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“Good paved road” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Saddle Road

Saddle Road
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Mauna Kea Summit Small Group Stargazing Tour from Hilo
Ranked #10 of 128 things to do in Kailua-Kona
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
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.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Good paved road”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 15, 2013

This road has been greatly improved and is the best route to take between Hilo and Kona. It only took us 1 1/2 hrs to take the trip. There are lots of lava fields to see along the way.

Visited October 2013
Thank ozziesmomAjax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Dunfermline, Scotland
Level Contributor
137 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Not At All Scary!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 11, 2013

When planning our trip, read a few reviews that implied that this route might be a bit dangerous. Either those reviews are old, or the reviewers have limited 'real' road experience. For the most part, it's an easy drive, with very little to concern any driver. The only windy bits are at the ends. I'd been looking forward to a challenge, but that was sadly missing. Instead, it's just a scenic drive, with a few good views along the way.

Visited September 2013
Thank bikeeandy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Friday Harbor, Washington
Level Contributor
40 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Wow! What a Road Improvement!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 10, 2013

The Saddle Road is now more of a fantastic highway than the concept of a "saddle road." We drove it during daylight twice and once after dark. The road markings in the dark were more like driving on an airport runway! The time to Hilo or Mauna Kea Road were cut in half!

Visited October 2013
2 Thank NanSimpson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
272 reviews
154 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Great Road”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 9, 2013

The Road has been improved and is not in any way dangerous. It provides a stark contrast to the drives around the north and the south of the island. Also offers access to the 10,000' stage station going to the observatory. If you are going futher up to 15,000' you will need a 4wd not to get up - but to get down as your will boil your brakes using a normal transmission. The Saddle Road takes you up quite some way so while you started out in a T Shirt - you will be looking for your fleece if you go up to 10k'. The Road to Hilo after the turn off is "dangerously" easy to drive - watch your speed as you an easily cruise at 80miles per hour & I suspect the local constabulary mightn't see the humerous side of that kind of behaviour - they also appear to drive their own vehicles which are of course unmarked save for the flashing blue light. There is one officer who drives a grey hard top mustang! The countryside is varried and moves from cattle grazing in the west to stark lava flows in the middle and back to the tropics in Hilo. It is a relaitively easy day, with numerous stop offs drinving north from Captain Cook, up through the Saddle Road, to Hilo and around the bottom back to CC.

Visited October 2013
Thank DTG59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westminster, Maryland
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Scenic (and quick) drive between Hilo and Kona”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 7, 2013

While on vacation in Hilo, we took this route back from Kona after visiting there for the day. The drive was quick and easy as the road is newly paved and well laid out. (Much quicker than the southern route we took to get to Kona in the morning on Rt. 11.) Very scenic highway with beautiful views of Mauna Kea and the surrounding area. Mauna Loa is visible in the distance off to the right. You will pass through many different climate zones. We even passed right through a cloud while ascending. Once we started down we were able to catch a beautiful view of the Hilo area in the early evening. I wish we had had more time to stop along the way to take pictures. Be aware of police as we saw one at least every 10 miles on the side of the road watching for speeders. I’d definitely use this route for any drive between Hilo and Kona.

Visited September 2013
3 Thank cwbroden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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