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Maui Bike Ride

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Bike Tours Sorted by Specific Tour

Haleakala Bike Tour

The Haleakala Bike Tour is unique on the planet. The Haleakala Sunrise Tour is the most famous version of this ride. Not only will you be enthralled by this sunrise spectacle at 10'000 ft. but you will cruise down the mountain, without peddling, for miles and miles. Now you have two good reasons to experience the Haleakala Sunrise Tour. This is an adventure that visitors to Maui should participate in at least one time. The memories will last a lifetime.

  • Yes, the Haleakala Bike Tour is very, very different. There are not many places in the world you can bike down a volcano. If you want to do this special Haleakala Sunrise Tour, you will have to come to Maui to do it. .....And what a bike tour it is! This bike ride offers one of Maui's greatest activity thrills. Imagine coasting and coasting thousands of feet down the slopes of the world's largest dormant volcano, Haleakala, and you'll be on your way to understanding why this activity is so very, very popular. Tom Barefoot's Tours offers discount pricing on many of these Haleakala Sunrise Tour excursions.

    The Haleakala Sunrise Tour offers the best timing for your Maui Bike Ride.
      • Without a question the very most popular time of day to take a bike ride down the slopes of Mount Haleakala is just after sunrise. Keep in mind that the Haleakala sunrise bike tour has both its positives and its negatives. Dealing with the negative first: you need to get up ridiculously early in morning as your van driver will probably be waiting at your lobby to pick you up about 2:30 am or so. As far as the positives go: if you don't get up to see the sunrise early in the morning you will miss it, and that is somewhat akin to committing the cardinal sin on the island. This is a view you will likely never see again and everyone should do it at least once. The colors are unbelievable and the views are forever!
      • Mid-day tours are often available and sunset rides will often include some dinner plans in the itinerary.

    What will your Haleakala Bike Tour entail?

    So if this tour just involved the viewing of a sunrise or sunset you could probably just do it on your own. However it involves gliding down the mountain for a very long period of time on a bike with the extra advantage of never having to pump up hill. Everything is downhill and you almost never have to pedal at all. The seemingly endless downhill motion of the bike, gently maneuvering around curves, first in one direction and then the other, is as hypnotic as it is alluring. When you finally arrive at the bottom you may look up toward the top and actually wonder what just happened. It is a guarantee, you've never had an experience like the Haleakala sunrise bike tour experience before.

    There are two bike tour options:

      • Guided Bike tours down the mountain.

        On these tours you will be picked up at or near your hotel or condo early in the morning and taken up to see the crater at sunrise at 10,000'. After viewing the sunrise spectacle you will descend the mountain to the staging area at 6500' where you will mount your bikes and complete the journey via bike all the way down to the sea. Trained guides will accompany you along your journey to make certain you feel comfortable and confident all along the way. A variation of this guided bike tour option is offered by some companies that will take you directly to the staging area without going all the way to the crater and you will then enjoy the bike tour along with professional guides.
      • Self Guided Bike Tours.

        These tours are essentially the same as the guided tours but at the staging area you are fitted with your bikes, given instructions and then you will make your way down the mountain by yourself and at your own pace.

    What type of Equipment is used on your Haleakala Bike Tour?

    The bikes used on the Maui bike rides are invariably bikes that are designed to go downhill in comfort. Since you will not be doing much if any pedaling on these tours there is only one gear on the bike. What you will be doing however is a lot of breaking and so most of these bikes are specially assembled with that in mind. Many of them will have disc brakes similar to a car although special modifications are always occurring from company to company but always with the notion of providing a good braking system on their vehicles. In addition you will be riding in a fully erect position on these bikes for better viewing and the seats are large and are padded so you can further enjoy the Maui bike tour experience.

    A Word of Caution regarding your Maui Bike Tour.

    The Bike Maui experience down Haleakala has been among the most popular tours of any sort on Maui. Literally hundreds of thousands of cyclists have descended the slopes on these exciting bike tours. You must remember however that you are on a moving vehicle that is traveling at speeds generally a bit in excess of 20 mph.

    It is incumbent on you to ride your bike safely.

