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Mauna Kea State Recreation Area, Hilo

(4/5 based on 70 reviews on the web)
Mauna Kea State Recreation Area also known as Mauna Kea State Park, is a state of Hawaii protected area at the southern base of Mauna Kea.The 20.5acre park is administered by the Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources. The park is located on Saddle Road (Route 200) west of Hilo, at with about elevation. Facilities include restrooms, cabins and camping, trash cans, and a picnic area. water improvements are planned.Wild pigs and sheep can be hunted in the area. The dry shrublands get cold at night due to the elevation. The nearby Bradshaw Field, a military airstrip on the Pohakuloa Training Area, and artillery practices can disturb the quiet of the site.On August 18, 2009 Senator Daniel Inouye and other officials held a ceremony at the park marking the third phase of the realignment of the Saddle Road. The first three phases improved 22 miles of the 55mi road, through the west of the park and east of the park. On August 22, 2010, a fire broke out between the park and the training area. Dry conditions, strong winds, and steep terrain hampered fighting efforts, although military helicopters were used. The fire burned for over a week, with traffic diverted to the older saddle road and the park closed down.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • AA, the sharp pointed kind of old lava flow.... and pahoyhoy, the ropy, smooth, walkable portions of old lava flow. Plus, seeing steam come off the point where lava flows into the sea. Fantastic.  more »
  • One of the few places in the world where one can handle from sea level up to more than 4000 m of height in less than three hours. To climb the last stretch is necessary a vehicle 4 x 4, the road is very good but it has stretches of rubble with enough slope. The view from the astronomical complex is unsurpassed, perfect for watching the sunset and stay to see the stars (one of the skies most clean in the northern hemisphere). Re-fuel on the big island of Hawaii. To drop can stop at the visitor center to look through telescopes and listen to lectures of astronomy (a little overpopulated of tourists for my taste, but very good).
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  • Many of the reviews and photos are of the Mauna Kea Summit. This recreation area is actually at about 6600 feet right on Saddle Back Road. It is a nice stop for a bathroom or for a kids break. The pho...  more »