Sunrise bike down Haleakala Volcano, Maui
Who would wake up at 2:30am to go see sunrise then bike down a 10,000 foot Hawaiian volcano? Yes, 2:30am. Sounds intimidating but it was invigorating and worth it for such an unforgettable experience. I was looking for new adventures and a bike down Haleakala Volcano, Maui piqued my interest. The journey was absolutely incredible going from pitch dark to the sun rise slowly rising above the clouds. You will feel like you are floating along the clouds with clear visibility of the sun. After a lot of oohs and ahhs, we started our bike adventure descending down the volcano with fun stops at the lavender cafe to picking up homemade fresh donuts. Join me in this truly epic and memorable adventure that is well worth the early wake.
We drove to Paia by 3:30am, signed in, and received a short orientation. We grabbed our helmets, windbreaker pants, jacket, backpack all provided by Sunriders Maui and had a bike selected for us. Maui Sunriders were very quick and efficient and soon we were off in vans going high in elevation and on windy roads. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable giving us some history and safety guidelines on our way up. Try not to doze off, some instructions are important so you know how to get back to our starting point. I recommend taking motion sickness medicine and sitting closer to the front if you get car sick easily.
About 1 hour later, we arrived to a big lot and it is still pitch dark with bright clear stars. We were dropped off near the top at almost 10,000 feet above sea level entering below 40 degree weather. Bring a extra blankets and jackets, trust me it is extremely cold and windy up there! The best part is the tour guide will take your extra stuff back to the shop so you don’t need to worry about carrying it down with you on a bike. Since sunrise doesn’t happen immediately, you will be waiting around for a good 30-45 minutes. Wait out near the bathrooms for some protection from the strong winds. Temperature will be under 40 degrees with HIGH winds. So cold and windy at the top, but so worth it.
Pretty sure my fingers and toes were numb at this point, but as soon as the sun started to beam at us from the horizon around the floating clouds, I barely even noticed.
The sun slowly rising up.
Photos will never do justice, you need to see it in person yourself!
Tired and cold, but totally worth it!
There are many different views and angles for the sun, there isn’t any bad views.
Soon enough, we got back into the van and they took us to slightly lower elevation about 6,500 feet passing by the floating clouds.
Our tour guide set us up on our bikes and we got a brief safety guide and directions. Soon, we were free to bike at our own leisurely pace.
Immediately you are greeted with green lush landscapes.
Keep your eyes on the road! Everything was downhill, not too much pedaling required.
We stopped by the Lavender Cafe for breakfast and coffee.
Their grounds are beautiful with an outdoor gazebo.
A whole field of fresh smelling lavender.
They also sell a variety of lavender products, great souvenirs to bring back.
We shared delicious macadamia pancakes along with fresh coffee. The grounds were beautiful to relax and sneak in a few yoga poses.
Location: 16631-16727 Crater Rd | Kula, HI 96790
Since it is a small shop, food may take a little longer but what’s the rush? You’re in Maui!
Overall, great views and service. Note, they are right next to the Zipline company on the right as you bike down.
Soon we were back on the road again making different stops to take photos and soak in the scenery. We stopped at a cute town called Makawao on the way back filled with little stores and shops. You can just lock your bikes up and walk around, be sure to stop by T Komoda for freshly baked donuts!
Along the way there are cute fruit stands to purchase some homegrown fruits. Bring cash!
The sunrise from the Haleakala nothing short of breathtaking. It can be cold, exhausting, but also beautifully jaw-dropping. The beautiful volcano sunrise with the sun shining through the clouds is worth getting up early to see.
I am so happy to be able to cross off this bucket list, now add it to yours!
Tips: Make sure you dress warm and layer up! Bring a blanket if you can. Make use of their handy backpacks provided with locks!