Saddle Road
Saddle Road
4.5
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  • County-Hunter
    Tacoma, Washington3,684 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A beautiful highway
    Who would have thought that I would be rating a road as a thing to see and do. And not only that, but giving it 5 stars. First of all, the road is in great shape. It is smooth and wide. It has passing lanes going up hill and you will be going uphill, from sea level to 5,000 feet or so in the "saddle" between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. If you have time, take the road up to Mauna Kea. It had some great views.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 21 August 2023
  • warrenbruin
    Tehachapi, California152 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Quick commute from the West Island to Hilo
    Every time I vacation in Hawaii I am reminded of how well maintained the roads are here on the Big Island. The Saddle Road is no exception. It’s a smooth ride and as long as I don’t get behind a Pillsbury Slow Boy I am totally relaxed to and from Hilo. Make sure your phone is hooked into your entertainment system because the radio signal is weak and will frustrate you if you like listening to music during your drive. Less than an hour and a half from Waikoloa to Hilo is a time bargain in my book.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 3 September 2023
  • maryjaymej
    Juneau, Alaska42 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    “Great Goats” this is a Road to Behold!
    Most of this Road is nicely and newly paved. If you’re lucky enough on the day you travel it, you’ll get to experience every weather occurrence with the exception of snow and ice. We had fog, light rain, pounding pouring rain, mist, clouds, and hellfire bright sun going towards Waikaloa around sunset. Be careful as this is a goat slalom course on many turns and with the rain they all run out to the road to try to drink fresh water. Some of them seemed very determined to sacrifice themselves to end their miserable existence….poor things… we brake checked that rental car good quite a few times…. Luckily none became hood ornaments and we’ll keep our insurance rates low….I’d recommend trying to stay within the speed limit, although it’s tempting to cannonball run this stuff only due to the constantly changing conditions and wildlife. I’d also suggest traveling it in lighted conditions, as it seemed as if the goats got bigger and bolder as the sunset… full Billy Goat Beards and Horns on a few…we traveled it 2 times during our stay. Middle afternoon was better than racing the dark to get back! Enjoy and best of luck to you all.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 20 October 2023
  • CAH6145
    Madison, Wisconsin77 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Hawaii-The Big Island
    The Big Island is fascinating with its lush gardens contrasting with its enormous lava fields. February might not be the ideal time to visit as we encountered a lot of rain even on the “dry” west side. The volcano calderas are amazing, Volcano National Park is worth at least a day visit; much to see and learn. The Hawaiian culture is respected and interesting in all aspects. Saddle road, which connects the two sides of the island between the two largest volcanos, is a vastly improved road and worth the ride.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 23 March 2024
  • Hal72
    Olympia, Washington651 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderful sightseeing trip.
    When we first came to the Big Island you couldn't take rental cars up here. The road has been improved. The new high speed part makes crossing the island fast and easy. The old road is a favorite for poking along looking for birds, pigs, sheep, and goats. Great views of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. Provides access to the Observatory visitor center on Mauna Kea.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 29 March 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles3,733 reviews
Excellent
1,911
Very good
1,291
Average
432
Poor
75
Terrible
24

ek_yayavar
California82 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Solo
This is an easy drive as of April 2024 (I drove it west to east). The road is well-paved with a shoulder almost along the entire stretch. It also has the only stretch of roadway with speed limit above 55 mph that I came across during my Big Island trip (the limit goes up to 60 mph on some segments). There are scenic views throughout, though I would not call them spectacular. Well worth the drive and definitely the fast way to traverse the island west to east or vice versa.
Written 25 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hal72
Olympia, WA651 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
When we first came to the Big Island you couldn't take rental cars up here. The road has been improved. The new high speed part makes crossing the island fast and easy. The old road is a favorite for poking along looking for birds, pigs, sheep, and goats. Great views of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. Provides access to the Observatory visitor center on Mauna Kea.
Written 29 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CAH6145
Madison, WI77 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
The Big Island is fascinating with its lush gardens contrasting with its enormous lava fields. February might not be the ideal time to visit as we encountered a lot of rain even on the “dry” west side. The volcano calderas are amazing, Volcano National Park is worth at least a day visit; much to see and learn. The Hawaiian culture is respected and interesting in all aspects.
Saddle road, which connects the two sides of the island between the two largest volcanos, is a vastly improved road and worth the ride.
Written 23 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Iliahi C
Island of Hawaii, HI65 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Friends
Took the short cut on saddle road and it was a nice scenic drive across to Kona and back to Hilo town. Was able to see Mauna kea Summit too on our way back.
Written 6 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

vikalp m
Chicago, IL4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Family
Crazy road trip experience. Multitude of landscapes along the way. Breathtaking experience!!

I went to Akaka Falls from Kona using this road and was taken away by the the shear natural beauty present along the road.
Written 14 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mike P
Anchorage, AK1,666 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
This is a great shortcut from Hilo to Kona. It is very scenic, as it takes you from the eastern side to the western side of the island. You will travel through different environs, as well as have the opportunity to see the feral sheep and goats.
Written 22 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

smhr
Pickering, Canada298 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
The views of the fissures and the red flowers along the route are nice. You will probably be taking the road anyways if you are going between Kona and Hilo.

There are no gas stations along the road, so you may want to gas up before venturing out here

The road is wide, well paved and safe. Traffic is light.
Written 14 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

maryjaymej
Juneau, AK42 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
Most of this Road is nicely and newly paved. If you’re lucky enough on the day you travel it, you’ll get to experience every weather occurrence with the exception of snow and ice. We had fog, light rain, pounding pouring rain, mist, clouds, and hellfire bright sun going towards Waikaloa around sunset. Be careful as this is a goat slalom course on many turns and with the rain they all run out to the road to try to drink fresh water. Some of them seemed very determined to sacrifice themselves to end their miserable existence….poor things… we brake checked that rental car good quite a few times…. Luckily none became hood ornaments and we’ll keep our insurance rates low….I’d recommend trying to stay within the speed limit, although it’s tempting to cannonball run this stuff only due to the constantly changing conditions and wildlife. I’d also suggest traveling it in lighted conditions, as it seemed as if the goats got bigger and bolder as the sunset… full Billy Goat Beards and Horns on a few…we traveled it 2 times during our stay. Middle afternoon was better than racing the dark to get back! Enjoy and best of luck to you all.
Written 20 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

warrenbruin
Tehachapi, CA152 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
Every time I vacation in Hawaii I am reminded of how well maintained the roads are here on the Big Island. The Saddle Road is no exception. It’s a smooth ride and as long as I don’t get behind a Pillsbury Slow Boy I am totally relaxed to and from Hilo. Make sure your phone is hooked into your entertainment system because the radio signal is weak and will frustrate you if you like listening to music during your drive. Less than an hour and a half from Waikoloa to Hilo is a time bargain in my book.
Written 3 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

County-Hunter
Tacoma, WA3,684 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Couples
Who would have thought that I would be rating a road as a thing to see and do. And not only that, but giving it 5 stars.

First of all, the road is in great shape. It is smooth and wide. It has passing lanes going up hill and you will be going uphill, from sea level to 5,000 feet or so in the "saddle" between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. If you have time, take the road up to Mauna Kea. It had some great views.
Written 21 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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SADDLE ROAD: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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