Mauna Kea Climb tire choice and logistics


Up until the end of the gravel yes. Didn’t try higher, the ranger said there wasn’t signal at the very top. I can’t confirm that.


That checks out as RF can interfere with the Telescopes

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Phil Gaimon just did a You Tube video on his recent Mauna Kea climb. Nice views and footage.

Yup, shared above by Cory via the Strava link.


Man, that video doesn’t make it sound all that appealing TBH! Though obviously his plan went straight to hell when he could’t bring up his support vehicle, plus he was obviously really pushing the pace. I gather Mauna Loa is open up to ~9500’ too, so some good options for pavement-only climbs as well.


If this is your first impression, probably best to pass, bcs the damn thing will test your gumption and if you don’t want the chaos, you’ll not enjoy it.

If you do make it up there on a bike, you’ll see the views and you’ll feel proud that you earned them, very rewarding.

All fair points; if I am NOT pushing the pace and actually take time to rest, fuel and hydrate at/above the visitor’s center (and if I bring a bike w the right tires, which Phils was denied) I imagine it’d be a somewhat different experience.

I leave for the Big Island Friday, and whether I bring a bike will probably depend on the weather forecast. Currently it looks great, but the reliable summit forecast says lots of fog and clouds later this week. If it looks like a good weather window is available next week I’ll (probably) make an attempt.


FWIW, buddy and I just rented bikes for a few days from the shop in Kona. Nice guys in the shop and their rental bikes are in decent condition and I think a fair cost. We only wanted to get a few rides in between doing stuff with the spouses so renting was a much easier solution than shipping our good bikes.

If you are on the fence about riding can keep your options open by just packing shoes and a kit. They have helmets with the rentals if needed. I brought pedals as am on speedplay, but I think they have normal Shimano road and mountain pedals available (check that as I’m not 100% certain on the pedals).

Enjoy. It is a great visit with or without bike riding.