    Though there have been relatively few accidents with regard to the overall volume of bike tours that descend the mountain some of the accidents that have happened have been simply disastrous and in fact there have even been some fatalities. Once again you must remember that the movement of your vehicle and how and where you guide it is ultimately up to you. If you feel at any point on the bike ride that you are not up to the task or feel in any way that it is unsafe you are encouraged to stop your bike and enjoy the rest of the ride downhill in the chase van.

    Pride of America Cruise Ship:

    Most of the Maui bike ride excursions listed on this page can arrange for pickup directly at the boat on the morning of your second day on Maui (Monday morning) with a pickup right at or within walking distance of the boat. View the RESTRICTIONS area after you click on each of the Maui bike companies listed below for specifics regarding the cruise ship itinerary.

Checkout Tom's Tips and Insights about Maui Bike Tours

Tom Barefoot's Tips
  • Tom's Tips - Maui Bike Ride

    The Maui Bike tours have been one Maui excursion that has changed so much over the course of time. I remember back in the early eighties when a young entrepreneur who later became known as 'Cruiser Bob' came up to me and described his idea to take visitors on a bike ride down Haleakala from the crater at 10'000 ft to the seacoast below. I remember thinking that the idea seemed like an exciting one but also might be perilous at the same time. Some months later I heard that he had taken his first trip down the mountain and although it proved to be an experience for all, there were some problems involving accidents where at least one person ran off the road and was badly hurt.

    In subsequent trips there were many changes made to make the tours safer and the idea caught on with the general public and the downhill bike ride experience became somewhat of a phenomenon. Many other bike companies joined in the gold rush and the bike industry on Maui was headed to its heyday... read more.

Bike Tours Sorted by Company

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Maui Mountain Cruisers

3 Activity Options

Guided Haleakala Sunrise and Mid-Day Trip

Maui Mountain Cruisers founders Jon and Cheryl Thuro have done a remarkable job over the years in pioneering many of the industry standards that are used by downhill bike tour companies on Maui today. As one of the original companies and one of the largest on the mountain today, Maui Mountain Cruisers provides an excellent full-service downhill experience.
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(9 Reviews, 4.9 Stars)

Cruiser Phil's Volcano Riders

3 Activity Options

Guided Haleakala Bike Rides

Cruiser Phil's Downhill Bicycle Tours offer outstanding bike excursions down the slopes of Haleakala. Tours included are both Sunrise and Mid-day and guided and self-guided tours are also options. All cruiser bikes include wide, comfortable seats for maximum comfort and many specific modifications have been made to the vehicles to provide the most comfortable and secure ride.
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(9 Reviews, 4.8 Stars)

Bike Maui-Haleakala Bike Co.

5 Activity Options

Self Paced Mountain Bike Rides - for experienced riders

The Bike Maui-Haleakala Bike Company offers bike tours down the mountain of Haleakala. Most bike tours are strictly 'guided' but the tours offered by Haleakala Bike Company are all 'unguided' in the sense that you will be enjoying the trip down the mountain at your own pace and without a group. This company was the very first to offer bike tours of this nature down the mountain.
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Mountain Riders Biking

5 Activity Options

Guided Haleakala Sunrise and Mid-Day Tour

Mountain Riders Biking is another company that has been taking tours down the mountain for many years. They offer a wide array of tours that range between sunrise and mid-day departures to guided as well as unguided tours down the mountain. This company is one of the larger tour companies on the mountain, and does an interesting mid-mountain stop at the Upcountry Sunrise Market Protea and Flower Farm.
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Piiholo Ranch Zip-line

1 Activity Option

Zip-line Piiholo, Zip-line Tours and Adventures

Found of the slopes of Haleakala at about the 2500' level just a couple of miles above the 'cowboy' town of Makawao is found the Piiholo Ranch. This working cattle ranch is the home of the most beautiful meadowland horseback riding area on the island as well as the home of two of the most popular zip-line courses to be found on Maui. The extreme beauty of the green rolling hills, the fresh mountain air and the scent of the mountain forests in themselves are enough of a reason to come for a visit.
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Segway Maui

5 Activity Options

Segway PT Models, Guided Tours, Tour on a Segway PT, Wheel thru Lahaina

See Lahaina from an all new perspective and ride your Segway through paradise. Your guides are fun and informative making your tour a great learning experience about Maui. Enjoy guided tours on the newest Segway PT models, the coolest machines in the world, zero emissions, great for short distance trips and sightseeing.
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Skyline Eco Adventures

