Kick up some dirt when you’re in the islands by taking a mountain bike ride through Kaaawa Valley. It’s one of many biking tours offered in Hawaii; this one explores a single valley on the windward side of Oahu. I haven’t done it personally, but some of my visiting friends have and had nothing but great things to say about it. In fact, they said it’s one of the best ways to experience the beauty of an island.
Take in all that the windward side has to offer.
The six-hour tour covers about six to 10 miles of tropical riding with easy-to-ride dirt roads and optional single-track and double-track trails for the more advanced. They welcome beginners but do warn that some mountain biking experience is required. My friends said they were able to walk up their bikes on the inclined sections of the trail, while the others waited ahead and took a water break.
There’s a lot hidden within the 1,000-acre valley. Freshwater streams meander throughout the lush green lands while vast cliffs stretch upward to touch the clouds. One of the most exciting parts of the ride, according to my friends, included a narrated tour of various movie sites along the way. Godzilla and Jurassic Park dinosaurs once roamed the valley; today, only a faint roar can be heard when the trade winds are h3 enough.
The tour also stops at a kauhale (small village) to learn about ancient Hawaiian lifestyle, where you get to sit in a replica of a grass hale. After splashing around in the stream, the biking tour continues to an old WWII military bunker that has been converted into a movie museum and plays footage shot in the valley during that time.
The tour does an excellent job in catering to tourists by providing free roundtrip transportation from their hotels in Waikiki or Kahala. A deli-style lunch is provided, as well as cold drinks and trail mix. And while the price may look more intimidating than the mountainous trails, I’ve been reassured that it’s well worth the extra bucks. My friends said they would have never had the chance to see these places if it weren’t for the tour and highly recommend it to those looking to get active in the islands.
KAAAWA BIKING TOUR • 6-10 mile ride; 6 hours total with 2-3 hours of riding • Hotel pickup or meet at Kualoa Ranch Visitors Center 49-560 Kamehameha Hwy., Kaaawa, HI 96730 • www.allhawaiitours.com • $124.99 adults; $79.99 children (13 and under)
Photo Credit: Haunani Kane