Just did the Haleakala climb starting in Paia today 8/3/12.  Rented a mid-level Spec. Roubaix at West Maui Cycles, a nice LBS.   Left at 7:30 am (a bit late), and got back to the car at 3:00 pm  This ride was a bit more than I expected, but I did finish and overall it's one of the best rides ever!


The Sunrise market went out of business about two months ago, so the last market is about a mile down the hill, called Kula Marketplace, just before you turn onto the Haleakala Highway/Crater Road. 


I have finished some epic rides before with more climbing, like The Death Ride in Markleeville, Ca, but there are a few quirks here which add some challenge.  First off, 10,000 feet of unrelenting climbing is not something most cyclists have to deal with.  Also, you are on your own up there without the level of support an organized ride would offer.   The weather and temperature swings can be quite dramatic on this ride.  On the way up, its hot and you loose lots of fluid sweating.  On the way down, my hands were totally frozen descending in cold fog and rain, and I wished for those windproof, full-fingered gloves you recommended (I did have a nice jacket).  Finally, unless you live in Colorado, there just aren't that many paved roads that go up this high, and climbing that last 2000 ft.  is just a bit more taxing.


Hope this adds to the info data base, and helps others take on this "mini-epic" available on the beautiful island of Maui.  The Haleakala summit is one of the most beautiful and surreal places on Earth. 


Sent from Andrew's iPad

06/29/10- Hey Mike,

I donít know if you are still keeping up with anyone doing the volcano climb on Maui, but I referred to your 2006 website many times in preparation for the best part of my 2 weeks on Maui.  Iíve actually done a portion of the climb before (Makawao to the ranger station Ė wind got so bad at the top I had to stop).  But this time I went straight from Paia to the summit.  4:11 total climbing time.  The last 2 miles was really tough. If it wasnít for my wife and kids in the minivan cheering me on, I think I would have turned around and enjoyed a pre-mature descent!  But the feeling of satisfaction cannot be compared!  And the day was perfect: no clouds, no wind, no cold.  Unbelievable!

Again, thanks for the detail in your website.  It really helped me! Canít wait to do it again someday!

Kris H  ( I did put together a facebook album with some photos and commentary along the way)

04/09/10- Hi Mike

I'm in Maui and read your piece on cycling the volcano before doing the ride myself a couple of days ago. Many thanks - it was very helpful and saved me having to consult a map on the way up. I'm so pleased I was alerted to that right turn you missed - you did extra well to keep your spirits up after that.

If you want to read another online account of the circuit you can find mine, which is currently the most recent post on www.hillfarmhouse.com.

Best, Ian G


I enjoyed your web page about the ride up Haleakala.   When I rode it I did not have the benefit of your experience or information.
I started at 4am at the Aston Maui Hill in Kehei.  It was pitch dark, but the wind was calm and I had two full water bottles and a pocket full of power bars.  It was Thursday Thanksgiving morning, dinner was scheduled for 4pm so the clock was running...
The ride through the cane fields and past the old sugar mill was uneventful. The first part of the climb from the cane fields to the the town of Pukliani was the steepest part of the entire climb. The sky was turning gray to the east by that time so I could see the town, but the actual mountain was lost in the clouds.
I kept going until I reached the eucalyptus grove (almost half way up). I stopped there for a rest and watched the sunrise bike riders coast down the mountain. The tour guides shouted ecouragement and gave be the "shaka" sign.  The tourists stared but they didn't seem to understand that I was riding up the mountain, not coasting down..
It turned out to be a cloudless day on the mountain, the climb up the endless road was actually quite enjoyable (what I can remember). The next stop was the booth at the park entrance.  I was not really prepare to pay to get in. They took almost all my money.  I was really annoyed (or maybe just getting tired.)  But, I had enough left for one or two candy bars so I filled my water bottles and continued on.  The temperature was about 50 degrees and the wind was starting up so I put on the leg warmers, gloves and windbreaker.

