Saddle Road is a drive for the adventurous. Also called Route 200, it will be a nice change of scenery from the typical Big Island day.
Saddle Road cuts boldly between the two great mountains, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, across the high valley (saddle). It’s a shortcut between East and West Hawaii. You will climb as high as 6,000 feet as you go through a variety of eco, climactic, and geologic zones.
The drive is a little over an hour weather permitting. There are some guidelines and rules you will need to follow, but the drive is offered at no fee. Check with your rental car company to see if your vehicle is permitted to take the Saddle Road drive.
Be sure to have a full tank of gas and maybe a water or snack. You will not see a station. Fog blankets the area for miles. Visibility may not be the greatest. Use your headlights during the entire drive. A jacket, sweater, and maybe even a hat are recommended in case you decide to get out and take some pictures.