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which roads to take in the views?

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Yucca Valley...
posts: 136
reviews: 3
which roads to take in the views?

Should we do the 130 to the 132 to the 137?

Does the 137 connect to the 130 in Kalapana?

What about Pahoa-Pohoiki Rd. is this a beautiful drive?

And Opihikad-Kamaili Rd.? Is hwy 137 the "Red Road"?

Denver, Colorado
posts: 2,246
reviews: 25
1. Re: which roads to take in the views?

Here's a Puna good drive guide:


Yes this is a nice scneic dirve start out by noon from Vlocano or Hilo and stop at Lava Tree, Kopoho Tide Pools, Hot Ponds, Isaac Hale, Mckensie State Park, Star of Sea Painted Church before going back to end of road 130 for lava viewing at Kalapana area (note end of 137 is dead end).

137 used to have red payement but its mostly black asphalt now but drive is really pretty thru the tree tunnels (leave your lights on).

If going lava viewing arrive before sun down and bring flash light, hiking shoes, umberella, zoom lense for camera. Maybe head into Pahoa for dinner. Several nice restaurants like NIng's Thai restaurant.

Please note on this route never ever leave your car keys unattended and take all of your valuables with you when leaving the car especially at hot ponds keep an eye on your keys.

Pahoa. HI
posts: 1,116
2. Re: which roads to take in the views?

Yes, 137 connects to 130 in Kalapana.

Pahoa-Pohoiki is very scenic, especially after you turn off Hwy 132 (right after Lava Tree State Park, bear right. In fact, you'll be going straight while Hwy 132 is making sort of a left turn. Instead of 130 to 132 to 137, I'd suggest 130 to 132 and then the Pohoiki Road. After a while it becomes a one lane road. That's TOTAL one lane. Can't be widened because there are hundreds of large protected mango trees on both sides of the roads. Drive carefully and pay attention to oncoming traffic. From Pohoki make a detour to the hot ponds a mile away (towards Kapoho) and then come back the same way, and then proceed on 137 (which indeed is known as "Red Road").

The Opihikao Kamaili Road is very scenic and one of my favorites when we have guests here. Another one lane road. In order to combine it with the above you'd have to go back the same way you came, though. If you have plenty of time you could do: 130 to 132 to Pohoiki, then 137 to Opihikao. Kamili Road to Kalapana and then 137 from Kalapana past Kehena to Pohoiki. Or maybe all the way to Kapoho. 137 is very scenic.

Alberta Canada
posts: 32
reviews: 11
3. Re: which roads to take in the views?

I wont have as much info as the local DE's, but can tell you we just returned from 10 days in Ohau and the Big Island, and the 137 had some of the nicest views and shoreline in our entire trip.

Hilo, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
posts: 30,244
reviews: 4
4. Re: which roads to take in the views?

This is hawaiipalma' home area, so he really knows these roads and you're lucky to get his advice on them.

I would add, just don't do it on a Sunday afternoon like I did last time. What a zoo it was. We did the Maku'u market and then headed to Kapoho, turning south on the Red Road at the lighthouse juncture, which was all fine until Red Road went to 1 1/2 lanes and we got to the hot pond Isaac Hale area. Could barely get through it was so busy, kept having to pull over as the road isn't wide enough for two way traffic.

Took the Pahoa-Pohoiki (Mango) road pack to Pahoa and it was almost white knuckle as we kept encountering speeding people coming the opposite way (there isn't a lot of visibility) and had more than one narrowly averted head-on collision moments.

Lesson learned, avoid weekends. (Doubt Saturday is much better than Sunday, although the market does bring more people out).

I love driving both 130 and 132 going towards the ocean. IMHO 130 is not nearly as pretty going away from the ocean. 132 is pretty either way although better with the ocean view. hawaiipalms has given you some ways to get creative and turn the loop into more of a skein.

Definitely go to the end of the road at Kalapana. Definitely drive the part of 137 from the 130 intersection to past Kehena and up to Pohoiki - whichever direction you go.

Pahoa. HI
posts: 1,116
5. Re: which roads to take in the views?

tdd, glad you enjoyed it here. And yes 137 ("red Road") is pretty unique.

And KK, yes, weekends can be busy and especially in Pohoiki and "Mango Road". Generally speaking, weekdays are very quiet on all these roads. You typically see a car every now and then but nothing excessive. When I don't have time for the longer loop, I take 130 to the Opihikao road (Kamaili Street), which is right after the 15 mile marker. Take that all the way to Opihikao (actually, you have no choice), then make a right onto Hwy 137 and take it all the way to the end of road for some refreshments at the Kalapana Village Cafe. And then head up the hill on Hwy 130. (Did this just last week). Kamaili is scenic either way, but Hwy 130 "below" the Opihikao turnoff is of course most scenic when you're heading down the hill, with the ocean in the background.

One of my favorite things to do: ask my guest(s) to see how many times they see street signs with the name "Old Kalapana Road" (in other words, crossing Highway 130). I think there are half a dozen of them, over a two mioles stretch!

Edited: 7:37 pm, January 18, 2010
Pahoa. HI
posts: 1,116
6. Re: which roads to take in the views?

Oh, and KK - next time you're in the area, I hope you let me know, so you can stop by and get a garden tour and have a look at some of our 5000 palms!

Island of Hawaii...
posts: 7,972
reviews: 24
7. Re: which roads to take in the views?

The "Red Road" is still red! When it was repaved by the COH last(?) year the locals collected money to by red cinder to mix with the asphalt to keep it red!

Pahoa. HI
posts: 1,116
8. Re: which roads to take in the views?

TT, I know there was an effort, or initiative, to do that but I don't believe that ever happened., And it sure doesn't look red to me after it was repaved!

Island of Hawaii...
posts: 7,972
reviews: 24
9. Re: which roads to take in the views?

It did happen, but the money collected was enough for only a small portion of the road. If you drive slow enough you will notice. (I should have donated more, huh?) :):):)

Pahoa. HI
posts: 1,116
10. Re: which roads to take in the views?

I guess so! -:) I usually drive pretty slow but I guess I have to pay more attention to the road and less to the great scenery!