The Skyline Trail Downhill Ride
Despite the foreboding no trespassing sign, just stay on the public access road that leads
hikers and bikers, to Skyline trail.
Here's what the entrance looks like from the summit.
Mt. Haleakala's Skyline Trail is one of Maui's lesser known trails
but it probably ranks as one of the world's better downhill rides.
The renown Kamikaze Downhill descends 2200', Big Bear (Snow Summit) about 1400',
and Winter Park Colorado, about 2200' contrasts to the 10000' descent of
Mt. Haleakala. From the summit , down Skyline to Mamane equals a drop of 3000'
over a span of under 7 miles, Mamane to Waipoli Road drops another 1000'
in just less than 2 miles. There's a little pedaling on the dirt portion
of Waipoli (2 miles) until Waipoli plunges 3000' in 6 miles (10% grade,steep!)
13 miles more of light to moderate drops ends at the sea level via
Haleakala highway or other northerly routes.
Starting 1.25 miles southwest of Haleakala's 10,023' summit, Skyline Trail
runs 4.4 miles to Mamane Trailhead all on sometimes very sketchy sand and rocks.
If you pass/miss Mamane trailhead, Skyline will run to the junction of Poli Poli Park
Road in a few miles, becomes Waipoli Road which ends at the junction of Rt 377, just 1/4
mile up from the main highway, Haleakala Highway, route 37.
First thing you gotta do is get to the summit. Its easy for me because I
work at the observatory here and I can catch a ride to the top whenever
I want. Pedaling to the top isn't that hard either, plan on 3 hours or so
from the "22 mile to summit" sign in Kula. Here I am reflecting the first
rays of sunrise with my Intense downhill beast.
As you come down from the summit, hang a right and head toward this cluster
of low rise tv transmitting antennas (towers are now gone). Take the left curving road and follow
this bumpy way to.....
....opposite of this microwave relay system, Skyline begins in the middle
left of the picture. Go around the gate and your there. The gate is to
keep 4wd vehicles out. Hikers and bikers welcome. This trail turnoff
is 1.1 miles from the summit.
Here Skyline get the warming morning sun rays after a freezing night.
Mt. Haleakala's shadow is seen on the clouds below.