Biking in Hawaii: Best Trails and Bike Rental Tips

Welcome to the paradise of biking enthusiasts! Hawaii offers breathtaking trails and stunning landscapes that are perfect for exploring on two wheels. From the lush rainforests of Kauai to the volcanic terrain of the Big Island, each island has its own unique biking experiences to offer. In this article, we will dive into the best biking trails across the Hawaiian Islands and provide you with essential tips for renting bikes to ensure an unforgettable adventure.

Introduction to Biking in Hawaii

Before beginning your biking adventure, it's important to understand the beauty and diversity that awaits you on the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii's rugged terrain, stunning coastlines, and volcanic landscapes provide a dream playground for cyclists of all levels. Whether you prefer leisurely rides along scenic paths or challenging mountain biking routes, Hawaii has it all. From the popular tourist destinations to the hidden gems, each island boasts its own unique biking trails that will leave you awe-inspired.

Choosing the Right Bike Rental for Your Hawaii Adventure

Selecting the right bike rental is crucial for a successful biking experience in Hawaii. Here are a few tips to consider:

Research Bike Rental Companies

Start by researching reputable bike rental companies in the specific island you plan to visit. Look for companies that offer a wide range of bikes suitable for different terrains and rider preferences.

Consider Your Skill Level

Assess your biking skills and choose a bike that matches your proficiency. Whether you're a beginner, intermediate, or advanced rider, there will be a suitable bike available for you.

Bike Type and Features

Consider the type of biking you plan to do and choose a bike that fits your needs. For road cycling, opt for a lightweight road bike. If you're hitting the trails, a mountain bike with suitable suspension and tire treads is essential. Electric bikes are also gaining popularity in Hawaii and can provide an extra boost when exploring hilly terrains.

Sizing and Fit

Ensure that the rental bike is properly sized for your body to maximize comfort and safety. Check the bike's frame size, saddle height, and handlebar position to find the best fit.

Insurance and Safety

Inquire about insurance coverage and safety equipment provided by the rental company. A helmet is a must, and additional safety gear such as knee pads, elbow pads, and gloves might be worth considering, especially for off-road adventures.

By carefully considering these factors, you can choose the perfect rental bike that will enhance your biking experience in Hawaii.

Essential Gear and Safety Precautions for Biking in Hawaii

Before you hit the trails, it's crucial to ensure you have the essential gear and take necessary safety precautions to make your biking adventure in Hawaii safe and enjoyable.


A properly fitted helmet is the most important piece of gear for any cyclist. It protects your head in case of a fall or collision. Make sure your helmet is in good condition and meets safety standards.

Protective Clothing

Wear comfortable and moisture-wicking clothing suitable for the weather conditions. Consider wearing padded shorts for added comfort during longer rides. Don't forget to apply sunscreen to protect your skin from the strong Hawaiian sun.

Eye Protection

Sunglasses or clear safety glasses will protect your eyes from debris, dust, and the sun's glare. Choose glasses with UV protection and a snug fit.

Hydration System

Staying hydrated is crucial, especially in Hawaii's warm climate. Carry a water bottle or invest in a hydration pack to ensure you have enough water throughout your ride.

Repair Kit

Always carry a basic repair kit, including a spare tube, tire levers, a multi-tool, and a pump or CO2 inflator. Familiarize yourself with basic bike repairs to handle any minor issues that may arise on the trail.

Trail Maps and Navigation

Bring a detailed trail map or download a reliable navigation app to help you navigate the trails effectively. Familiarize yourself with the route before setting out.

Emergency Contact and First Aid Kit

Carry your identification and have emergency contact numbers stored in your phone or written down. It's also wise to carry a basic first aid kit with essentials like bandages, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers.

Safety Precautions 

  • Always follow the rules of the trail and respect other users.
  • Ride within your skill level and don't attempt trails that are beyond your abilities.
  • Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Yield to hikers and equestrians and give them enough space.
  • Be cautious of wildlife, especially in more remote areas.
  • Check the weather conditions before heading out and avoid biking during severe weather.

Exploring the Big Island's Biking Trails

The Big Island of Hawaii offers a diverse range of biking trails, catering to both mountain bikers and road cyclists. Here are some notable trails to explore:

Waikoloa Beach Resort Trails

Located on the Kohala Coast, these scenic trails offer a mix of easy and intermediate routes. Ride along the coastline and enjoy views of the turquoise waters while experiencing the island's unique flora and fauna.

