“An adventure ride that starts from the rim of Haleakala, a 10,000 ft volcano.
— Leslie Kehmeier
Downhill is a unique ride that starts near the summit of Haleakala, a 10,000 ft dormant volcano.
The ride is done as a shuttle. The route is a link up of Skyline
and then down Waipoli road to Rice Memorial Park park. For a shorter ride, you can park a vehicle at the Boundary Trail access point along the Waipoli doubletrack
Expect to spend at least half a day to complete the ride. The journey up to the summit of Haleakala is a long and winding, yet beautiful drive.
Waipoli Access Rd will be closed from March 17 to April 30 for repairs.
Need to Know
is accessed through Haleakala National Park. If you plan to visit the viewpoints along the crater rim you'll need to pay the $10 fee at the entrance gate. If you only intend to access the top of Skyline
to start the ride then you can be waved through at no cost.
is a doubletrack comprised of cinders and pumice stone. It's strongly advised to wear a full face helmet and a full compliment of body armor. This part of the route is often dry, loose and can be extremely technical to maneuver.
starts from a gate just outside Haleakala National Park. Head downhill on paved road with the Big Island in the distance. The route turns right and turns to cinder and pumice stone, a surface that can get extremely technical at times.
turns back to the left after is traverse below the observatory buildings and then screams across a moonscape. With earth tones in front of you and the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean below, it's likely to be one of the most unique landscapes you can experience on a bike.
The route descends through a series of switchbacks above the Kula Forest Reserve before it reaches Mamane
Turn right to continue the adventure on Mamane
, mountain singletrack that descends through a cloud forest.
The upper end beings in low shrubs and grass slopes with lots of whoops and turns. The fun factor is high with plenty of opportunities to catch air.
The middle section of the trail transitions to a bit more technical riding with some loose cobble and small drops. The tree cover also changes and you'll find yourself riding through big bushy pine trees.
The lower reaches are the most technical with extended sections of rocks and boulders. The forest is perhaps the most beautiful with tall trees and small pockets of meadows.
Manane ends on the Waipoli doubletrack
. Turn right to finish the Skyline
downhill by descending all of Waipoli Road to Rice Memorial Park.
History & Background
Haleakala National Park was established in 1961 and covers 33,265 acres. Its name is Hawaiian for 'house of the sun'. The park sees over 1.5 million visitors per year. Although mountain bikes are not allowed inside the park (Skyline
trail is outside of its boundaries), Haleakala is definitely worth the time to stop and gaze into the crater and at the surrounding views.