maui things to do

Biking Haleakala

Biking Haleakala

Imagine cruising 38 miles down the world’s largest dormant volcano. Video by Denis McDonough

Most great outdoor adventures aren’t usually described with the phrase, “Everything went downhill from there.” Then again, biking down 10,023-foot Haleakala on Maui isn’t your everyday, run-of-the-mill experience.


Catch the sunrise and see for yourself why Haleakala is known as the “House of the Sun.” (Mark Twain once described sunrise at Haleakala as “the sublimest spectacle I ever witnessed.”) Enjoy panoramic views of the crater and the Pacific Ocean. Discover why bicycle tours on Haleakala have been wildly popular since their inception in the mid-1980s. Tour operators estimate that some 70,000 bikers a year ride down this world-famous crater.

Before You Go

There are a handful of tour companies that offer bike rides down Haleakala. Before selecting a tour, there are several questions you should ask:

  • What is the cost?
  • Will we be able to ride at our own pace?
  • Will we be able to stop and take in the scenery?
  • Does the ride go all the way to the bottom (sea level)?

Guided Tours

With guided tours, riders are kept in a single file, and everyone rides at the pace of the slowest rider. Stops are made at the discretion of the guide.


Unguided tours, however, allows riders to go at their own preferred pace. They are also free to choose when and where to stop and for how long. Unguided tours are recommended for adventurers who want to tailor the ride to accommodate their own individual desires.


A bike tour down Haleakala ranges from $60 to around $130 per person. Most tours include breakfast or lunch, park entry fees, and round-trip transportation to and from Maui hotels and resorts. The cost also includes the bike and appropriate gear.

Who Can Go?

The trek down Haleakala is suitable for competent riders (no beginners). For safety reasons, young children and pregnant women are not allowed to ride. Experts recommend wearing layered clothing, as it can be pretty cold at the summit, especially during winter.

Tip: You’ll want to bring your camera to capture the entire experience.