Olinda Forest Cycling Route – Advanced
31 miles, 4,300’ elevation gain
A climber’s dream! Start your ride in Paia at sea level and climb your way up to nearly 4,000’ over just 12 miles. As you approach the high point, you’ll find yourself immersed in the dense pine trees of the Olinda Forest. A steep, windy descent down Piiholo Road awaits as you round the turn at the top of the road.
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, Kihei, or Lahaina!).
Enjoy The Olinda Forest climb From The Sea
The climb begins relatively gently – the gradient averages 4-6% for the first 7 miles up Baldwin Ave to Makawao. Then, the real challenge begins! Pass straight through the 4-way intersection in Makawao and up the steep quarter-mile pitch. The road then flattens out and becomes Olinda Ave. Enjoy the short recovery before the gradient turns uphill once again! Starting around mile 8, and for the next 4 miles, the incline averages just under 10%. The grade maxes out around 15%.
Round the turn at the highest point, and enjoy your descent!
Congrats – you’ve hit the high point of the day! When you’re ready, descend cautiously down Piiholo Rd. It’s very steep at points, and the hairpin turns are TIGHT. At just past mile 17 on the route, you’ll hit Makawao Ave. Here, you can turn left and follow it back into Makawao to grab a well-earned meal before continuing down toward home.
If you’re ready to keep pushing, follow our route to the right. You’ll continue around the long way back to our Paia shop via a scenic tour of neighboring Haiku.
Grab A Bite After Your Olinda Forest Ride
As you descend Makawao Ave (which becomes Kaupakalua Rd), be aware that there is a very tight hairpin turn around mile 18.5. Continue onwards until taking a left onto E Kuiaha Rd. This is our personal favorite for a quiet, scenic descent through Haiku.
When that road ends, hang a left at the stop sign. Enjoy a couple of miles of tight, windy rollers through the jungle before popping out into the center of Haiku town. You’ll find a couple of food options if you need a pit stop before the final push home.
From here, enjoy the net downhill (and often, tailwind!) back to Paia!
Maui Sunriders contributing writer, photographer, route builder, and road cycling guide.
Conor is an avid bike rider, racer, adventurer, photographer, and graphic artist who spends his winters working for Maui Sunriders.
We have a full rental fleet of carbon and aluminum road bikes, as well as e-road bikes!