Nav­i­gate Sad­dle Road

101 Things to Do (Big Island) - - HILO/HAMAKUA COAST -

Sad­dle Road (Route 200) cuts across the high val­ley, or sad­dle, be­tween the is­land’s two mas­sive vol­canic moun­tains, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Once con­sid­ered a treach­er­ous route, a se­ries of road im­prove­ments have made most of the trip safer and smoother. It is the short­est route from Kailua-Kona to Hilo, ac­ces­si­ble from Route 190 near Waimea.

This route pro­vides ac­cess to the slopes of Mauna Loa and the ob­ser­va­to­ries atop Mauna Kea. In good weather, the trip re­quires about two hours of con­cen­trated drive time.

The road passes through a wide va­ri­ety of eco­log­i­cal, cli­mate and ge­o­log­i­cal zones as it climbs to more than 6,000 feet and back down again. Un­der the sway of th­ese two great moun­tains, the sense of si­lence be­comes per­cep­ti­ble, and it’s al­most a sur­prise when the streets of Hilo come back into view.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.