I read so many comments about rental car companies not allowing you to drive on this road. That is not the case anymore. They finished paving it a couple of years ago and after driving it myself I'm not sure what the big deal is. Maybe its because I've driven the cascade mountain passes in winter, this is really no big deal for me. You will have some steep areas of road on the west side and winding areas of road on the east side. The sites along the road are nothing much to talk about but if you plan to summit one of the mountains the roads off of saddle will be more the issue. If you are traveling between hilo and kona this should shave at least a half hour off your trip.
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