Bike Maui Self-Guided Tours
- Sunrise tour and morning tour includes Haleakala Summit
- Bike on your own down the mountain
- 6000 vertical feet drop over 23 miles of biking
- Express tour option for those who do not want van tour of the summit
Maui offers the world's longest downhill bike tour, but not everyone wants to do a traditional tour with a guide in the front leading a group of 12 bikers down the mountain. Some people want to go faster; others want the freedom to go slower and stop wherever they like. For those with an "independent streak" Bike Maui has "Self-Guided" tours that will take you to the top of Haleakala, give you a tour of the National Park, and then set you up with a bike for you to ride down at your own pace. Instead of being led down the mountain by a biking guide, you are free to set your own pace, stopping whenever you like for photos, grabbing a bite to eat, shopping in the Makawao boutiques … your itinerary is up to you! You just have to arrive back at the bike tour company's Haiku location by 4pm that afternoon. Self-guided bikers do not have a "support vehicle" following them, but if there are problems with your equipment or any emergencies you are given a phone number to call for support during the day. The support vehicle is never more than 30 minutes away. On the way up the mountain the driver traces the route for you, and you are given a detailed map showing the ideal route for you to follow on the way down. You bike the high mountain swithbacks that start just outside of Hakeakala National Park, through Makawao town, then down Kokomo Road to the town of Haiku and the bike tour company's baseyard. These tours are offered 7 days a week.
While you are free to bike at your own pace, recent Maui county regulations restrict unguided bike tours from riding in the Kula residential area / Kula highway. After you start your ride at 6500 feet, you will be on your own to ride through the upper mountain switchbacks above treeline. You are free to stop for photos on this part of the ride, but the van will be waiting for you at the start of the Kula residential area. Riders will get back into the van and will be transported to a spot just above Makawao town where your bike riding with continue.
ALL BIKE TOURS start the actual biking portion of the tour at the same place … just outside the National Park entrance at 6500 feet. The Sunrise and Morning tours will go to the summit of Haleakala and tour the park, and the bike riding begins after the park tour is over. No bike tours are permitted to ride inside the park. The Express tour skips the National Park tour and is a great option for those who have already been to the summit and just want to do the biking.
Self-Guided Tour Options
Self-Guided Summit Sunrise Bike Tour
The Self-Guided Summit Sunrise takes you to the summit of Haleakala to watch the sunrise, then after your tour of the park you have the freedom and flexibility to take as much or as little time as you like for the biking portion of the tour. Guests must drive to the bike tour company's location in Haiku for checkin, which is at 3:00am in the summer, 3:30am in the spring and fall, and 4:00am in the winter. Haleakala National Park admission and sunrise viewing permit is included! Once sunrise is over the van takes you outside the park entrace to begin your ride at the 6500 foot level. The bikes are yours for the day, and you are free to set your own pace and itinerary as your come down the mountain. This tour is offered 7 days a week, but it is extremely popular and should be reserved weeks in advance of your arrival to Maui!
Self-Guided Summit Sunrise Bike Tour Rate (HBC4)
$247.34 per Biker (Hawaii sales tax included)
If the Self-Guided Summit Sunrise is already sold out for your dates, consider doing the SELF-GUIDED MORNING TOUR instead! The biking route is exactly the same, and Haleakala Crater is more colorful and better photographed in mid-morning light! Compare the two crater images seen here for an example of the difference.
Self-Guided Summit Morning Bike Tour
The Self-Guided Summit Morning Tour with Haleakala Bike Company offers the same features as the self-guided summit sunrise tour only a slightly later morning start time and without the sunrise viewing. Guests must drive to the bike tour company's location in Haiku for checkin, which is at 8:00am. Haleakala National Park admission is included and you get to see inside the crater in mid-morning light, which illuminates the colorful cinder cones and lava flows for prime views of this volcanic landscape. After riding back down to the park entrance in the van, you will begin your ride at 6500 feet. The ride on the morning tour is exactly the same as the ride on the sunrise tour. Just as long ... just as much fun. You just have to return to the bike tour baseyard by 4pm. This tour is offered 7 days a week.
Self-Guided Summit Morning Bike Tour Rate (HBC5)
$203.18 per Biker (Hawaii sales tax included)
Self-Guided Express Bike Tour
The Self-Guided Express Tour is a great option for those who have already been to the summit of Haleakala and just want to do the biking portion. Guests must drive to the bike tour company's location in Haiku for checkin, which is at 8:00am. The bike company's van takes you directly to the point where you start your bike ride at the 6500 foot level. The bikes are yours for the day, and you are free to set your own pace and itinerary as your come down the mountain. This tour is offered 7 days a week, but it is extremely popular and should be reserved weeks in advance of your arrival to Maui!
