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“Maui Downhill was an early, but awesome, experience”
Review of Maui Downhill

Maui Downhill
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Maui Downhill Bike Ride
Ranked #1 of 2 Food & Drink in Kahului
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: We invented Downhill guided biking in 1982. Unlock the rush of gliding down Mount Haleakala Volcano from 6500 feet after seeing the famous Haleakala sunrise at 10,023 feet from the edge of Haleakala's 3,000 foot deep Volcanic crater. See the night stars right next to the World Famous Star Observatories before your biking adventure evens starts. Choose from over 10 different Guided Bike Tours. Ride with us, we invented Downhill.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access, Lockers / storage, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Stroller parking
Reviewed July 16, 2010

The only bad part of the day was having to wake up at 1:45 a.m. in order to be picked up at 2:15. Other than that, the trip was terrific! We were in our lobby at 2:10 a.m, and the driver was already there waiting for us, and we were the first pickup. Our van was spacious and the driver was friendly. We got to the office location at 3:30 a.m. where a light continental breakfast was served. We left the office and arrived to the top of the mountain at 5:15 a.m. As other reviewers mentioned, dress warmly! It was about 40 degrees at the top of the mountain, and we took the advice of dressing in layers (including sweatpants and gloves) - and we were warm. There was a park ranger at the top of the mountain and he was very protective of the land - it was easy to see how passionate he was about the environment and not straying from the paths. The sunrise was beautiful - the top of the mountain was above the clouds, and it was amazing to see the sunrise. After the sunrise, our driver took us to two other stops at the top of the mountain while giving a brief history of each. After the second stop, we drove down to 6,500 feet and met our guide for the biking portion. Our driver left, and our tour was led by Zep (who rode with us) and a new driver (whose name we cannot remember, but he was also nice). Zep was fantastic - as one of us hadn't biked in over 10 years, we had to disclose this - and Zep was patient and focused on safety. He made sure even the least experienced riders were capable of making to the bottom (and stressed that we could stop anytime and ride in the van instead). We made 2 stops while biking to the bottom - one for pictures and the second for a late breakfast. The ride down was almost entirely downhill and beautiful. We biked at speeds of 10 mph-23 mph (you are not allowed to participate if you go slower than 10 mph, and average speeds are 15-20 mph). The ride was very controlled by the leader of the group. The van follows the bikers in case anyone needs to stop. Our only suggestions are to dress in layers, be ready to wake up early, and bring a bottle of water and some snacks. There was a gap of about 6 hours from the time we left the office to the time that we got to the late breakfast stop.

1  Thank Honeymooners0710
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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342 - 346 of 373 reviews

Reviewed May 11, 2010

My whole family got up at 2:30 to get ready and meet the van at our hotel at 3:00. The Van was more than a half hour late. When the van finally did show up it was over crowded. My sister and I were able to find a seat, as my mom was waiting outside the van to make some room, the coordinator got on the phone with his supervisor. he then had his supervisor talk to my mom and tell her that there was some problem with our reservation. That they saw it yesterday afternoon. and that only two of our family of four could go on the trip. As a family we decided that we weren't going to leave half or us behind. We decided to drive up on our own, as there was no way we would get any sort of decent sleep after being awake now enraged. We weren't even offered a map to the summit. We ended up slightly lost due to bad GPS, but did end up making it for sunrise on our own after loosing the over-crowded vans that we had found and started following that were going at least 30 mph over the speed limit. We had booked through an expedia local expert in Lahaina, Ray. When we had gotten back to our hotel we talked to Ray, and told him what happened, that we had four vouchers with our names and information on them, and that they refused to honor them. Ray called Maui Downhill, who gave him a different story as to why our whole family was not allowed. This version was that another party had brought along two extra people that had no voucher to go biking, and that the problem was not with our reservation, it was that since they would not have time to return the two who had not made a reservation to their hotel, and we were the last party to be picked up, we got the short end of the stick. They were reluctant to give us our money back and tried over and over again to just book us on another trip to wake-up again at 2:30 on a vacation that we had fully booked with other events, and just would not be able to fit in. We did end up getting a refund, but I won't deal with a company that shows such poor customer service! There are many other biking companies out there. go with someone else!

