Tour Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park by Bike

Biking is permitted in the park on paved roads, paved sections of the Crater Rim Trail, and on some dirt trails. The park has created an excellent Where to Bicycle brochure available on its website.

The suggested bike rides include a moderate 11-mile loop to circle the rim, a moderate 18-mile round-trip ride on Hilina Pali Road, a challenging 40-mile roundtrip Summit to Sea ride following the Mauna Ulu eruption, and a challenging 27-mile round-trip ride up (climbing 2,600 feet!) and down Mauna Loa Road. The guide includes several short offshoots from the Mauna Loa Road for those who want to do some mountain biking.

Steam rises from a vent in the Kilauea caldera in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
The Halema‘uma‘u crater in the Kileaua caldera. Photo © Malgorzata Litkowska/123rf.

If you don’t have a bike with you or are not an experienced rider, or you’re simply looking for a different way to see the park, I highly recommend taking a guided bike tour of the park with Bike Volcano (808/934-9199, children/van riders $95, adults $99 per person). What makes this a great way to see the park is that it takes some cars off the road and the ride is all downhill and truly easy for anyone (including youngsters and those of us who are out of shape). There are snacks at several stops on the four-hour tour. Experienced riders may be bored or frustrated by the slow pace. The ride stops at all the major sights along the Crater Rim, where the tour guide, who is trained in geology and Hawaiian culture, gives informative talks about the park. In addition to this tour of the park, other options include a sunset ride to view the lava flow ($119-129) and the basic park tour with a winery visit/tasting as an add-on ($119-129). Bike Volcano offers several pickup points for riders (including from Hilo), or riders may meet at the Kilauea Visitor Center.

Another company that does a similar basic bike tour of the park, but picks up from both Hilo and the Kona side, is Nui Pohaku (808/937-0644, $135-239). The bike tour guides between companies tend to know each other, so the actual tour and information given on the tour aren’t that different. The main difference is that Nui Pohaku uses older bikes than the other companies. In addition to the basic park ride, Nui Pohaku offers combo tours that include a nighttime guided hike to the lava flow in Puna.

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