1 Activity Option

Haleakala Summit Tours and Downhill Bike Tours, 7 Zip-lines, Zip-line Haleakala, Tree-Top Zip-line Tour

Skyline Eco-Adventures offers a Road to Hana tour, zip-line tours (originator of zip-line courses in the United States) and one of the exclusive providers of tours to the Haleakala Summit.
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Kimo's Electric Bike Tours

4 Activity Options

Guided Lahaina Electric Bike Tours

Kimo's Electric Bike Tours offer scenic, easy electric biking tours out of Lahaina, Maui. They're created specifically for anyone who loves riding a bike but would rather relax and enjoy the ride, rather than pedal.
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Recent Reviews

Video Transcript

Maui is the home of really one of the most famous bike tours available anywhere on the planet, the Haleakal? downhill. This is something that we have been doing here on Maui since the early '80s, and it has to do with the mountain called Haleakal?, which goes up 10,000 feet. There's a beautiful roadway that goes all the way from the beach up to the very top. At the very top we've got observatories and just it's a great place for a vantage point. Also at the very top of this mountain is what we refer to as the crater of Haleakal?. This is at 10,000 feet. There is essentially a crater that goes down 3,000 feet and it's 21 miles in circumference. This is like looking at the surface of the moon. It is really one of the experiences that you would want to see when you come to Maui. The bike tours take advantage of this mountain so you can kind of get an idea of seeing Haleakal?, and also enjoy a really interesting and different, exciting kind of an activity.

It's changed somewhat from the early days. Back in the early '80s, we would have vans that would take you up to the top of the crater. You'd have a chance to look down and enjoy all the spectacle that is Haleakal? crater. Then in these vans, or behind the vans, or on top of the vans, or however it was arranged at the time, they would have bicycles that they would bring along with them. They'd adjust all the handlebars and the seats for everybody at the top. You'd get on your bike and then you'd cruise all the way down to the ocean. That's the way it used to be.

Today, it's very similar, the same situation. They'll take you up there to see the crater, generally for sunrise. You can see it for what they call a mid-day trip as well, but sunrise is the most popular by far. Everybody wants to do that. You do need to leave really early for that. The idea is to get up there when it is completely black, and get there just in time to see the colors start to change, going through the hues of blue and violet, and all the colors that you see as the sun starts to come up. The idea is to be there at a time when you can see all the stars. This is an amazing place to see stars, and that's why they have these huge telescopes, plural, up there.

You'll get there. You'll have an opportunity to see that, and then when it comes time to start going down the mountain, instead of getting on the bikes right there, what they do is they go down to the outskirts of the Haleakal? National Park, which is at the 6,500-foot level approximately. From there, at that point you're going to get on your bike, so you're going to get mounted, and then you're going to scoot down, either to the ocean or some other little place. All of the different companies are somewhat different in terms of where they go, but the tour at that point is exactly the same. You're cruising on your bicycle just like this down this beautiful highway, and just enjoying the ride down.

Here's another picture, I think, so you can get a little bit of idea of the multiple numbers of people that will do this. Usually you're given rain gear or something to keep you warm, because it can get cold. If you're going up there in the early, early morning, obviously you're up there at 10,000 feet before the sun comes up so it's going to be cold. You'll want to bring whatever you can to stay warm, but they're also going to have parkas and that sort of thing, and also rain gear in case you run into any mist and that sort of thing on the way down the mountain.

These trips are extremely popular. We have quite a number of companies that do this. During the busy seasons, they get really booked up, and so it's best to make sure that you can book these in advance. The best way to do these, mostly for people who are coming from the West Coast or from the mainland US, is to do this on the first day or second day that you're here. Because they leave so early ... When you're coming over, in all likelihood when you get here, you're going to be waking up early just simply because of the time change. That's the best time to take advantage of going on this particular tour, since you have to get up early to do it anyway. If you're up already, you might as well just go for it. The first day that you're on island, you're almost always waking up really early. That's a good day to go.

This is a fun tour. You really get to be outside. You get to be on a bicycle. One of the best things about it is you're cruising downhill. There's no uphill pedaling, so it's just this kind of a going down the mountain, down, down, down. They've got really good brakes. That's what you use. There's really almost no pedaling involved, and it's almost a little bit like a child's dream of not having to go up the hills, just down the hills. You cruise all this distance, usually all the way down to the ocean. It really is a lot of fun.

