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“Shortcut to Hilo.”
Review of Saddle Road

Saddle Road
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$260.42*
and up
Grand Volcano Adventure: Small-Group Experience
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$182.29*
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Big Island Waterfall Tour from Kona: Waipio Valley, Hamakua Coast and Akaka...
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$203.13*
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Hawaii Birdwatching Small Group Adventure Tour
Ranked #11 of 137 things to do in Kailua-Kona
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Built in 1942, this 53-mile long road is extremely dangerous with its narrow structure, blind turns, rough surface and single-lane bridges.
Reviewed February 6, 2013

The road was definitely best travelled earlier in the day to avoid fog. For the most part the road is good. My only critique would be that there is no where to stop to take photos.

2  Thank trag51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,313 - 2,317 of 2,851 reviews

Reviewed February 5, 2013

need 4 wheel drive. The scene around the north island is so beautiful, if you are here on vacation, don't waste your time on saddle road.

1  Thank konakris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2013

My husband and I recently booked a tour which left out of Hilo so we had to drive across the island from Kailua-Kona. We decided to take Saddle Road. After reading the reviews I was quite worried about going on it. However, our morning was clear and we took the challenge.

The road started off quite rough (we had a rental car but it was still okay) for a few miles and then improved. The road is not very wide and there are single lane bridges (which means you have to give way to the other vehicle as only one can cross at a time). The road now becomes like an amusement park ride. Up and down and you cannot see where the road goes - a bit trying on the stomach at times. But, you are not going fast enough so everyone should be able to handle it. When you hit the military base, the highway improves dramatically and the rest of the drive to Hilo is great.

Give yourself enough time to do this trip. You cannot do it in a hurry as surely you will get in an accident. Also, I would not suggest you do this trip when it is raining, foggy or in the dark as the road is not marked very clearly where turns are located. A bright sunny day is the best.

There are no service stations or any other places to stop for gas so be sure your vehicle is topped up before you start out. Also, there really is no place for a bathroom stop (trust me I know!). I have come to the realization that Hawaiians have great bladders.

So the end result is - if you have time do this road. It has some unique scenery and worth the drive.

Good luck!

2  Thank Holly5_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2013

The road starts out very poor, but improves significantly. You can take a Hertz rental car on this road (i called the airport Hertz to confirm before trying), and you can go to the visitor center. You just can't take the rental cal above the visitor center on Mauna Kea. I came back to Kona after dark and in the VOG/fog, and it was very dangerous. The road is very curvy and up and down, making driving slow essential... But headlights were not helpful in the fog.

Thank Mary V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2013

Saddle Road has some excellent views going across the mountains. It is the most diverse road. One minute its sunny then raining then cloudy. You go through green grassy land to dry with cactus' as well as volcanic rock. Great route over the other side of the Big Island.

Thank Samanthawandpaulr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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