What does the Haleakala volcano bike tour include?
Our Maui bike tours of Haleakala include all the biking equipment needed for the ride (Redline Monocog Mountain Bike with disc brakes and 29″ wheel, helmet, rain/wind gear, backpack, map, bike lock), as well as a narrated van tour on the drive up from sea level to the peak of the Haleakala volcano. On this narrated van tour, we will familiarize you with the bike route back down the Maui volcano to our shop. Our expert tour guides will explain the history of upcountry Maui, points of interest, Hawaiian culture, and geological features on the route along with various restaurants and cafes where you could stop for breakfast or lunch on the way down the volcano. Before you leave for the Haleakala bike tour, you will have a safety briefing explaining area guidelines and safety tips for the bike tour. We provide everything you need to have a safety, fun, and relaxing Maui volcano bike ride.
How long is the Haleakala bike ride?
The Maui bike ride down Haleakala is approximately 27 miles from the drop-off point near the top of Haleakala to our shop in Paia. Haleakala has an average grade of 5%, but there are many switchbacks on the first portion of the Maui volcano bike ride that eliminate any excessive steepness. Without stopping, the bike tour takes about 1 ½ hours to return to sea level, but on our self-paced Maui bike tour, you can take your time and stop as you please. Many bikers stop to eat at the various restaurants along the route or stop to check out the little town with its many shops and galleries on the way down. You have until 4:30 p.m. to make your way back down to our shop, which is the end of the ride.
Please note that our liability insurance requires that you only ride on the official Haleakala downhill route, which ends at our shop. Biking around Paia after returning to our shop is not permitted. We must say, Paia and its beautiful beaches are better experienced on foot anyway.
On our Sunrise Tour, the average return time with a stop for breakfast is around 10:00 or 11:00 a.m. On the Summit Tour, the average return time including stopping for lunch and sightseeing around town on the way down is around 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. And on our Express Tour, the average return time is around 1:00 or 2:00 p.m. including stopping for lunch and to see the town on the bike down.
Is there a chance of getting lost?
On this Maui bike tour, there is virtually no way you would get lost. On the drive up Haleakala, our tour guides give very thorough directions on where to go biking in Maui. You will also receive a detailed map with your biking equipment. We use the official Haleakala downhill biking route that takes all the guesswork out of finding your way back. There are only 3 turns that you’ll need to remember (2 right and 1 left) which are all in a half-mile range. For the rest of the Maui biking tour, all you have to do is follow the road downhill back to the beach town of Paia. You will be biking on country roads at a maximum speed of 15 to 30 mph. So, you would have to try hard to get lost.
Are there any restrictions?
There are just a few restrictions for your safety. All Maui volcano bike riders must be confident and experienced at riding a bike with hand brakes, not weigh more than 300 pounds, and not be pregnant. All of our Maui bike tours are self-paced cycling tours, giving you the option of staying in your own comfort zone without the pressure of trying to keep up with a group like many of the guided biking tours of the Maui volcano.
Minimum age: Children must be at least 9 or 10 years old and be experienced in riding a bike to ride alone. We trust the judgment of the parent or guardian in determining the child’s skill level. Younger children who are at least 6 years old can ride on a trailer bike where they pedal behind an adult without having to steer or brake on their own. All minors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Maximum age: No restrictions. We have had a 90-year-old bike rider join us, and he was an inspiration to us all. It was actually his fourth time to bike down the Haleakala volcano.
What should we wear on the bike tour?
What you will need to wear will depend somewhat on which Maui bike tour you take.
For those who take the Haleakala Sunrise Bike Tour, we recommend wearing the warmest clothes you have because of temperatures at an elevation of 10,000 ft. on the summit of Haleakala can be extreme, especially during the winter months. We suggest wearing layers of clothes that can be taken off as you descend to warmer temperatures on the Maui volcano tour. We provide backpacks for you to carry your clothes in as well as gloves and wind/rain gear including jackets and pants.
For those taking the 9:00 a.m. Summit Tour, we recommend bringing a sweat shirt for the time you spend at the 10,000 ft. summit of Haleakala.
For both the Summit and Express Tours, normally shorts are okay since most of the Haleakala bike ride will be in warmer temperature during day hours. In addition, long pants are provided with the rain/wind gear included in the equipment.
