SADDLE ROAD (Route 200) cuts across the high valley, or saddle, between the island’s two massive volcanic mountains, MAUNA KEA
MAUNA LOA . It is the shortest route from Kailua- Kona to Hilo, accessible from Route 190 near Waimea. Once considered a treacherous route, a series of road improvements — including the renaming of the road to DANIEL K. INOUYE HIGHWAY in honor of the late U.S. senator and strong supporter of Saddle Road — have made most of the trip safer and smoother.
This route provides access to the slopes of Mauna Loa and the observatories atop Mauna Kea. In good weather, the trip requires about two hours of concentrated drive time.