I found this place based on a friend's recommendation. Woke up at 1:30am so that I could get to the office by 2:30 in the morning. But it was perfect because we were able to get a prime location for capturing the sunrise at the peak of Haleakala.
Haleakala means "House of the Sun". The peak is the highest point in Maui. It rests at 10,000 feet and, at the peak, you sit right above the clouds. Sunrise here is a must-see event in Maui and it was probably one of my best memories of my trip. You come in seeing a sky full of stars. As the orange tint gradually rises above the clouds, the stars slowly fade. Then you get the sharp glimmer of the sun. When the sun appears, it's undoubtedly a Hakuna Matata moment, but it's only the beginning of the experience.
Taking the 26 mile downhill ride was also really fun. It forces you to really take in the beautiful environment and fresh air.
Reasons to choose this company:
You can trek down this mountain at your own pace. You could stop at Kula Lodge for mac nut pancakes and you could stop by the Komoda bakery for guava malasadas.
The guides are friendly and they have good insight.
The mountain bikes were new. They have nice disk braking systems and were a comfortable ride.
Factors to consider in choosing a different company or bus tour:
Choose a different company if you need a guided tour.
Choose a different company if you don't have a good navigation sense and you will be riding alone.
Choose a different company if you don't think you could safely ride a bike 26 miles downhill. Note that you are on roads and you will be sharing the road with traffic. I didn't see a lot of cars, but it is still a consideration if you have small kids or if you have a significant other that isn't comfortable with riding.
Things to be aware of:
There are 6 different climate zones between the peak of the volcano and the final destination at ground level. It will go from 20-40F at the peak to as high as 90F at sea level. Know the weather. Bring a backpack, sunglasses, and wear layers. They can provide you with a backpack and light rain jacket if you need it. But if you're sensitive to cold, then you will need to plan accordingly.
Also...on the bus ride up....pay attention to the driver. He gives you turn by turn directions.
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