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Haleakala with Pony Express

Highlands Ranch...
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143 posts
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Haleakala with Pony Express

Has anyone done the Haleakala Crater horseback riding trip with Pony Express tours? I know seeing the crater is a must.....I doubt I'll be able to drag myself there for the sunrise and a horse looks more fun than a bike.

New Jersey
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1. Re: Haleakala with Pony Express

I would also like to know about the Pony Express horseback ride? Is it too far to travel there from Kapalua? About how long? The horse is definitely safer for me than a bike!

Wernersville, PA
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311 posts
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2. Re: Haleakala with Pony Express

Did the Pony Express Junction Ride back in September and REALLY enjoyed it. Definitely one of our memorable experiences - an excellent way to really experience Haleakala - considering the bikes don't go into the crater, the only other option is hiking.

My wife and rode with 5 others and our guide "Ra." He was very knowledgeable and shared details along the way. The trip took over 4 hours, traversing over 3 miles and 2,500 feet down into the crater. The scenery was incredible - took a slew of great photos.

I'm a novice rider but did fine; my wife has more experience and was really impressed with the quality of the horses - they knew exactly what to do. The path is narrow and at times steep with decent steps and ledges so there were some slightly exciting moments, but as long as you stay aware and keep your weight on the balls of your feet there should be no problem. The horses poked along pretty smoothly.

Recommend you wear jeans and dress in layers - it was in the 50s at 9AM when we arrived at the top of the summit, but as we descended the sun was rising high, so the temperature rose into the 70s. I had a Gore-Tex jacket over a long sleeve mock turtleneck over a short sleeve tee. Peeled off the jacket for an hour or so. Also, recommend a hat, and whatever you do, don't forget the sunscreen. In addition to the scenery, I also have vivid memories of this other rider who wore shorts and didn't use any SPF - his legs turned lobster red!

Sorry I can't remember how long it took to drive up to the summit - I believe the Pony Express folks told us how much time to allow (were staying Upcountry anyhow). Someone else on this board should be able to help here.

The only negative memory I have was a speech we got from Ra before the ride about how he worked for tips. We had been given no expectations there would be any additional cost, so this struck me as odd.

If you have any more questions, leave another post and I'll try to help.


Tucson, Arizona
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3. Re: Haleakala with Pony Express

Just a quick question, how was it breathing at that altitude? I am asthmatic and wonder about being that high up....is the air "thin". We too want to do the ride with Pony Express but I would hate to get into the crater and have an asthma attack!