Mauna Kea Summit

For the adventurous mountain bikers, a ride to the summit of Mauna Kea is a must. This challenging and high-altitude trail rewards you with breathtaking views of the surrounding volcanic landscape.

Kalopa State Recreation Area

Nestled in the Hamakua Coast, this park boasts lush rainforests and offers a network of trails suitable for all skill levels. Enjoy the tranquil atmosphere as you pedal through beautiful canopies and encounter native plants and wildlife.

Saddle Road

Connecting the east and west sides of the island, Saddle Road is a popular route for road cyclists. With its sweeping views of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, this scenic road provides an exhilarating ride.

These are just a few examples of the many biking trails waiting to be explored on the Big Island. Whether you prefer mountain biking, road cycling, or a mix of both, the Big Island has something for everyone.

Biker in Hawaii watching sunset

The Best Bike Routes in Oahu

Oahu, known as "The Gathering Place," offers a diverse range of bike routes that showcase the island's natural beauty and cultural attractions. Whether you're seeking coastal rides, scenic mountain routes, or a combination of both, Oahu has it all. Here are a few of the best bike routes to explore on the island:

North Shore Bike Path

This picturesque 5-mile paved path stretches along Oahu's famous North Shore, offering stunning views of the coastline and world-renowned surf breaks. As you ride, take in the sights of Sunset Beach, Pipeline, and Waimea Bay.

Diamond Head Loop

For a mix of challenging hills and coastal scenery, the Diamond Head Loop is a popular choice. This 10-mile loop takes you around the iconic Diamond Head crater and offers panoramic views of Waikiki and the Pacific Ocean.

Ka Iwi State Scenic Shoreline

Located on the southeastern coast, this scenic route provides a breathtaking coastal ride. Pedal along the 5-mile paved path, known as the "Hanauma Bay to Makapu'u Point Trail," and enjoy vistas of turquoise waters, rugged cliffs, and lush vegetation.

Tantalus Drive

For a mountainous adventure, head to Tantalus Drive in the Pu'u Ualaka'a State Park. This winding road takes you through a lush forested area and rewards you with sweeping views of Honolulu and the surrounding landscapes.

Oahu's bike routes offer a mix of leisurely rides and more challenging options, allowing you to tailor your biking experience to your skill level and preferences. Don't forget to stop along the way to explore cultural sites, sample local cuisine, and soak in the island's vibrant atmosphere.

Cycling Adventures on Maui

Maui, often referred to as the "Valley Isle," is a cyclist's paradise, offering an array of stunning landscapes and diverse biking opportunities. From the scenic coastal roads to the challenging climbs of Haleakala, Maui has something for every biking enthusiast. Here are a few cycling adventures to consider:

Road to Hana

The iconic Road to Hana is not only a popular drive but also an exhilarating cycling experience. This winding route takes you through lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and stunning coastal views. It's a challenging ride with steep climbs and narrow roads, but the reward is an unforgettable journey through Maui's natural wonders.

Haleakala National Park

For the ultimate challenge, tackle the legendary climb up Haleakala, Maui's dormant volcano. The road to the summit stretches for 36 miles, with breathtaking scenery at every turn. As you ascend to over 10,000 feet, be prepared for changing weather conditions and dramatic temperature drops.

West Maui Loop

This scenic 60-mile loop takes you around the western part of Maui, showcasing rugged coastlines, charming towns, and panoramic ocean views. With rolling hills and some challenging climbs, it's a ride that offers both beauty and a good workout.

Upcountry Maui

Explore the upcountry region of Maui, known for its rolling hills, ranches, and lavender farms. This area provides a peaceful and picturesque cycling experience, away from the hustle and bustle of the coastal areas.

Maui's cycling adventures offer a mix of challenges and rewards, allowing you to immerse yourself in the island's natural wonders. As you pedal through Maui's stunning landscapes, don't forget to take breaks to enjoy local cuisine, visit pristine beaches, and experience the island's aloha spirit.

Biking in Kauai: Discovering the Garden Island's Trails

Kauai, known as the "Garden Island," offers a lush and tropical paradise for bikers. With its stunning landscapes, cascading waterfalls, and scenic coastal routes, Kauai is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Here are a few biking trails on the island that you won't want to miss:

Kapa'a Bike Path

This 8-mile paved path stretches along the eastern coast of Kauai, offering picturesque views of the ocean and access to charming towns and local shops. It's a perfect route for a leisurely ride, suitable for riders of all ages and skill levels.