Closed toe shoes are recommended for all the Haleakala bike tours.
For those without the necessary warm clothing for the Maui Sunrise Tour, we recommend bringing a blanket from the hotel (if that is allowed by the hotel) to keep warm at the summit. You can leave the blanket in the tour van when you start the Maui bike ride. Then you can pick it up at our shop upon return.
Do we need to pack breakfast or lunch?
You will only need to pack food for your Haleakala bike tour if you prefer to have a picnic instead of purchasing food along the way. On the Haleakala bike ride, you will have many opportunities to stop for breakfast or lunch at various restaurants along the route. Our Maui tour guides will point out all the available options on the ride up. We do not endorse any restaurant in particular so you can choose according to your preference.
Bike locks are provided so that you can lock your bike and helmet and be free to go to a restaurant or simply to check out the little towns along the Maui bike route.
Do you provide roadside assistance?
Yes, of course. Bike riding Maui at your own pace allows you to experience the ride at a speed that feels comfortable to you, as well as allowing you to stop and go as you please without getting stuck in a group or to having to keep up with someone else’s pace. However, you do not have to sacrifice your peace of mind. If you need assistance with anything at any time along the Maui bike tour, we will always be available. Just remember to bring a cell phone with you to call us for assistance.
Could the ride be dangerous?
It’s no more dangerous than any other bike ride. Of course, you have to be comfortable riding a bike, be able to use hand brakes, and be able to focus. Like any other activity, there are risks involved.
At Maui Sunriders, we are committed to keeping you safe. With the highest safety rating among Haleakala biking companies, we take great effort to provide you with the safety awareness, guidelines, and briefings you need to have a safe and fun trip. However, ultimately you are in control of the bike. Remember this is a Maui biking tour, not a race. If you decide to bike down Haleakala at 50 mph, then you can make the bike ride very dangerous. And, of course, this is not the place to learn how to ride a bike, so you need to be experienced at riding a bike.
Should we tip the driver?
Tipping is voluntary; however, as in any other service industry, tipping is subject to the level and quality of the service provided. Our Maui tour guides do their best to ensure that your experience is both informative and memorable. If you feel that their performance exceeded your expectations, then yes, they will gladly accept gratuity.
What do I see at the summit?
The highest point on the island of Maui is the summit of Haleakala at 10,023 feet. This is higher than Mt. Everest if measured from the ocean floor. Haleakala is a dormant volcano that last erupted in 1790. The visitor count at the summit exceeds one million annually with peak years of over two million visitors, making it one of Maui’s most popular attractions.
On our Haleakala Sunrise Bike Tour, you will spend approximately one hour at the summit of Haleakala watching what Mark Twain described as “one of the most sublime spectacles that I ever witnessed.” Watching the sunrise from this vantage point is simply awe-inspiring. From here you can also see the crater of the Haleakala volcano, referred to by the National Park Service as the “Wilderness Area.” This eroded volcanic depression is 7 miles long, 2 miles wide, and 2,600 ft. deep with many volcano cones from past eruptions. Most of the time you will also be able to see the island of Hawaii looming above the clouds with its 14,000 ft. peaks, along with views of Molokai, Lanai, and Kahoolawe.
On the Haleakala Sunrise and Summit Tours, you will spend time walking around the summit witnessing the same spectacular views along with the unique landscape and flora only present in Haleakala National Park. The only difference between these bike tours is that on the Summit Tour, you will get to sleep in and will not see the sun come up.
After this beautiful National Park experience on Sunrise and Summit Tours, you will begin the exhilarating bike ride down the volcano all the way to the beach.
What is the difference between the Summit and Express Tours?
On both the Summit and Express Tours, you will have the same Haleakala bike ride, the same equipment, the same route, and the same freedom. They both also check-in at 9:00 a.m. The only difference is that the Express Tour does not include a land tour of the Haleakala National Park. The van will take you directly to the staging area. However, as the van takes you up to the staging area, you will have a narrated tour of the area with great information regarding the bike route, various restaurants and shops along the way, and other helpful information for your Maui bike ride back down to sea level.
The Express Tour is a favorite of those that have already seen the summit or prefer a less expensive tour.
What about the weather? Will I be able to see the sunrise?
Eighty percent of the time the summit is above the clouds allowing you to watch a spectacular sunrise.