2  Thank khelysia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2010

I don't often enter reviews, but after reading all the negative press given to Maui Downhill, I felt obliged to offer my opinions of the bike ride down Haleakala and of Maui Downhill.

The company has obviously been around for a long time for a reason! They run a good business. They also try to run a very safe operation and they try to honor the rules set forth by the National Park - no riding at the top - and they try not to be a burden on the towns below - they stop well before getting out to the sea. They are trying very hard to keep the rides allowed on the volcano!! This means working with the communities.

Regarding the riding only as fast as slowest rider - yes, it's a bit slow - but also allows you to relax and enjoy the views! If you know this up front... you don't worry!

Regarding Jeremiah who is one of the guides - yes, he has a rough sense of humor, but he was trying to make sure everyone had a great time! I really enjoyed is kidding around. I also noticed how he and Brad, the van driver, were also keeping a keen eye on everyone on the trip and on the traffic. It was really nice to not have to worry about the next car! They kept us safe and still tried to let us have some fun. Some don't notice this part!

The views from the top of the volcano are something I have never seen - sunrise from that kind of location is awesome! From the top to the bottom of the volcano, our guide and van driver (Jeremiah and Brad) were a wealth of information about Maui, Hawaii, the geography, the people - this is what you're paying for!

If you want a break neck ride down the volcano - rent your own bike, coordinate your own transportation (or ride up from the bottom), watch for traffic, yourself... bring your own history and geology books and read them yourself...

If you want a great way to start your vacation on Maui? Take the ride down Haleakala - I say start because that's the best way to deal with the 2:30am pickup time :-) if you're flying in from North American mainland, you won't be over jetlag...

1  Thank HMcC1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2010

I cant believe the other negative reviews of this trip. We went on the Heleakala Volcano sunrise trip with bike riding down on 4/2/10. It was only a few $ more via the internet special for them to pick us up at the Hotel - so we went that route. We were glad we did so we didnt have to stumble driving around at 2:30 am. After reading the previous postings on how cold it is at the top, we dressed appropriately but were still cold. The wind was really blowing. Sunrise was a once in a lifetime experience. Then we went to the summit for a short stay. The bike ride down was incredible. You use your brakes the whole way and dont peddle hardly at all. Our guide Kirk was fantastic. He knew his facts on Hawaii and Maui and the group really enjoyed learning the details of the area. He was great and unlike the tour guides here in New Orleans, didn't make up half the facts. We are very glad we booked this trip. The only con was the 2:30 pick up time - it got us to the top around 1 hour before sunrise. But I can see why they dont want to cut it close.

Also to comment on theother posts dealing with the strict guidance not to cross the middle of the road - yes they were very strict. However they are really concerned with the groups safety and riding a bike you dont get a 2nd chance with a head on with an oncoming car - so I can see why they dont tolerate swerving over into the oncoming lane. Also - as long as you have ridden a bike in the last 10 years - you dont need any exceptional ability to do this trip. My wife was concerned but by the end of the trip she admitted it was easy. Thanks Kirk and Maui Downhill!

1  Thank Kyleinno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2010

Do not suggest using this company at all!!  The bike guide was very unsafe...traveling way too fast and down the middle of the road more often than not.  He was also extremely rude as he heckled other groups (one being a family where he used very foul language) as he passed them; not looking at the road and not having both hands on the handle bars or feet on the pedals, swerving all over the road.  Considered  an adventure junkie but was frightened at the speed most of the time; rarely making sure that the entire group was OK.  He also expected cars to get out of the way of the bikes after being warned to stay close to the shoulder because several of the locals were tired of the bike tours.  For that kind of money he could at least be courteous and kind and remember that tourists are paying his salary!

Thank travelingm0m0f4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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