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From Kona airport to Volcano National Park, what’s the fastest route? I’ll land in the morning 9:30am. And what are the must-stop places? Thank you.
You can take saddle road across to Hilo then the H11 to Volcano, or just drive H11 south from Kona. My opinion taking the H11 south from Kona is the more spectacular drive. Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park is a must stop along with the detour to South point, just to say you've been, and Punalu'u Beach ( black sand and Honu). Just my thoughts.
Arriving KOna airport 4:15 PM, driving to Hilo. I could go Saddle Road, but have been told it's boaring. I could go Route 11 through Volcano which is supposed to be prettier. I think my objective is to go from KOA to Hilo the quickest way possible, as I will be leaving Hilo fter 6 nights then going to Captain Cook for 6 nights & flying out of KOA. I would have the opportunity to pass from Hilo to my destination in Captain Cook on Route 11 before flying home.
Hi, We will be on the Big Island in May for a day and a half, so our time is limited. We are considering taking the Saddle Road and wonder if there are any pullouts or lookoffs to take pictures. We wouldn't go to the summit of Mauna Kea, but only to the Visitor's Center at 9,000 feet and I haven't seen any pictures taken there that would make me take the time to go to that spot. Our hope is to get pictures of Mauna Kea & Mauna Loa from Saddle Road, but maybe with the weather, clouds, etc. that might not be possible? Thanks!
There are some wide shoulders but nothing designated as a pullout. It's a pretty drive but nothing awe inspiring. Plus if it is a cloudy day you will either be in the clouds or above them with the cloud layer below you. If your time is limited take the road to the Volcano National Park. There are some great pullouts and really nice ocean views.
Is it safe to drive on Saddle Road from Hilo back to Kona after dark?
The road is very new and very wide with easy curves over the mountain. It can be foggy near the high point where the access road goes off up to the observatory, but overall it is no different than driving anywhere else in the dark away from street lights. Also, Hawaii is installing really effective centerline reflectors on roads that are just two lanes and narrower.
Which do you like better - Saddle road or the northern route? (Between Kona and Hilo)
I agree with the others here. Two different experiences entirely. We only drove Saddle Road from Waimea to the Maunakea Visitors Center. We did not drive any farther east than that. We did drive all the other roads you asked about. For time considerations, Saddle Road is the quickest route. Talking with people who live in Hilo but work in Kona, this is the route they use for the quickest distance between the two. The northern route, which from what I figure you mean, is highway 19. Much more varied terrain, as mentioned by others, and it will take longer. More to see too. My wife and I road tripped the Big Island. If you have the time do both. We stayed one night in Kona after landing, two nights in Hilo, two nights in Hawi, and two more nights in Kona. It gave us a nice overall view of the whole island, which is quite diverse. If you have the time it's a nice way to see everything in an unrushed manner. I would suggest going to Google Earth and typing in "attractions near..." with the name of the town or city that you want to know about. That way you won't have regrets later because you missed something. One thing to keep in mind is that some rental car companies do not allow their cars on Saddle Road. Ask before you rent. Saddle Road used to be gravel, from what I understand, but is fully paved now. In fact the western end is a multi-laned highway.
Hi , thank you for this we were looking to drive directly from Kona airport over to a boat tour in Hilo. Does this cut down on the time? Says normally up to 2 hours. I am seeing from recent reviews including yours this road is much improved in the past few years. Appreciate any input!
Yes, it saves about an hour. It is safe and on the day we drove, absolutely beautiful and clear. The landscape changes so much from east to west!
We will be exploring the Big Island, but only have 5,almost full days. We are staying close to the Kona airport. We have allotted one day for the VNP, and would like to see it after dark but DH doesn’t like changing hotels and wants to drive back after dark. Would the Saddleback/Hwy 200 be ok after dark.
Yes, you'll be fine after dark. We have driven it in the dark several times.
Asking everybody rating a 5-star to this road in 2017-2018. Nobody mention that the road is in construction and difficult to drive at MI6 east side near HILO? Is it still the case - MARCH 2018? If so does anybody know when it will be finished ? Planning a trip in May 2018.
The road is completely finished. Watch your speed.
Bonjour, bonjour, Pourriez vous me dire s il existe une piste 4/4 entre volcano visitor center et la Saddle route sans avoir à faire le tour par Hilo par la route 11 Tous mes remerciements
Bonjour, J'ai cherché une piste mais je ne l'ai pas trouvé. N'ayant pas de GPS fiable j'ai préféré ne rien tenter. Vous ne serez pas déçu la route qui fait le tour par Hilo est belle et avec peu de traffic. Vous ferez du 4x4 en montant au Mona Kea après le poste du parc national. Il n'y a personne tout en haut. Belles vacances,
马鞍道 (凯鲁瓦-柯纳) - 旅游景点点评 - Tripadvisor