We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Bike down Haleakula or not?

Which Lahaina hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
PITTSBURGH, PA
Level Contributor
81 posts
Save Topic
Bike down Haleakula or not?

Thinking of doing this after sunrise mid-October....comments? Pros? Cons? Thanks!

California
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
42,802 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Bike down Haleakula or not?

"H*ll on the bicycle" ... that's how one friend described it. "I have never been so cold in my life, and we couldn't see anything because of the clouds." That's another friend. And this doesn't include the countless negative posts here - about the skinny-ness of the sides of the road you use or the number of accidents, etc.

Unless you really want bragging rights when you get home ... and that is a poor excuse ... I would skip it. It's a touristy-trappy thing.

NORTH CAROLINA
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
7,265 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Bike down Haleakula or not?

Haven't done it but we saw people doing it on our drive up to Haleakala looked scary as h**l can honestly say I never will.

Chicagoland
Level Contributor
20,247 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Bike down Haleakula or not?

There are so many other non-paid-activity things to do on Maui. Why waste time and money *braking* down amidst traffic?

Nanaimo, Canada
Level Contributor
23,381 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Bike down Haleakula or not?

In case the above three weren't clue enough... there really are not that many pros to this trip. There is good reason that you are NOT allowed to start the ride in the park boundaries anymore.

There are those that love it though.

Grab a cup of coffee, or a glass of wine by now where you are, and put "biking down Haleakala" into the search engine above and do some reading on some older threads. That may help you with your decision.

California
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
42,802 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Bike down Haleakula or not?

And I assume that some "bike-down-Haleakala" company will pop on soon with something glowing.

(FYI - extra trip insurance for medical coverage? Get it.)

Next to water
Level Contributor
298 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Bike down Haleakula or not?

Not.

I mean how active are you and how well do you function in cooler temps, possible cloudy misty fog, screwy tourist drivers coasting down the volcano in their cars....do you bike at home? are you physically fit?

I think those types of things should be taken under consideration. I mean generally if you read up you'll find a resounding "no" but if you are this type of person who does this type of activity a lot then at least you'd be the best candidate for it? You said "after sunrise" so at least you aren't going to be in the coolest time of the morning with the most amount of traffic per se....but depending on if you are jet lagged/are a morning-sih person and all the little things that go into being your physical best for a coast down the volcano.....i would say consider those as well.

PITTSBURGH, PA
Level Contributor
81 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Bike down Haleakula or not?

Gotcha! Thank you all for your answers...as hubby is reading over my shoulders we chuckled that not one of you said Yes....that is enough for us, just have to show this to our friends and thats that! Appreciate all your honesty and advice. While we are physically fit, we are not professional or heavy duty bicycle riders by far. Again, Thanks a million!

Burr Ridge, Illinois
Level Contributor
3,900 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Bike down Haleakula or not?

Wow, I'm surprised how many say 'NO' to this activity.

I've done it twice and really enjoyed it. So did my wife and the friends we did it with both times.

In the mid '90s we turned down the opportunity to do the ride because my intuition said no. The morning we were to go we then read about how many people get injured and how many are killed doing the ride. It is far more dangerous than people usually admit.

From what I understand, most accidents use to occur right outside the parking lot. The bike companies were then required to start further down the road.

The last time we did it a woman had had a bad accident a few days earlier, but it was at the bottom near the church. I'm sure all this can be googled and documented for safety and number of accidents these days.

It is fun, enjoyable experience that is best enjoyed in the afternoon.

I don't need to do it again, but may.

I really don't classify it in an extreme category or my wife wouldn't have done it. I wouldn't even put it in the top 100 extreme things I've done.

Again, I'm very surprised that more on TA don't have positive things to say about the experience.

Kapaa, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
Level Contributor
43,439 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Bike down Haleakula or not?

The National Park Service banned them from starting inside the national park. That way they wouldn't be sued by those who kept getting hurt inside the boundaries.

Maui
Destination Expert
for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
Level Contributor
46,725 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Bike down Haleakula or not?

Aloha,

You know, once upon a time, in a past life, I sold the things. Yep, I sold the guided, the unguided, the works.

I was careful and honest with people about what it really entailed, and judged my clients on their abilities and capabilities. Some I recced the guided-so they could get off the bikes if they needed to. Others, more fit and hardcore cyclists-I sold them the unguided. To all of them, I explained the risks and pros and cons.

There were some people I simply wouldn't put on bike, period. If I wasn't comfortable with their abilities, or condition, quite frankly it wasn't worth the commission to have their death or serious injury on my heart. I treated my clients well and many are still friends. And not one of mine was ever injured or killed--yes, some luck and also some judgment on my part.

I will not rec them anymore, and haven't for years (including when I was still in tourism). There's far too much distracted driving on the roads, from the summit all the way to the beach or park; there are too many impatient locals who are sick of the traffic issues with the bikes; there are too many visitors who overestimate their fitness and capabilities, esp. at high altitudes.

There are many serious accidents, OFTEN, to this day. The ban of riding in the Park simply stopped accidents there. Accidents happen almost weekly or more often during busy times, and perhaps every two weeks during slower times (like right now). But they tend to be serious and with major injuries.

Offhand, I don't remember a death for a while now--maybe a year or so. But there have been some horrible injuries, and no, most of that never makes the paper here except in a tiny glossed-over paragraph. But they happen, and they are tragic and life changing. Head injuries, pelvic injuries, major leg injuries, chest injuries, on and on and on.

No doubt, others will flame me for this. I really don't care. I was in tourism for many years, still have many ties and friends in it, and I am tired of people who did something once, even twice--or who own a company doing it-- posting here and attacking me.

This is prob the most dangerous thing on Maui, and should be totally banned. Maui has outgrown the time for this, and until there are REAL bike lanes along the routes taken, bikes shouldn't be on the entire route down the mountain from Kula to Makawao. Further, they shouldn't ride on Makawao Avenue, Baldwin Avenue, Olinda, or Kaupakalua Rd. It's simply too dangerous.

I have never posted this strong a statement about this before. I am doing it now because I know the accident rate has only increased as Maui has grown, and tourism has risen again too. We have some of the worst drivers on earth here--and I mean locals--and with increased numbers of visitors, it's simply a recipe for tragedy.