ETA: Unfortunately, due to the lava flow that started on May 3, 2018, you are unable to reach this beautiful place. Several areas of Red Road have been covered by lava, making it inaccessible.
You can drive along the coast of the Big Island of Hawaii and see so much beauty. However, none of it is like driving down Red Road in the Puna area. This particular portion of Highway 137 has been called Red Road due to its unique red cinder pavement. The road has since been repaved and is no longer red.
Getting to Red Road
It is pretty easy to get to Red Road from Pahoa Village. You need to head east on Highway 132 (Kapoho Road), following the curve to the left and then driving about 8 miles to a four-way intersection. Once you reach this intersection, you will want to turn right onto Highway 137 (Kapoho Kalapana Road). This is where you will start the 15-mile scenic drive. To get back to Pahoa Village you can either turn around and drive back the same route you took. You can also head north on Highway 130, at the end of the road in Kalapana, and drive about 10 miles and you’ll reach Pahoa village.
- The best time to see Red Road is during the week when the residents of Hawai’i are at work.
- If it isn’t a rainy day, then you may want to take the ride while in a convertible. It’s not bad taking any ol’ vehicle. However, it’s pretty neat having the top down while enjoying the view.
- You’ll want to drive slowly. It is a winding and narrow road. Be sure to pull over to the side and yield to other cars that want to pass or those coming from the opposite direction.
- Pack yourself a lunch. There are a ton of different spots that you can stop at along the route. Some that are perfect for having a picnic while enjoying the breathtaking views. Depending on the time of the year you can watch for dolphins, whales, and even sea turtles in the water. You’ll probably get to see a rainbow in the sky too!
- There are no gas stations, hotels, or stores along the route, so be sure to stock up before heading out. Also, there is NO cell service in that area.
- Bring your camera; you’ll want to take pictures. You may even want to bring a pair of binoculars.
- There are times that you may see self-serve fruit stands by the roadside. We all love our fresh fruits!
Most, if not all, of the ocean area, is a cliff in this area, so there is no swimming. However, there are a few parks in the area in which you can stop for swimming in tide pools. Also at the end of the road, literally The End of The Road, there is a black sand beach that is about a 1/4 mile walk from the road. You will also find Uncle Roberts Awa Bar and other little pavilion shops, and every Wednesday evening there is a farmers market.