The technicalities of how they do it is that they have a lead biker and a chase van. This is typically the way it's done. You're in a line, like you've got here. You're not allowed to go ahead of the lead biker, so they keep you in a line, but behind you is going to be a chase van. This is usually the van that you came up in. The purpose of the chase van is to kind of keep cars from coming around and getting into your pathway. There is radio communication between the lead biker and the chase van. They're always in communication. Typically what'll happen is you'll cruise down for a while, for a few minutes.

The chase van might let the lead biker know that there's a car or two cars that are building up behind, and then the lead biker will find an area where they'll just pull off the road. Everybody will kind of follow him off and the cars will pass, and then you'll continue down again. That's typically the way it's done. You're somewhat sheltered from the notion of having to worry about the cars coming down as you're going down the mountain. But you're keeping your eye on the road, obviously, and doing that but you've got all these views and vistas that you're seeing as you're going down, and just the outside and the fragrance of the eucalyptus as you're going through the eucalyptus forest, or just the fresh air that you feel, that invigorating, oxygenated Maui air, is very, very exciting.

This is an example of what we refer to as a guided tour. You're picked up at your hotel. You're brought in the van up here. You do this. You go back down the mountain to the ocean and then you're taken by the van back to your hotel. The other format that we have is a little bit different. It came about much later in the course of these tours, but it's kind of the freestyle where you kind of go on your own.

They are similar in the sense that you're going up in a van up to the top. You get a chance to see the crater. Then they bring you back down again to the 6,500-foot level and get you all set for your bicycle and so on. But at that point, what they do is they give you a map, and they show you how to get back to where you're supposed to be, and they take off in their van and you take off on your bikes, so you're alone. It might just be the two of you, for instance, and you'll be cruising down. You'll be able to stop whenever you want to stop, take pictures, enjoy the way down. Maybe you'll stop in Makawao town and have lunch. You can do what you want, just so long as you're back at the place you're supposed to be at a particular time. They give you an idea of how long it's going to take to get you down there.

The thing that you need to understand about those are that you are 100% responsible for watching for cars that are coming behind you. It's a little bit of an added responsibility. It does get a little bit tenser as you're on a road that cars are on, so you need to make sure that you're navigating things properly. Hundreds and hundreds and thousands of people do this, so I'm not saying that it's a tremendous additional difficultly, but it is just an extra responsibility you have when you are operating on your own, and there's no one to challenge your rationality about how you're actually traversing the mountain on your bike.

I should say, too, with regard to this activity that you are 100% in charge of your bike. You are the one that steers. You're the one that brakes it. Where it goes, to a large degree, has to do with you. You need to know that all the responsibility is yours. You can get hurt, obviously, on these, if you were to go off the side of the road or if you were to go into oncoming traffic. Indeed, this has happened over the course of the many decades that we've been doing this, where people have lost control of the bikes by going too fast, or just not feeling comfortable enough on the bikes, and doing something silly that ends up getting them hurt. Although you're going to be protected as much as these companies can possibly do, you need to understand that it's totally your responsibility with regard to making sure that you are going in the right areas on these bikes.

With that being said, I can tell you that hundreds of thousands of people have successfully gone down these mountains and enjoyed it, and it's one of the things that people continuously rank as one of the top activities that they want to do on the island of Maui. It is really an activity that is unique to this island, that if you have the slightest desire you should look into it because it is really a popular and exciting activity.

If you have any questions about Tours or Activities in Hawaii, just give us a call, or check out tombarefoot.com. We're here to help.

For years Hawaii bike tours have been a main-stay of the activities available for the visitors coming to the islands. Perhaps no island provides more bike tours to visitors than the island of Maui and this is all due to the phenomenon that occurred in the early eighties with the advent of the Haleakala downhill bicycle adventures.

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Coast down the Waimea Canyon all the way to the sea.

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Are you interested in a downhill bike ride or a mountain bike trek or a bike ride to a waterfall? Check this out!

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This is an amazing way to visit the volcanic activity. The moderate pace makes these tours a cross between hiking and a sightseeing van.

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