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“Incredible views” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Pony Express Tours

Pony Express Tours
Haleakala Ranch, Haleakala National Park, Maui, HI
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Type: Tours
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Pony Express Tours no longer operates rides into Haleakala National Park (Haleakala Crater). We are, however , continuing to offer guided horseback tours across historic Haleakala Ranch in up-country Maui. 2 and 1.5 hour rides are offered at 8:00AM and 11:00 AM respectively.
Arvada, Colorado, United States
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
26 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Incredible views”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2013

If you can sit in a saddle for 2.5 hours, this is a great ride. Low marks for the people running the tour. From what I hear the horses aren't treated really well but they did a great job. The views inside the crater are amazing. It takes you back to what seems like the beginning of time. Now I want to go to the big island to see an active volcano.

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ponydoug, Owner at Pony Express Tours, responded to this review, July 10, 2013
I contacted "Dave M" concerning his remark about the horses not being treated well. I was curious where he heard that. He told me the guide was spreading that misrepresentation and that it was the guides last day of work with Pony Express. We did have to let him go after repeated complaints (some appearing in Trip Advisor) about his snooty attitude toward riders. I assure you that, as "Dave M" said in his review, the horses "did a great job" because the horses are well cared for. It is unfortunate that the departing employee felt the need to spread sour grapes among our riders and I apologize for his actions. Thankfully, I will not have to apologize for him anymore and riders will not have to endure his attitude either. Happy Trails!!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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123 reviews from our community

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English first
Cleveland, Ohio
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Not worth it”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

Just returned from a fabulous vacation in Maui, but this tour was a low point. Beautiful scenery, for sure, but the trail ride was treacherous and torturous. I love horseback riding, but it seemed like every step these horses took was agonizing. The trail was steep and rocky. I swear, we were lucky no horse or rider got hurt. You are on the horse for 2 solid hours on the way down (no breaks) and 2 hours back up. Our tour guide, Ra, never asked how we were doing or if he could help in any way. Most of the time, it seemed like he was riding by himself since he was always far ahead of the group. He offered very little commentary and, when he did, most of us couldn't even hear him. At the bottom of the crater, we had lunch and talked among ourselves, since Ra chose to sit away from the group. On the 2 hour ride back up the crater we struggled, with no encouragement, through dense fog and rain. I've never been so happy to get off a horse in my life. I didn't know if I was happier for myself or for the poor horse. Even though the trail is rough, a friendly, caring, upbeat tour guide would have really helped. If you want to see the crater, I suggest you hike the first 1/4 of the Sliding Sands trail. That's where you will get the best views. Be aware, however, that the drive to the summit is not for the meek.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Maria, California
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“Great experience and views!!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

We were lucky with our weather on the day of our ride. Beautiful and expansive views all the way down. Makana (sp) was our guide and he was fantastic!!!! Great sense of humor and always had a smile on his face. I was thrilled to have Mele as my horse. She had a lot of spunk and did the funniest thing on the ride back. She would stop in her tracks and give the horses a head start in front (we were in the back) then she would turn and look at me to make sure I was ready then off she went into a trot to catch back up. She did this most of the way back. I loved it!!!!! I loved all the different personalities of the horses and it was obvious they were not "trail sour" as so many other operations I have seen. You will get a bit sore as you are in the saddle for 4 hours + with a break in between for a lovely lunch. I highly recommend this to those who enjoy doing something unique.

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tiffin, Ohio
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2013

I love horsebackriding and was very excited to try a different horsebackriding excursion in Maui than I did the last time I visited. The worst thing was our tour guide, Ra. He was very unfriendly, was yelling at hikers on the trails, was very stern with our group. I was riding right behind him and was so intimidated that I didn't want to talk in fear I would get yelled at again. It was a very cold ride down there and he didnt even bother to offer the wind jackets until after lunch. It would have made the ride down much more enjoyable had those jackets been offered. Don't get me wrong the views were beautiful. It was just not what I pictured. I thought the trail would have been a little more smooth and easier for the horse. I literally wanted to get off my horse and help the poor fellow down and then up the trail. At one point his knees became weak while climbing up but luckily did not fall. I was so sore during and after this excursion. It was hard to enjoy all the beauty and the horsebackriding when the horse appears like it could collapse and your worried about getting yelled at by the tour guide. If you want to see Mt. Haleakala or the crater, I would suggest a different excursion.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“a little too long”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013

This was definitely one of those "once in a lifetime" experiences. The austere beauty of the ride is unmatched and you feel like you are on a different planet at times. The horses are tame and sure-footed, so even the greenest riders will have no trouble at all. They advise you to wear a sweatshirt and long pants....for your own sake wear several layers...it was about 45 degrees at the top of the crater when we started, so a sweatshirt doesn't cut it. Thankfully, they provide full windsuits for anyone who wants them, and these were a big help. The croissant lunch with fruit and chips was delicious. The narrowness of the trail requires single file riding, so that along with the wind factor makes it difficult to converse with anyone for the entire trip. For that reason, I think the 4 1/2 hours is a bit too long, and it did get a little boring at times. Our guide, who I will leave unnamed, was a nice enough guy who was surely knowledgeable and provided quite a bit of information along the way, but you couldn't help but get the feeling that he has been doing this just a little too long from his somewhat condescending air. I think the "Maui Revealed" guidebook got it just right in their assessment. I would still recommend this as a great way to spend time seeing the Crater, provided you understand that you will essentially be there from the 8:15 check-in to about 3:30 finish, then almost two hour drive back to your hotel. Getting back to the beach in the evening felt pretty good.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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