Featuring America's top destinations
Haleakala ATV Tours, Maui, HI
Contributing Writers: Jill McClure and Rob Cuthbertson
If you’re looking for something other than the usual beach activities while in Maui, Haleakala ATV Tours offers a fascinating view of the island that most tourists never see. Located in the middle of the Baldwin Ranch in Haleakala, they provide visitors with the opportunity to drive all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) along trails starting at 4,000 feet above sea level through rolling pastures, offering beautiful views of the island below. Tours of varying time and length are available, as are a continental breakfast and lunch on the longer rides.
Our Southpoint team toured the ranch on a sunny, warm morning and was fortunate to be in an intimate group of four, but oftentimes the tours can be as large as a dozen or more participants. As part of the premier package, we also enjoyed a picnic lunch of freshly made sandwiches in a serene setting within the ranch.
This is not an activity for tourists expecting a relaxing ride in the countryside. Riders operate their own ATVs and navigate winding paths through a working cattle ranch. The focus of the tour is the operation and driving of the ATV, and scenery is definitely second. The views of the interior of the ranch are not the lush tropical paradise that some may expect in Hawaii, but envision a canyon land with some trees and nice vistas. Children under 15, or those who don’t wish to drive their own vehicle can arrange their tours in an off-road jeep or Yamaha Rhino driven by a guide.
Regardless of whether you pilot yourself or let someone else do the driving, expect to get dirty—really dirty—as you maneuver through rough dirt trails that are perfectly designed for a fun romp on an ATV. If you like negotiating bumpy off-road terrain, you’ll love this tour.
Be sure to wear old clothes and shoes (items that can be easily washed). Bring a light jacket, as weather and temperatures can vary widely throughout the day, ranging from chilly in the morning to hot in the afternoon.
The tour center provides helmets, headsocks, goggles, as well as moist towels for clean-up. In keeping with the rugged, outdoorsy experience, portable toilets are located behind the center.
Those who plan in advance can also book a zip line tour through the eucalyptus forest nearby (call 808-661-0288 for details).
Make your plans at least three months in advance in order to ensure yourself a spot.
We would like to thank Haleakala ATV Tours for assistance with our feature.