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Mauna Kea - Hawaii Highpoint, HI

Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
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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
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Post the 1st photoset!
author avatar Guides 253
Routes 0
Photos 6,930
Trips 2,467 map ( 21,513 miles )
Age 72 Male Gender
Location Cloudcroft, NM
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Apr, Mar, Oct, Sep
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:02am - 6:50pm
0 Alternative

There be Views!!
by imike

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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.

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Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2013-04-07 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 $$
    Hawaii State Parks
    $10 per vehicle
    $5 per person to enter the park on top of the parking fee

    Map Drive
    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
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool

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