Mountain Riders Downhill Bike Tours
- Summit Sunrise offered Sunday and Monday
- Predawn from 6500 Feet Offered Tuesday to Saturday
- Day tour option for those who want to sleep in
- Guided bike ride with support van following
- All biking starts at the 6500 foot elevation level
Maui offers the longest downhill bike tour experience anywhere in the world, and the absolutely longest possible ride is the routh that Mountain Riders takes down the mountain! All tours start biking just outside the Haleakala National Park entrance at an elevation of 6500 feet. With Mountain Riders you will coast downhill through the famous mid-mountain switchbacks. Because the recent Maui county regulations prohit biking through the residential areas of Kula and the Lower Kula highway, Mountain Riders will take you back up to the 6500 foot elevation so your can ride the swichbackjs TWICE (the best part of the ride!!!). You will then get in the van and be transported to just above the town of Makawao. From here you will proceed down Baldwin Aventure and ride through the lower mountain pineapple and former sugar cane fields, finally ending the ride in Paia Town at the bottom of the mountain!
Mountain Riders offeres a "Summit Sunrise" on Sundays and Mondays which includes a entrance to Halekala National Park and watching the sunrise over the crater. On Tuesday through Saturday they offer a Predawn from 6500 feet tour, which watches the predawn colors of the sky from the 6500 foot level, then does the bike ride down. And for guests who don't want to get up in the middle of the night, the offer a Day Bike Tour that goes straight to the 6500 foot level and does the same bike tour route but let's you sleep in a little, ALL BIKE TOURS start the actual biking portion of the tour at the same place … just outside the National Park entrance at 6500 feet. Your bike tour route length is not affected by whether or not your tour includes Haleakala National Park. No bike tours are permitted to ride inside the park.
Guided Summit Sunrise Bike Tour
The Guided Summit Sunrise with Mountain Riders is only offered on Sunday and Mondays. Guests drive to the checkin location which is at Mountain Rider's baeyard in Haliimaile, which is about 15 minutes uphill from the Kahului Airport. The tour begins with a van tour to the summit of Haleakala, Upon arrival at the summit you'll watch the often-spectacular sunrise from the crater rim. After sunrise, you'll ride the van back down to the park entrance, where you will start your bike ride at the 6500 foot level. A guide leads the group downhill through the mid-mountain switchbacks, with the van following the group down the mountain. You will bike this part of the mountain TWICE ( a Mountain Riders exclusive!) and then the van will take you to just above the town of Makawaowhere you will continue biking down Baldwin Avenue and on to town of Paia about 3/4 of a mile up from the beach. This tour includes the admission to Haleakala National Park and a sunrise viewing permit for the summit area ... and it MUST be reserved weeks in advance of your arrival.
Schedule: Meeting time is 3:00am in the summer, 3:30am in the spring and fall, and 4am in the winter.
This tour has a 5 DAY Minimum Notice for cancellations or changes.
Mountain Riders Summit Sunrise Bike Tour Rate (MR1)
$225.00 per Bikers, $225.00 per Non-biking Van Rider (plus 4.167% Hawaii sales tax)
Predawn from 6500 Feet Tour
The Predawn from 6500 Feet tour watches the predawn colors of the sky from a panoramic overlook at the 6500 foot elevation of Haleakala. While it does not go all the way to the summit to watch the sunrise over the crater rim, the effects of the sunrise are painted everywhere in the sky at the 6500 foot overlook, and the sun typically casts a giant pyramid-shaped shadow of Haleakala's massive outline onto the plains of central Maui. After watching the colors of the sunrise, you are already at the location where all the bike rides begin. You will then bike down following the exact same route as the Summit Sunrise tour, including biking the upper mountain switchbacks TWICE, then riding the van to just above the town of Makawao, and continuing the bike ride down Baldwin Avenue to the baseyard in Paia. This tour is offered Tuesday through Saturday.
Schedule: Meeting time is approximately 4:30am in the summer, 4:45am in the spring and fall, and 5:00am in the winter.
Mountain Riders Predawn from 6500 Feet Bike Tour Rate (MR1np)
$130.00 per Bikers, $130.00 per Non-biking Van Rider (plus 4.167% Hawaii sales tax)
Day Bike Tour
The Day Bike Tour is for those who don't want to get up in the middle of the night, but still want to do the longest bike tour route on Maui. Check in at Mountain Riders baseyard is around 7:30am and they will take you straight to the overlook at 6500 feet for some photos and then set up with the bikes. The ride is the exact same distance as the Sunrise and Predawn tour, but without the waiting around before the biking begins. This tour option is all about the biking! You will be guided down the mountain with a support van following you as you trace the exact same route as the Summit Sunrise and Predawn tours, niking the upper mountain switchbacks twice and biking from above Makawao town all the way down to Paia. This tour is offered Tuesday through Saturday.
Schedule: Meeting time is 7:30am.
Mountain Riders Day Bike Tour from 6500 Feet Rate (MR2np)
$115.20 per Bikers, $115.20 per Non-biking Van Rider (plus 4.167% Hawaii sales tax)
GPS Address: 497 Baldwin Avenue, Paia HI 96779 Click to view map
Tour includes: Biking guide, Chrome Cruiser bike with disc brakes, helmet, and support vehicle that follows you down the mountain.
Biking: >99% downhill.
Restrictions: Minimum biking age is 15 …due to high elevation no pregnant women are allowed on this tour, either as a biker or a van rider. 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 the Predawn and Day tours, and 5 FULL DAYS for the Summit Sunrise Tour. 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 sunrise bicycle 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 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 you really want to do this bike ride but you are reading this when it is already too late to book the Summit Sunrise and the tour is sold out, we have a suggestion for you. Do the DAY BIKE TOUR instead, which does not go all the way to the summit of Halekala. After the tour is over, have a lunch, pick up a picnic for dinner, then DRIVE YOURSELF to the summit of Halekala for a sunset. Little known fast ... SUNSETS at Halekala are just as pretty as sunrises, and 1. You don't need a special permit to go at sunset and 2, There are a WHOLE lot less people then! You'll have the olverlooks almost to yourself, and after dark it's still early enough to head down the mountain, back to your resort, and be in bed by 10:30am Personally, I think this is a really good alternative to losing a night's sleep by doing a sunrise.
The tours offered on this page are all GUIDED. We do offer SELF-GUIDED tours too, but personally I feel the GUIDED approach is best for most people. The guide sets a safe, comfortable pace for the group (about 12-15 miles per hour on average) and the van follows your group back down the mountain. This "support vehicle" prevents cars from passing you at times when it is not safe. You don't have to worry about looking over your shoulder to see what's coming from behind you. If there are cars backed up behind the support vehicle, the driver talks to the guide on his walkie-talkie and they arrange for a place to pull over to the side and let the traffic pass. Since the ride itself is about 99% a downhill coast few people get tired and don't feel like riding anymore, but it is nice to know that the option of getting in the van is always there on the guided tour.
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 and safety-concious guides, 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!