are better than the sunrises.  No reservations needed after 7am to enter the park and the current entry fee is $30 per car. The summit offers an excellent vantage point from which to enjoy the sunset and locals will tell you sunset is far superior. Plus, you get a commanding view of the magnificent terrain for miles around. 

Kula Forest Reserve Polipoli

Just a 45 minute drive from the bike shop in Paia, you’ll find Kula Forest. This park is best for intermediate to advanced bicyclists and is not a beginner-friendly park. We recommend starting with the Mamane Trail. The Mamane Trail is a beautiful piece of single track through the pine forest in upcountry Maui. Mamane Trail also leads you to Upper Waiohuli Trail and Upper Waiakoa Trail. Currently, those two trails are under construction, but provide access to the Waiakoa Loop Trail on the way down. We are hoping that those will be done in 2021 or 2022. An additional option to add more riding in after Mamane is the Waiakoa Loop Trail on the way down. 

Skyline Trail – This adventure starts at nearly 10k feet in elevation at top of the volcano and finishes in the lush Polipoli forest. Skyline Trail makes you feel like you can see for miles and miles off the edge of the volcano as well as multiple surrounding islands. The first part of the Skyline Trail is a six mile long fire road. Soon you’ll find Mamane Trail, which will offer a great single-track option on the way down that we highly recommend you ride. After the Mamane Trail, you could add on the Waiakoa Loop Trail if you have enough energy, or descend the paved road back down to Rice Park for your shuttle pick up. Please note, the Skyline Trail is mostly 2-track fire road with loose volcanic rock for the majority of the ride so use caution when descending.

In Kula Forest Reserve, you also have the option of trying Boundary Trail but be warned, some areas require dismounting the bike and hiking. This is a more advanced trail.

Makawao Forest Reserve

Mountain biking is an excellent way to explore an area and truly immerse yourself in nature. At Makawao Forest Reserve, it’s a scenic trail for the senses. The trail begins in the eucalyptus forest and the calming aroma of eucalyptus is everywhere.

The Makawao Forest Reserve is about a 25-minute drive from the bike shop in Paia and is a bucket list experience for mountain biking enthusiasts. You’ll likely start with the 5.5 Kahakapao Loop Trail as it leads into the other trails in Makawao Forest Reserve. Kahakapao is a great trail for all levels.

At Maui Sun Riders, we recommend checking out the 2.1 mile Pineapple Express Trail. This exciting trail is the main one that serious mountain bikers visit Makawao Forest for. The Pineapple Express Trail is a flow trail built by the Maui Mountain Bike Coalition in partnership with the International Mountain Bike Association. The International Mountain Bike Association has chapters all over the world and helps build mountain biking trails. The downhill Pineapple Express trail is best for intermediate to advanced mountain bikers.

Makawao Forest Reserve also has a track toward the end of the trail for people to ride along and do tricks.

Check Out Maui’s Biking Trails

Maui is truly a vacation wonderland in more ways than one. Cycling through the island provides excellent opportunities to take in the sights, the sounds, the smells, and the local culture that you wouldn’t experience otherwise. If you want to get a taste of the uniquely Maui experience, check out its many magnificent biking trails!

Visit Maui Sunriders for Maui’s Premier Bike Rentals

At Maui Sun Riders we offer a brand new Fleet of rental bikes on Maui.  Our shop,  located in Paia,  is your destination for finding full suspension, hardtail, e-bikes, 3-speeds, single-speeds, and other bikes. Our family-owned bike shop is staffed with some of Maui’s best cyclists and biking enthusiasts and we are excited to help you find Maui’s best biking trails and the perfect bike to explore them.