The last few miles were chilly.  It got to the top and spent barely 5 minutes there before I went down.  I kept all the gear on all the way to the bottom. On the way down, the cars were very polite.  A couple of them even pulled over so I could pass them, that was nice.  I couldn't imagine following a guide down the hill.  I would probably drive me crazy.
At the bottom I took off the extra gear.  The temp was 85 degrees. Then I discovered an unexpected bonus: The wind on the top of the mountain was still blowing hard at the bottom.  I think the mountain appreciated all the hard work of the climb so it pushed me all the way back to Kehei with a 25mph tail wind.    I rolled into the condo at 1:30pm.  The round trip distance was almost exactly 100mi.  That was by far the best Century ride that I have ever done, and the dinner after it wasn't so bad either.

Thanks for your info on the web site. I wish you luck on your repeat performance. Mine was a once-in-a-lifetime ride.
Here is what I mailed to my friends:

I'm sitting in the condo on Maui trying to recover. I biked up, and down, Haliakala today. I started at sea level, went to 9800 feet, and returned to sea level. What a day. I hadn't biked since last September but for 24 milers on Tues. and Wednesday and a 41 miler on Friday. Then it's off to 9800 feet of climbing in 34 ...miles.

The photos and Word attachment are to document that I started at sea level, went to 9800 feet, and returned to sea level. What a day. I hadn't biked since last September but for 24 milers on Tues. and Wednesday and a 41 miler on Friday. Then it's off to 9800 feet of climbing in 34 miles. I'd like to give some of the credit to the jersey you gave me last summer. Thanks again.

The average elevation gain was 1000 feet every 3.5 miles. My average speed declined per hour from 7.9 to 6.6 with the low for an hour of 5.5. The descent was great. You know how 200 pounds likes downhill travel!

A Word file is attached documenting the elevation gains per hour, average speed per hour segment and overall. The descent was great. You know how 200 pounds likes downhill travel! I started to cramp severely at 4.5 hours. Fortunately, my support person, Karyl Oules, was there for a timely leg massage. Otherwise, I'm convinced I could not have completed the ride to the summit (Visitors' Lodger). I couldn't have done it without her.

I hope your day wasn't so painful.


3/21/2008- Hey Mike
Thanks for your website guide to Haleakala--we based our ride on much of what you posted.  We stayed/started from Paia also (no-wasn't going to get sand in my cleats) and made sure we got an extra bottle of water halfway.  We stopped at Kula Marketplace about 2 miles before your Sunrise Market--besides the basics lots of local food/ crafts and nice porch to sit on.  Now that I did the ride your comments "clouds take on a life of their own" really hits home--at 9000' cloud/ fog was rapidly spilling over the road like dry ice vapor.   Ditto "trees are gone; you didn't notice it happen."  Downhill was no fun--esp first 2-3,000'--we only had one day so we went up with mixed weather and (later learned) high wind warnings, I could have gotten a tee shirt "I froze to death in Hawaii."   Thanks for the guide. Jay

7/19/2007 Mike,
Thanks for the thorough ride description of Haleakala on the internet. I was able to get to the top today in 4:57 (without 1700 extra feet of vertical, thankfully). You provide more reliable info on this ride than any web source.

I had given up on the ride after a kid at a bike shop told me that brake pads and rims melt on the way down-he's obviously never been up there. Luckily a friend from Boulder, CO sent me your link mid-week through my vacation and it changed my attitude completely. It was a thorough climb, that's for sure. One note on the cattle guards: the first two have nice strips of steel accross them that are possible to ride across now without hitting the bumps. The third does not have this option. And I wish I had full gloves as you reccomend, it was freezing on the way down! Good tip on the water at the entrance gate, I drank three big bottles from there to the summit.

Take care and thanks again, Steve

6/8/2007- Hey Mike, thanks for all the info on your website on the haleakala ride. I was considering doing this ride next week while I'm in Maui, and your site has given me the confidence to go for it! I'll let you know how it goes. -Joshua

10/29/2006- Hello Mike, I just read your Haleakala page and found it to be great info...thanks so much for putting it together. I will be on Maui for three months and plan to make the acsent myself. One question if you don't mind? I run a double chainring, do you feel that will be a problem for this climb?