The weather on the island varies according to the area. Maui has some of the wettest places on earth (West Maui Mountains) and thus the weather forecast will always predict rain somewhere. The weather can be unpredictable. However, the route where you’ll be biking is usually a less-affected part of the island.
Our biking equipment includes a rain/wind suit, in case you encounter an isolated rain shower, or “liquid sunshine” as we call it on Maui. We receive daily notifications from Civil Defense Agency and The National Weather Service. So in the event we receive confirmed severe weather conditions, we will cancel the tour the evening before your scheduled activity. Please make sure that you enter a cell phone number where you can be reached here on Maui when you make a reservation. Always check your voicemail before you leave the hotel.
One thing we have learned over the years is to be our own weatherman because it is very difficult to predict what the day will be like regardless of the forecast. The Maui bike ride does go through six different micro climates, but for the most part, it’s an endless summer.
What about the rental option?
In addition to our Haleakala bike tours, we also offer a Maui bike rental option where you can come to our shop in Paia and rent mountain bikes for a self-guided tour of Maui’s Haleakala volcano. With this option, you can rent all the equipment that we normally use in the biking tours (mountain bike, helmet, rain/wind gear, backpack, map, bike lock, tool kit, spare tube, and vehicle bike rack), and make your way to the top of Haleakala on your own.
However, using this option means you will need an extra person to drive you to the summit of Haleakala and drive the car back down while you bike to sea level. This option will not work for bikers or biking groups that do not have an extra person that only does the driving.
Often, people ask: “How do I get my car back from the summit?” “Is there a bus that goes up the mountain?” “Should I rent two cars and leave one at the bottom?” “How about using a taxi or even hitchhiking?”
None of these options will work or are very practical for this Maui bike ride. Using a taxi or two cars is very expensive. There are no buses that travel on the biking route, and hitchhiking is very dangerous and highly impractical.
If you do have an extra driver and want to rent a mountain bike for traveling Haleakala, we offer bike rentals in Maui based on availability. We are primarily a bike tour company, so we give priority to tours. For this reason, we do not take reservations on rentals. To ensure you have a bike rental for that day, call our shop the afternoon before you want to rent the bike. At that time, we will know our Maui tour schedule for the next day and will be able to tell you if we have bikes available to rent, or if not, we can direct you to another Maui bike rental company.
Our Maui bike rentals are for 24 hours. Thus, if you would like a bike for sunrise, you can rent the bike in the morning of the day before you want to see the sunrise and keep it overnight. We don’t offer rentals at 3:00 a.m. If you would like the bike for the same day, we offer rentals at 9:00 a.m., which gives you more time to complete the ride and a chance of better weather, along with the opportunity to listen to the safety briefing given to other bike tour guests. Just return the bike by 4:30 p.m. the same day.
The vehicle bike rack will fit 3 bikes. We do not offer any off-road options. No roadside assistance is provided with the bike rental.
Which Maui bike tour is better: Guided or Self-Paced?
There are currently 8 Maui bicycle tour companies to choose from – six are guided and two are self-paced. How did biking down Haleakala start? In 1983, “Cruiser Bob” the originator of the “Maui Volcano Bike Tour” created what is today one of the most popular Maui activities.
Bob’s Haleakala bike tour became an instant success story. It grew rapidly with thousands of visitors a year riding down the volcano. Due to his success, many other companies were formed that used Bob’s biking tour as a model. Many of them are still here, while Bob moved on to other biking adventures. Some claim to be the “original,” but this fame belongs rightly only to Cruiser Bob.
On a typical guided tour, bikers ride in a group of about 13 at the pace of the person in the front of the group. Individual bikers cannot choose their own stops and thus are not able to stop and visit towns along the way. Some companies take bikers to the end of the downhill route at sea level. Others end their ride at an elevation of 2,000 feet elevation. This type of tour is ideal for those that prefer a more structured experience, or for those without a rental car and thus in need of transportation to and from their hotel. The portion of the tour that is spent inside the National Park area is the same regardless whether you have a guided or self-paced Maui bike tour.
At Maui Sunriders, we recognized the need to give visitors an alternative to the old style Haleakala sunrise bike tours, something less expensive that resembled a more familiar type of cycling done at home with family and friends.
