Maui Sunriders offered Haleakala sunrise tours for 18 years! We know them VERY well and we decided after all these years, we bid farewell to sunrise tours.
HERE IS WHY WE SUGGEST YOU THINK TWICE BEFORE BOOKING a Haleakala SUNRISE bike tour:
1. Not a good Value.
To book a sunrise tour with any operator these days will cost you about $200-$220 per person due to changes within the National Park system! Our tour is only $70. We share with our guests the option to catch the sunrise on your own for a $25 park entrance fee per car and a $1.50 online reservation fee through the National Park website. (book ahead! or better yet – do sunset!) Save $265+
2. We all start riding at the same place.
When you do a sunrise/summit downhill bike tour, you have to get back in the shuttle van and drive down to 6500ft’ where all bike tours are Permitted to start and that is where we begin our ride…(right outside the National Park entrance.) You don’t get to bike down from the summit! We offer the longest self-guided downhill, with the least amount of climbing. We are the only physical bike shop for the Downhill bike tour in Paia.
3. Traffic & Safety.
Riders are often groggy and sleepy while biking which isn’t safe. You will be biking down with all the sunrise traffic coming down the mountain as well as local rush hour and for some that can be a little unnerving. With our haleakala downhill ride beginning later, there are less cars on the road which makes it safer and a more comfortable ride down.
4. You’re on Vacation.
Sleep in! Do you really want to wake up at 2am on vacation? Also most of the shops & restaurants that you get to explore on our self-guided tour will be closed in the early morning during the sunrise rides.
5. Haleakala Sunsets are Better Anyways.
The Sunsets at Haleakala are just as good if not better. They are also much warmer, way less people (no reservation needed) and so much less of an ordeal, like waking up at 2am on vacation. With that our favorite recommendation is to join us at 9am for your downhill ride. Enjoy Paia and the beaches after the ride, maybe have an early dinner in town…and then drive up and watch the sunset. You can enter the park an hour early and explore the park, hike around a bit and see it more than you would at sunrise. Bring a towel, beverages of choice, Hawaiian picnic and watch the spectacular sunset! It’s also warmer at the crater than it will be waiting for the sun to rise. You can also look up at the volcano and see if the weather is to your liking to view the sunset! Keep in mind all the sunrises and sunsets are 50/50 that you will have incredible views due to our tropical weather and clouds that come through. At least for sunset you can decide if it’s worth it but for sunrise it’s all or nothing, due to your reservation and it’s dark so you can’t totally see the weather. It will be cold once the sun begins to set so dress warm & bring layers.
6. If A Sunrise Tour is a must, you can still Join us and save money.
Catch the famous Maui Haleakala sunrise on your own for only a $25 park entrance fee per car and a $1.50 online reservation fee through the National Park website. (book ahead!) For 2 people you will already save up to $265! You will need a reservation as mentioned above, it is very crowded and you do need to wake up around 2am to get up the volcano in time. It will be cold so dress warm & bring layers. Since our tour starts at 9am, guests that still want to experience sunrise on their own and save a bundle of money, go up on their own and then drive down immediately following sunrise. It takes about an 1 hour 15 minutes to come down and reach our shop in Paia (Leave no later than 7:30am, keep in mind everyone will be leaving at the same time after sunrise). Once you arrive in Paia, Park your car for the day and we will shuttle you up for your bike ride.
From the summit of Haleakalā, Maui’s largest volcano, you can look down to see the famous crater of Haleakalā. Walk through a cinder desert and see the many volcano cones spread throughout this massive volcanic depression that’s 7 miles long, 2 miles wide, and 2,600 feet deep. See another world as you hike in this unbelievable volcanic landscape.
The Haleakalā Crater is part of what the Haleakalā National Park refers to as the “Wilderness Area.” Hikers can take two main trails into the richly-colored crater from the summit area: Halemau’u or Sliding Sands trails. Nēnē or Hawaiian geese can sometimes be seen in their natural habitat in the Haleakalā Crater. “The mountain summit is one of the only easily-accessible areas of Hawaii where our rare and endemic species survive and thrive,” The Haleakalā National Park Service noted. The park itself is composed of more than 30,000 acres of public land, the most famous aspect of which is the Haleakala Crater. At this high of an altitude, the weather is cooler and can be unpredictable, so it’s good to wear layered clothing as well as sunscreen and closed-toed shoes.
The peak of Haleakalā stands at 10,023 feet above sea level and is the highest point on the island of Maui. As one of the most popular Maui activities.
Haleakalā is known as the “house of the sun” because as Hawaiian legend has it, the demigod Maui lassoed the sun here as he stood on the Haleakalā summit in order to slow its descent and lengthen the day. Haleakalā is a dormant volcano that last erupted around 1790. More than one million people visit the summit of Haleakalā each year.
The summit offers a once-in-a-lifetime view across an amazing landscape of rolling mountains, surrounding islands, and the ever-expansive ocean. Gaze across the water at the island of Hawaii with its peaks of 14,000 ft. along with views of Molokai, Lanai, and Kahoolawe.
The clear skies and excellent viewing conditions at the Haleakala summit attract many visitors who bring their telescopes to gaze at the stars and other celestial bodies. In fact, the University of Hawaii’s Haleakalā Observatory is located near the visitor’s center but is not open to the public.
As Featured on Adventure Hawaii