Haleakala Volcano Bicycle Rides in Maui

Biking down the volcano has been a popular activity on Maui for several years.  But I suggest that you AVOID this activity.

Haleakala is the 10,000 foot volcano that makes up the east half of Maui.  There is a paved road that winds all the way up the volcano to a parking lot near the summit.  Many cars and tour vans drive up and down this road every day, to enjoy the spectacular view of the crater in the National Park at the top.

Several tour companies offer group bike rides.  They take you up in a van, bringing along the bikes in a trailer.  Then you coast downhill on your bike for about three hours, on the same winding road as the cars and vans.

Unfortunately, this activity is too dangerous to recommend.  Bike riders can ride off the edge of the mountain road, especially in the many areas without guard rails.  Bikes can ride into oncoming traffic.  There are serious injuries every year, and there have been a few deaths.

In 2007, because of injuries and deaths on this ride, Haleakala National Park banned the tours from the park.  But some companies still offer the tour, starting outside of the park borders.  They give you a tour inside the park in their van (which you could do yourself in your own car, or with another company that offers van tours without bike rides), and then they take you outside of the park to begin your bike ride down the volcano.

Below is information about some of the companies still offering Haleakala bike tours.  But for your own safety, I suggest that you avoid this activity.  Or click for more things to do on Maui.

Bike down the volcano tours – See above and below for reasons I do not recommend this activity

Maui Downhill   808-871-2155
Maui Downhill website

Mountain Riders   808-242-9739
Mountain Riders website

Maui Mountain Cruisers   808-871-6014
Maui Mountain Cruisers website

Cruiser Phil’s   808-893-2332
Cruiser Phil’s website

According to an article on About.com by Guide John Fischer, dated October 8, 2007, “the park responds to at least four to eight accidents a month involving bicycles and is often asked to respond outside the park by local authorities as a first response to serious bike accidents.”

According to an article in the Maui News on February 9, 2008, “A preliminary report by a National Park Service Analysis Team has found commercial downhill bicycle tours at Haleakala National Park to be one of the most high-risk activities at national parks.”  The article states that there were two fatalities on these bicycle tours in the park in 2007.  It does not give any information about fatalities and injuries on the large part of the downhill bike rides that occurs outside of the national park boundaries.

According to an article in the Honolulu Star Bulletin on March 19, 2008, Haleakala National Park Superintendent Marilyn Parris extended the ban on the bicycle rides within the park because of a panel’s finding that the activity poses “unacceptably high risk.”

The national park does not have the authority to ban the bike rides outside of park boundaries, which is the reason those rides are able to continue in spite of the ban inside the park.  But the road outside the park is just as dangerous as in the park.

See the page of Things To Do In Maui for luaus, whale watching, snorkeling, tours, helicopters, horseback riding, ATV, dinner cruises, parasailing, fishing, zipline, biking, golf, hiking, sightseeing, aquarium, road to Hana, volcano, Lahaina, lavender farm, beaches, kids and family fun, and more.

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