During our first night on the Big Island, while dining at Hawaii Calls at the Waikoloa Beach Marriot & Spa, I got a text from my hiking buddy Baron Yamamoto. It turns out that Baron not only enjoys waterfall hunting and ridge hiking, but he also loves searching for ancient Hawaiian petroglyphs. He told me that, since I was in Kona, I should check out some of the petroglyph fields in the area. I did my research and found that I was about a 15 minute drive away from one of the largest collections of petroglyphs in Hawaii. We decided to check out the petroglyphs the day after summiting Mauna Kea. I was stoked.
For our recent 4-day adventure to the Big Island, we decided that wanted to visit the summit of Mauna Kea. To get to the summit, one must drive up the infamous Saddle Road. Many locals will tell you that Saddle Road is a very dangerous road to drive on. In fact, a portion of the 16 mile road, just past the visitor center, is unpaved and very rugged. To aid in our excursion through Saddle Road and to maintain the limited warranty on our rental vehicle, we decided on going with a tour group led by Hawaii Forest & Trail. The last thing that we needed was a flat tire on our Mustang at 13,000 feet with no cellular signal available .
The traditional Diamond Head Summit Trail, really, isn’t a hiker’s hike. The Diamond Head trail is easy and it’s short. For those reasons alone, it is probably the most popular tourist hike on the island of Oahu. Oh, and let’s not forget the famous views of Waikiki Beach that you are awarded with once you reach the summit of Diamond Head.