Photograph by Conor O'Brian

West Maui Loop Cycling – Advanced

60 miles, 4,400’ elevation gain

Circumnavigate the West Maui Mountains! Hug the coastline as you round the western side of the island. Stop for a bite to eat in either Lahaina, Napili, or Kaanapali before the real adventure begins as you round the northern tip of the loop and head back eastward. Sweeping views of the Pacific beckon around almost every turn as you climb up and down the cliffs of West Maui. That said, the road is incredibly narrow at times (single lane!), and there are countless blind turns. Take it slow, soak it in, and stay alert!

Our RideWithGPS route below follows the loop in a clockwise direction. Our route description is based on following the loop this way.

Scroll to the end of this blog post to find a counterclockwise RideWithGPS route!

What bike will I ride on Maui?

Planning a cycling trip to Maui? The idyllic island is an excellent cycling destination for cyclists, with a number of world-class road routes and a couple of mountain bike trail networks. Check out some details on how to bring your bike with you, or consider renting a bike from us. 

Here at Maui Sunriders, we offer a fleet of rental bikes on Maui. Maui Sunriders is your destination for high-end road bikes, full suspensions, hardtails, e-bikes, 3-speeds, or single-speeds. Our top-notch staff of cycling enthusiasts will be excited to help you find the right bike for your adventure (at either of our locations...Paia or Kihei!).

Where to Start Your West Maui Bike Loop:

We recommend the big parking lot at Foodland (marked on our map), as it’s relatively centrally located. Assuming you start there, you’ll start the ride with a long, gentle descent toward Maalaea. You’ll then round the turn and navigate gentle rollers for a few miles as you push on toward Lahaina. If you’re here in the winter months, be sure to stop at McGregor Point Lookout (mile 6.2). Seeing whales in the bay is almost a guaruntee!

For the first ~30 miles of this loop, you’ll be riding along a busy highway. The shoulder is wide and the road is flat (you may even have a tailwind!), but stay alert.

West Maui Loop

One of The Best Stretches Of The West Maui Loop

As you pass through Kapalua, the road will narrow…the adventure is beginning! Continue on to bob and weave your way along the northwest corner of the island. Up and down, up and down…almost all the day’s climbing happens in this upcoming 20-mile stretch. The coastal landscape on this stretch of remote road will take your breath away!

At mile 43, you’ll descend into the small village of Kahakuloa. Be sure to stop at Lorraine’s for a piece of her famous banana bread, and a refill of water. When ready, saddle up for your biggest climb of the day – 1,200’ over 5 miles up and over a couple of ridges. You’ll be rewarded with a long final descent back into Wailuku. Plenty of great spots to grab a bite to eat downtown as you wrap up the loop of a lifetime!

West Maui Loop
West Maui Loop
Conor O'Brian

Conor O'Brian

Maui Sunriders contributing writer, photographer, and route builder

Conor is an avid bike rider, racer, adventurer, photographer, and graphic artist who spends his winters working for Maui Sunriders. All routes, photos, and written descriptions are his own.

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