We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Quickest drive to Hilo

Which Kailua-Kona hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Georgia
Level Contributor
339 posts
96 reviews
Save Topic
Quickest drive to Hilo

We will be staying at the Royal Kona Resort and plan on leaving early one morning and drive to Hilo. What would be the quickest route? Can we take Saddle Rd?

Tx

Nanaimo, Canada
Level Contributor
23,387 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Quickest drive to Hilo

Yes, you can take Saddle road. Google maps shows it as taking an hour and 45 minutes.

Island of Hawaii...
Destination Expert
for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
Level Contributor
36,969 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Quickest drive to Hilo

Yes, you can take the Saddle, actually not the Saddle any more, the Daniel K Inouye is what you would want to take.

How do you like driving the new highway, J0an? Do you find the Google maps time to be accurate? Any drawbacks to that route in your opinion?

I took the Saddle from Hilo to Royal Kona Resort last Friday, but I went home via Hamakua, found it less stressful due to weather related conditions.

Alaska
Level Contributor
10,483 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Quickest drive to Hilo

"Yes, you can take the Saddle, actually not the Saddle any more, the Daniel K Inouye is what you would want to take."

Is that because the road was renamed? It isn't clear from the above answer, but that is what I would assume. If so, is the correct name now the Daniel K Inouye Road? That is the first time I have seen this road called that name. I have read this forum for several years now and that must be a recent change. He was an honorable man and a dear friend to Alaska.

Driving times can vary widely on most islands per weather, time of day and year, road conditions and so obviously google maps would only give an average guess. I would imagine that the majority of folks using these forums would be visitors and not residents, so it would not be reasonable to expect visitors to have the same knowledge base as a resident. But we are all welcome to participate. Deb

4. Re: Quickest drive to Hilo

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff removed this post either because the author requested it, or because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum guidelines.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 12 March 2014, 18:27
Island of Hawaii...
Destination Expert
for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
Level Contributor
36,969 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Quickest drive to Hilo

PS. (for more clarity)

>>> Is that because the road was renamed?

Yes and no.

Part of Daniel K. Inouye Hwy is a renamed portion of Saddle Road.

Part is brand new road that was never opened before, and it was opened as Daniel K. Inouye Highway, although during the bidding and construction year it was referred to as Saddle Road aka Hwy 200.

Daniel K. Inouye does not go all the way into Hilo, and neither did Saddle Road. The descent into Hilo at some point becomes the Puainako Extension, which replaced Kaumana Drive as the main route connecting Hilo to Saddle Road in the last decade.

At some point it is hoped that Puainako Extension will continue on the makai side of Komohana Road, its present terminus, so that there is a straight shot down to Highway 11. That connection has been hung up due to landowners who have fought the condemnation process. All the land has been acquired except maybe two parcels, but the project is stuck there for now. Emininent domain cases have to go through Federal Court, and that takes years.

It is a good idea for visitors to map the part where they arrive in Hilo ahead of time, as there are no signs saying where to go at that point. You arrive at a traffic light at the Komohana intersection up above University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, and it is up to you to know whether you are turning right or left. It is tricky and confusing to try to cut through the campus, so I donʻt recommend that.

Edited: 12 March 2014, 01:40
Creston, Canada
Level Contributor
524 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Quickest drive to Hilo

We drove the Daniel K Inouye Hwy several times over the past month, in daylight, at night, in rain and in fog. A very good road, very curvy the first 5 miles leaving Hilo, you have to watch your speeds going down the steep grades as you can easily get rolling at high speed. Saw police a few times. Good views of Mauna Kea and the surrounding landscape

Island of Hawaii...
Destination Expert
for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
Level Contributor
36,969 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Quickest drive to Hilo

Yes, I took my foot off the gas on the straight grade going west, and was shortly going 70 mph, like in a few seconds, so that gives you an idea of the grade. I tried gearing down to D2 to slow down, but my car did not like being in lower gear at 55 mph, so I ended up tapping the brakes to keep my speed down. Sometimes I miss having a manual transmission like my last car had.

The fog and blowing rain were bad on this last trip. It was the middle of the day and I could barely see the road for more than half the trip. I love this road when it is clear.

As altarose says, the views are pretty great, but on this trip I couldnʻt see Mauna Kea at all. The fog and clouds just obliterated all view of the mountain, even the part right next to me. Luckily it isnʻt like that most of the time.

8. Re: Quickest drive to Hilo

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 14 March 2015, 05:28