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Mauna Kea - Hawaii Highpoint, HI

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Rated  Favorite Wish List HI > Hawaii
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 1 mile
Trailhead Elevation 13,635 feet
Elevation Gain 160 feet
Accumulated Gain 240 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 30 minutes
Kokopelli Seeds 2.2
Interest Historic & Peak
Backpack No
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
Post the 1st photoset!
Historical Weather
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Preferred   Apr, Mar, Oct, Sep → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:33am - 5:42pm
Route
 
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Water
Nearby Area Water
Mauna Kea Summit Trail
4.6 mi away
7.1 mi
4,691 ft
Mauna Kea State Park-- Hill 7154 Trail
7.5 mi away
2.5 mi
634 ft
Kalopa State Park-- Nature Loop Trail
14.9 mi away
Kalopa State Park-- Jeep Road Trail
14.9 mi away
2.5 mi
450 ft
Puu Oo Trail
20.6 mi away
8.0 mi
200 ft
Akaka Falls State Park Trail
Akaka Falls State Park Trail
20.7 mi away
1.0 mi
80 ft
Waipio Valley Trail
21.3 mi away
3.0 mi
960 ft
Mauna Loa Trail to Red Hill Cabin Backpack
21.6 mi away
15.0 mi
3,373 ft
Kaumana Caves County Park Trail
24.0 mi away
50 ft
Waimanu Valley Trail Backpack
24.3 mi away
17.0 mi
4,400 ft
[ View More! ]
There be Views!!
by imike

To reach this state high point you have options.

Hop on a local tour and be driven to the Observatory area, and walk the short uphill to the top...

Abuse your rental car and drive up the washboarded road to that self same area, and walk to the top...


Drive up to the 11,000' or 12,700' points on the peak road, park at the parking lots... and hike over and up the rough trail to the top.

Hike from the Visitor Center at the 9,200' level... reaching the top the hard way along the hiking trail.

However you choose to visit, plan on the effects of very high altitude (13,796') and potentially violent weather. Even though you will be as far south as you can get in the USA, the altitude creates conditions closer to those found in Alaska! Go prepared.

The road is listed as 4WD... mostly for the downhill. Standard cars may not have the lower gears needed to avoid abuse of the brakes. You could violate the terms of your rental car agreement if you get into problems up there.

Some of the maps still list the Saddle Road as a potential violation of the rental agreements, and that is the paved road to the turnoff for the Visitor Center! Really, it is now much improved, when completed it will be smooth, straight and enjoy wide shoulders. The end away from Hilo still enjoys the twisting, curving, narrow, no-shouldered aspects that make for dangerous driving and hazardous biking.

Check in with the Rangers at the Visitor Center for current road conditions.

If you do drive to the top, consider parking at one of the upper lots and hike down and over to the lake at 13,000'. It will give you a feel for both the terrain and high altitude walking.

Mauna Kea: White Mountain... classified as 6th highest state high point.

Well Worth the visit.

imike
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    Follow the Island traverse road #200, Saddle Road, out of Hilo or Waimea... follow the signs to the Visitor Center for Mauna Kea. Exiting the Saddle road you will drive six miles up to the 9,200' level... to begin either the trail hike or the gravel road ascent to the top.
    page created by HAZ_Hikebot on Apr 07 2013 11:05 am
    help comment issue

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