Photos 7, page 22
Circumnavigate Mauna Kea
February 12, 2011
And now for something completely different!  Tired of active volcanoes and hot lava?  How about inactive volcanoes and
hot and muggy at sea level.  There's this road I read about in
Big Island Revealed, my favorite tour guide.  It's a 4 WD road
that circles
Mauna Kea along the edge of the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve, called Kahinahina Rd..  It's for dirt bikes,
ATVs, 4 WD vehicles, etc..  There's also hunting but I don't know for what - sheep or something.  Anyway....  The white line
is my drive to the starting place, the green line is the 4 WD trip, and red is the track home.  Some people climb mountains,
my brother runs up them - I go around them - in a car!
So here's the trip:  I started at "Road", just off the main highway, at 11:07 AM and drove clockwise around the mountain.  I
got back to the
Mauna Kea Access Road after 39.4 miles at 3:23 PM.  4 hrs. 16 min.  That's 11.2 mph.  Most of the way
wasn't too bad but there were some places that were downright nasty (
see the note "Wow" at the top of the circle just after the 22
mile marker
)!  In those places I was using 4WD low range in first gear!  Slower than walking speed...
Here are a couple of 3D pictures for you.  The first one is looking from the south.  The one on the right is from the north,
looking southwest...
10:36 AM @ "20 Mi"
EL 5247 ft.
Coming up the "hill" into the saddle between
Mauna Loa (13,679 ft., last erupted 3/24/84 -
4/15/84, considered active) on the left and
Mauna Kea (13,796 ft., last erupted 6,000 to
4,000 years ago, considered dormant) on the
Looks a little cloudy - what elevation are
those clouds?
10:44 AM near intersection of
Mauna Kea Rd.
EL 6577
The sky looks more encouraging...
11:02 AM @ "Road"
This is an officially maintained road provided for 4-wheelers and 2-wheelers and hunters, designated R-1.  It basically
circles the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve so everything you see on the right side of the photos is Forest Reserve.  It's
important to know that because in many places there aren't any trees!
11:19 AM @ "Forest Reserve"
EL 7446
11:32 AM @ 003
EL 8337
These shots are taken through the
windshield while moving so...
11:37 AM
This isn't so bad...
12:03 PM before "Stop"
Well this looks interesting...
12:06 AM @ "Stop"
EL 7116
Nice scenery...
12:13 PM
I took this picture because of that tree...
12:15 PM approaching 004
I can see!  The road ahead...
12:19 approaching 004
More road ahead...
12:20 PM @ 004
EL 7716
I feel like I'm in the Andes or something!
12:23 PM
I have a feeling I'll be going up that!
Zoom.  That.
By the way, this isn't fog.  This high up,
EL 7858
Looking back, the road curves around
to the right and disappears below the
ridge I'm standing on.
12:30 PM after 004
At least I can see the road...!
12:32 PM
More road ahead...
12:34 PM @ "Stop 2"
The road ahead...
12:38 @ "Stop 2"
EL 7935
The road behind...
12:39 PM
Looking back at my car parked under
the only tree around..
12:40 PM
Check out the bark.  Eucalyptus tree...
12:48 PM
On the road again...
1:58 PM @013
EL 8667
Forest Reserve?
2:02 PM @ 014
EL 8776
More road ahead
2:11 PM before "Stop 4"
Amazing terrain...
2:13 PM @ "Stop 4"
EL 9027
2:20 PM @ "Sign"
EL 9532
2:29 PM @ "10 Mi"
EL 9153
EL 9047
2:36 PM @ 022
getting onto 3:00 and I had a half a tank of gas.  I should be OK unless I got off on another road someplace - I did that
minutes later, I came out onto the Mauna Kea Observatory Road.
It was a good trip.  The Jeep did great - I was very impressed.  I was pretty tired from manhandling the Jeep through some
pretty rough terrain for almost 40 miles and 4
1/2 hours.