In 2001, we started a self-paced Maui bike tour where people could ride down Haleakala without the cumbersome style of riding in a group and with the freedom to stop and go at a more relaxed pace. It’s nice to have breakfast or lunch in one of the many restaurants along the route or simply stop to visit some of the many shops and galleries in the little towns along the way. This way, you also avoid the unpopular hindrance to the local traffic that larger groups create. We eliminated hotel pick-up and drop-off where you spend more time driving around in a van than on the actual bike ride. By riding back to our shop in Paia at the end of the tour instead of being transported back to the hotel, you‘ll be able to explore the North Shore of the island and get to see a little more of the charming small towns in Maui. Whether you are driving from the south side of the island or the west, directions to our shop are as simple as three right turns and you’re at our front door.
We provide roadside assistance for all of our Maui bike tours. Just remember to bring your cell phone to call us at any time for assistance.
How do I find you?
We are located at 71 Baldwin Ave, Paia Hawaii, 96779.
To Find us, drive toward Kahului (Hwy. 30 from West, Hwy 311 from South) as if you were on the way to the airport. Turn right on Hwy 380. At the intersection in front of Big Kmart, turn right on Hwy 36 ( Hana Hwy), follow the sign to Paia, which is about 7 (seven) miles down the road. Once in Paia town, at the only traffic light turn right onto Baldwin Ave. Approximately 150 yards on your left is the Paia Plaza Building, at 71 Baldwin Ave. where our office is located on the back right-hand side (C-1 ~ C-2), behind Dazoo.
Driving time at sunrise: (min.) Kapalua 50 ~ Kaanapali 40 ~ Lahaina 35 ~ Maalaea 20 ~ Wailea 35 ~ Kihei 30 ~ Wailuku 25 ~ Kahului Harbor 15 ~ Hana 1 hour 30 minutes. For 9:00 am check-in add 10 minutes.
What are your Reservation and Cancellation Policies?
PHONE AND ONLINE RESERVATION ARE OUR PRINCIPAL BOOKING SYSTEM. WHEN UPON A RESERVATIONS A CUSTOMER SUBMITS A CREDIT CARD ACCOUNT NUMBER IT IS MUTUALLY UNDERSTOOD AND AGREED THAT HIS/HER RESERVATION IS CONFIRMED, AND AT CHECK-IN TIME HIS/HER SPACE WILL BE GUARANTEED.
CANCELLATION POLICY: 48 HOUR.
WITHIN 48 HOURS FROM THE CHECK-IN TIME OF THE ACTIVITY A RESERVATION CANNOT BE CANCELLED, AND THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE COST OF THE TOUR WILL BE CHARGED.
FOR ALL RESERVATIONS A 10% ADMINISTRATIVE RECOVERY FEE WILL BE CHARGED FOR ALL THE CANCELLATIONS MADE OUTSIDE OF THE 48 HOURS FROM THE START OF THE ACTIVITY.
RESERVATIONS MADE INSIDE THE 48 HOURS PRIOR TO THE START OF THE ACTIVITY CANNOT BE CANCELLED, AND THE FULL AMOUNT WILL BE CHARGED TO THE CREDIT CARD ACCOUNT ON FILE, REGARDLESS OF THE CLIENT PARTICIPATION IN THE ACTIVITY, OR NOT.
FOR PARTIES OF EIGHT (8) OR MORE THE CANCELLATION POLICY TIME IS 72 HOURS.
NO SHOWS WILL BE CHARGED THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE COST OF THE TOUR. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Maui Sunriders Bike Co. reserves the right to cancel a tour without notice, due to weather conditions, lack of participation or mechanical failure at no charge to the client and with an option to reschedule at a later date.
After having participated in the tour of the National Park either for Sunrise or Summit Tour if upon exiting the park the biking portion of the tour is cancelled by the Co. (due to weather for ex.) the client will be charged the Van Rider option price and be reimbursed the balance of the cost of the original scheduled tour.
Due to the limited amount of space on any of our tours, Maui Sunriders Bike Co. does not assume the financial responsibility for any scheduled activity cancelled by the client inside the cancellation policy time, nor for NO SHOWS. However, the client will be given an opportunity to reschedule, by calling the evening before they would like to go (no earlier than 8:00 pm) for the next day based on availability.