Self-Guided Express Bike Tour Rate (HBC6)
$123.67 per Biker (Hawaii sales tax included)
GPS Address: 810 Haiku Road #120, Haiku 96708 Click to view map
Tour includes: Admission and tour of Haleakala National Park (on Sunrise and Morning tours), Kona mountain bike with disc brakes, backpack, Helly Hansen raingear, helmet, and phone number for support vehicle to repond to equipment issues or emergencies on the mountain.
Transportation: The price of these tours do not include hotel pickup and transportation is not available for Self-Guided tours.
Biking: >95% downhill.
Restrictions: Minimum biking age is 15 … due to high elevation no pregnant women are allowed on this tour. Maximum weight approx. 280lbs. Minimum height 4'10".
What to Wear: Dress warmly in layers and wear closed toed shoes like sneakers.
Reservations: Advanced reservations required and we recommend booking this a month or more before your arrival. This event is "RESERVE NOW PAY LATER"; we need a credit card on file to finalize your reservation but we do not charge you for this reservation until a few days before the beginning of your vacation!
Minimum Notice for Cancellations / Changes: For smaller parties, at least 48 hours before the start of the event. For groups of 10 or more, 7 days before the start of the event.
Kevin's Activity Tips:
The most helpful piece of advice for doing the Self-Guided Bike Tour is to make your reservation in advance for the first full day that you are in Hawaii when the time change is working in your favor. The longer you are in Hawaii the harder it will be for you to wake up in the middle of the night to do the drive to the bike company baseyard. The logic is simple. Due to the time change, you will find yourself waking up at 4am on the first day that you are here anyway. Since you are already going to wake up early that day, you might as well get up a little bit earlier and start our your vacation by doing something fun and exciting! In order to book this sunrise tour before your arrival you obviously need to book it BEFORE your arrival. But don't wait until just before your trip. This tour is VERY popular and space is VERY limited. Summit sunrise dates sometimes sell out a MONTH in advance!
If the sunrise tour is already sold out on your dates, don't let that stop you from seeing Healakala Crater and doing the same bike tour during the MORNING time slot. There are advantages to the morning tour ... for one thing you don't loose a night's sleep because the start time isn't in the middle of the night. But more importantly, the actual views INTO Healakala Crater are better during the morning tour than they are the sunrise tour. The sunrise is often (but not always) spectacular ... but the crater is backlit during the sunrise. In mid-morning light when the sun is higher in the sky the colors of the crater come alive and the cinder cones are much more visible. Take a look at the image above of the crater during the SUNRISE and the crater during the MORNING tour. We think you will see that the colors of the crater itself show up far better!
Remember, it gets cold at 6,000-10,000 feet, especially in the winter months. Yes, the bike companies provide a wind breaker, but you will still want some layers underneath and perhaps a pair of gloves, especially for the Summit Sunrise tour.
My personal preference and recommendation is to do a GUIDED bike tour because of the support vehicle that follows your group down the mountain. That being said, there certainly is a place for the unguided tours here on this page with a "bike on your own" approach. Some people are just to independent to be tied down by a guide and stuck with a group for several hours of biking. Some want to go faster than the pace the guide sets. Others want to go slower and REALLY take their time on the way down. If you want to set your own pace and your own itinerary, this is your chance!
The road that you bike is completely paved, and while there are lots of 180 degree turns and it is 5-6% downhill grade, it is not inherently dangerous AS LONG AS YOU KNOW HOW TO RIDE A BIKE!!! I can't emphasize this enough ... while there are occasionally accidents on this ride (and on rare occasions those accidents have been fatal), they are almost always the result of someone who lacked confidence (and/or ability) at riding a bicycle. If you are riding a bike and you fall, or you run into a guardrail, you ARE going to get hurt ... whether you are doing it on a mountain on Maui or on flat ground in Kansas! My best advice is this ... IF YOU HAVE NOT RIDDEN A BICYCLE IN 40 YEARS, THE TOP OF A VOLCANO IS NOT THE BEST PLACE TO TRY TO REMEMBER HOW TO RIDE A BIKE!!! Borrow a bicycle from someone and ride around your neighborhood before you come to Hawaii. A few hours of peddling will refresh your mind about steering and braking and give you the confidence you need to do just fine on this ride. If you are uncomfortable riding a bike in your neighborhood, then you should sit out this activity or just go along in the van for the ride. All bikers must sign a waiver of liability that acknowledges that there are inherent dangers present with operating a bicylce, as there are with any moving vehicle. The tour operators do their best to provide quality equipment, but they cannot steer and brake and balance the bicycle for you, and they can't be held responsible in cases where a participant fails to do those things and gets hurt!