Haleakala Volcano, Maui, Hawaii
Some people hate the middle-of-the-night wake-up, the jam-packed van trip up the mountainside, the crowds at the summit, the biting cold, and—depending on their risk tolerance—the too-slow or too-dangerous pace of the ride itself. Others can’t find enough superlatives to describe the awesomeness of an above-the-clouds sunrise followed by a 38-mile, switchback-filled bicycle descent of Haleakala volcano. The 10,023-foot summit does get genuinely cold (windy and between 30 and 60 degrees), but those who pay too much attention to the incredible scenery risk painful wipeouts. On the other hand, how many other rides are downhill all the way? Find an outfitter at 800/464-2924 or gohawaii.com.