Thanks again, Mike Lynch

10/15/2006- Mike, Thank you for the Haleakala webpage. My wife and I along with my friend and his wife studied your webpage diligently prior to our attempt at Haleakala. Armed with information from your webpage, we successfully climbed the volcano on October 2nd, 2006. Unfortunately for us, the cloud cover was ever present from 4000' all the way to the top and didn't allow us any of the spectacular views you experienced. The cloud cover descended as the day wore on and was present all the way into Kula by late afternoon on our descent. So we didn't see much.

Your tips, advise, and information is still relevant and useful. We took your advise and carried clothing, food, and water in camelbaks. We were fully self-contained. The $5 entry fee is good for seven days so we used it to gain free entry into several other park adventures in the following days. So keep that receipt.

We transported our bikes using hard cases we purchased at Performance bikes. American Airlines charged $80 per bike each way and we had no difficulty with TSA inspections.

BTW: We also used the "Maui Revealed" book. It is truly an excellent book and allowed us to experience much of Maui that would otherwise be unknown to the typical tourist.

Thanks for the excellent information. Enclosed is a picture of us at the top. -Les Duarte, California

3/20/2006- We definitely want to go back asap to Maui, we've been quite depressed since we came back last Wednesday, so we're going to save as hard as possible for next March, that was our first real vacation since 97 when we went to Oahu, our Daughter is now married and we're done so it's easier now...;-) But yes, next time I'll take my own Bike and do it again....how about you??

I've attached a Pic, you can see the "Fog" in the background, within probably less than a minute it really came in and started pouring with rain...all I had was my cheap Plastic Rain Jacket which is all I ever need in SoCal...but I was FREEZING!! I know, I Know...you said "Take a Jacket, Full Fingered Gloves.." etc....good advice!! Did I listen??

But it was in the high 90's and humid when I started out....Incidentally, I'm not short in real life, I was huddled over the Bars...;-)

After a couple of Pics my wife ran back to the rental Jeep and we drove down...it was pretty hairy even in a Tin Box...in retrospect, I'm still glad I didn't ride down, but next time!!

Feel free to use the Pic as you wish if you want to start adding Riders to your page, I'll be happy to write a few lines too, maybe I'm the first British Guy to reach the Top?? Who knows, I could hold a record!! Hahaha!!! If not, the "slowest British Guy".....*groan* As a mate of mine said to me once "You ride like Tommy Simpson" I said "He's dead"!!    he said "Yeah, I know"

But seriously, your Page was really useful and it did encourage me to do it so I wanted to write and thank you.......I kept the Bike a couple more Days and did some early morning rides after that, we stayed at the Outrigger Eldorado Condo's...highly recommended also...up in Kanapaali on the west coast, just above Lahaina...but the 30 hwy coast road is VERY busy, lot's of 18 wheelers etc, a great Coastal road but too much fast Traffic and a nasty narrow Tunnel midway to share with Vehicles....

Keep up the great work!! Peter.

12/10/2005- Good morning Mike, Just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed the narration of your ride up mount Haleakala and, as with previous diaries, I appreciate the mix of good, practical information and humour. Since my wife and I have never been to Hawaii, so perhaps the Haleakala ride is a good reason to visit Hawaii and for me to add a challenging ride. Perhaps in 2007 since in 2006 I plan to become a member of the Nuts of Mont Ventoux.

Mike, what is your recommendation for a good bike case or bike bag for air travel. When I went to France I used a hard case from Trico Sport, however, I still had a slightly bent derailleur hanger (although I had taken off the derailleur). Reason being that the Trico gets compressed more and more particularly when the luggage handlers use it as a base or all other suit cases. I was told that bike bags get handled more carefully. Thanks again and best regards, Joachim