The Haleakalā downhill bike tour is one of the most popular things to do in Maui for island visitors. It’s relaxing and thrilling all at the same time and offers a unique perspective of Maui, one that many visitors who stay just by the beach never get to see. But many wonder how long it takes to bike down a volcano. How many miles is the bike tour? Will the bike ride be too strenuous?

Haleakala-Sunrise3bFrom the point where you begin your Haleakalā downhill bike ride at the staging area to our shop in Paia, the bike ride is approximately 27 miles. If you take the Haleakalā sunrise or summit bike tours, you will first be taken to the Summit of Haleakalā at an elevation of 10,023 feet to explore the Summit area and Haleakalā Crater. If you opt for the express tour, you’ll be taken directly to the staging area outside of the park at an elevation of 6,500 feet.

Is the Haleakalā downhill bike tour an intense 27-mile ride? No, because the bike ride is downhill, it is a pretty leisurely bike ride. Although this Maui volcano has an average grade of 5 percent, there are many switchbacks on the first portion of the Haleakalā downhill bike tour that eliminate any extreme steepness.

Haleakala-Bike-Ride-RoadOur Haleakalā downhill bike tours are self-paced offering bikers the opportunity to take their time and stop as they want along the way. Without stopping, the bike tour takes about an hour and a half. However, many bikers prefer to stop to eat at the various restaurants along the route or sightsee and shop at the many shops and art galleries in the quaint towns on the tour.

On our sunrise tour, the average return time for bikers with a stop for breakfast is around 10 a.m. or 11 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 p.m. or 3 p.m. On the express tour, the average return time for bikers is around 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. including stopping for lunch and to see the town on the bike down.

Haleakala-Bike-Ride-PaiaWhichever you prefer, you have until 4:30 p.m. to make your way back to our shop.

Liability insurance requires that you only ride on the official Haleakalā downhill bike tour route, which ends at our shop in Paia. Biking around Paia after returning to our shop is not permitted. However, Paia and its beautiful beaches are really better experienced on foot anyway.

The self-paced nature of our Haleakalā downhill bike tour really makes it easy to ride, more enjoyable, and more family-friendly, we feel. Although a 27-mile bike ride down a dormant volcano may seem daunting, the fact that it’s a downhill bike ride and that our bike tours are self-paced provide a fun and relaxing way to see the incredibly beauty of Upcountry Maui.

(All except first photo are courtesy of PV Photography)