Mana Road is one of the oldest dirt roads on the Big Island

Located in the U.S. state of Hawai’i in the Pacific Ocean, the scenic Mana Road is one of the locals' best-kept secrets. This is a road that you don’t want to travel alone. Be warned, it's not for the faint of heart.

Mana Road

How long is Mana Road on Big Island?

Stretching 42.9 miles (69km), Mana Road connects Mauna Kea Access Road and Mamalahoa Highway in Waimea. The largely dirt road winds around Mauna Kea, Hawai’i’s tallest peak, reaching a height of 2,223m (7,293ft) above sea level.

Is Mana Road unpaved?

Situated on the Big Island of Hawaii, it’s one of the oldest and most well-known dirt roads on the island. The road quality varies from pavement in the first mile to loose rocks and mud in the middle: a mixture of red dirt and hard-packed gravel with challenging obstacles.

Is Mana Road dangerous?

The red dirt road up the mountain can be hazardous, particularly in bad weather. The road is narrow and steep. You cannot take a rental car on this road, not even a 4WD (strictly prohibited by rental car companies, even for their 4WD rentals). If the weather is good, you don't even need 4WD. Ground clearance is needed though; there are big ruts in a couple of spots. If the weather has been bad, or turns bad, the trip could be quite an adventure. Ground clearance is needed, but there are big ruts in a couple of spots. The terrain is muddy, and it is better to avoid this route when it is raining heavily. Be prepared for erratic weather from strong winds to rain or sun. But the views are worth it. Bring plenty of water and fuel.

How long does it take to drive Mana Road?

Plan about 5-6 hours to complete the remarkable drive. It offers an unbelievable scenic adventure and travels through open ranchlands with plenty of challenging uphill climbs, fast technical descents, and rugged terrain. The road offers an unbelievable scenic adventure and sweeping views of the volcano.
Pic: Rico Tumin