Wailua River State Park

Explore the beautiful Wailua River State Park, where you can enjoy a mix of biking and kayaking. Start by biking along Kuamo'o Road, which leads you through lush forests and leads to the Wailua River. From there, go on a kayak adventure to Secret Falls, where you can cool off with a refreshing dip.

Hanalei Valley Bike Path

Located on the North Shore, this 4-mile path takes you through the scenic Hanalei Valley, surrounded by mountains and taro fields. Enjoy the breathtaking views of Hanalei Bay as you pedal through this picturesque setting.

Koke'e State Park

For a more challenging mountain biking experience, head to Koke'e State Park. This park offers a variety of trails that wind through the upland forests and offer stunning views of the Na Pali Coast. Be prepared for steep climbs and technical sections as you navigate this rugged terrain.

Kauai's biking trails allow you to immerse yourself in the island's natural beauty, from coastal paths to mountainous adventures. Take your time to explore and discover the hidden gems that await you on the Garden Island.

Beautiful Kalapana road for bikers

Navigating the Biking Trails of Molokai

Molokai, known for its unspoiled beauty and relaxed atmosphere, offers a unique and tranquil biking experience. With its sparse population and limited tourism infrastructure, Molokai provides an escape into nature. Here are a few biking trails to explore on this beautiful island:

West End Bike Path

This 3-mile paved path runs along the west coast of Molokai, offering stunning views of the ocean and the island of Lanai. Enjoy a leisurely ride as you take in the serene atmosphere and pass by pristine beaches.

Halawa Valley

For a more adventurous biking experience, head to Halawa Valley. This lush and remote valley provides a picturesque setting for mountain biking. The trail takes you through dense forests, past waterfalls, and ancient Hawaiian cultural sites. Note that a permit is required to access this area, and it's recommended to hire a local guide for a safe and enriching experience.

Molokai Forest Reserve

Explore the Molokai Forest Reserve, a vast area of upland forests and native vegetation. This off-road biking adventure offers a chance to immerse yourself in Molokai's natural wonders and encounter endemic plants and bird species. Be prepared for rugged terrain and challenging sections.

Molokai's biking trails offer a serene and off-the-beaten-path experience, allowing you to connect with nature and experience the island's untouched beauty. Remember to respect the local communities and the island's fragile ecosystem as you explore Molokai's trails.

Lesser-Known Gems: Off-the-Beaten-Path Trails in Hawaii

While the popular biking trails in Hawaii offer stunning experiences, there are also lesser-known gems that await the adventurous cyclist. These off-the-beaten-path trails provide a chance to explore secluded areas and discover hidden treasures. Here are a few lesser-known biking trails across the Hawaiian Islands:

Makawao Forest Reserve, Maui

Tucked away in upcountry Maui, the Makawao Forest Reserve offers a network of trails that wind through enchanting forests and rolling hills. This lesser-known gem provides a peaceful and serene biking experience away from the crowds.

Peacock Flats, Oahu

Located on Oahu's North Shore, Peacock Flats offers a thrilling off-road biking adventure. This rugged trail takes you through diverse terrains, including dirt paths, rocky sections, and steep climbs. It's a challenging but rewarding ride for experienced mountain bikers.

Waipio Valley, Big Island

Explore the stunning Waipio Valley on the Big Island, where a steep and winding road descends into a hidden paradise. This challenging route rewards you with breathtaking views of lush valleys, cascading waterfalls, and black sand beaches.

Polihale State Park, Kauai

Head to the western end of Kauai to discover the remote and untouched beauty of Polihale State Park. While primarily known for its stunning beach, the park also offers a coastal trail that allows you to explore the rugged cliffs and enjoy panoramic views of the coastline.

These lesser-known trails offer a chance to escape the crowds and connect with nature on a deeper level. Remember to respect the environment, follow any regulations or permit requirements, and be prepared for the unique challenges each trail presents.


As you start your biking journey through the Hawaiian Islands, remember to savor every pedal stroke, appreciate the unique landscapes, and enjoy the thrill of exploring paradise on two wheels.

Safe travels, and may your biking adventure in Hawaii be nothing short of extraordinary!

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