Saddle Road Cautions:
Please be advised of these possible road conditions and challenges:
- There are no street lights.
- There are no services whatsoever; no gas, no food, nothing. It’s a country road.
- Repair and construction:
- The older paved section of Saddle Road can be hazardous because of rough pavement and possible potholes.
- Wild critters like goats, cattle, turkeys and pigs wander on the road, day and night.
- Visibility can be poor due to weather conditions, heavy rain, flooding, and fog with zero visibility.
- Little to no cell phone reception.
- If you break down, it could be hours before a tow truck arrives to help.
- Military vehicles cross, enter and leave this road. You may also encounter slow-moving military convoys.
Does car rental insurance cover me on Saddle Road?
You’re covered as long as there is no evidence of going off the pavement. Going off the pavement is considered a contract violation at which time the coverages would be null and void.
What if my rental car breaks down on Saddle Road?
If a rental car breaks down, stalls out, quits running, or won’t start on Saddle Road, does the rental car company pay to come and get it? If the customer purchases roadside assistance protection and there are no contract violations, then yes. But be aware that Saddle Road is in a fairly remote area of the island so it would be hours before anyone would be able to get to you. If the tow service company that is called doesn’t take the insurance coverage then the customer may be charged for the tow depending on the situation. It is suggested that the customer call their own insurance company or auto club for a tow. The Rental locations really try to discourage customers from going this way because it is dangerous and so far from anything. Mobile phones don’t good reception in this area.
Is there an alternate route to Saddle Road?
If you’re traveling between Hilo to Kona and you enjoy beautiful tropical Hawaiian scenery, Saddle Road is not the way to go. Though it has its own special scenic beauty, it is quite barren, dry and rocky. It’s probably better to take the north coast highway so you can stop off along the way in the small towns, botanical gardens and small beach parks along the way.