U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

 

U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

In Any Clime and Place

Things to do in Hawaii without breaking the bank

By Lance Cpl. Bernadette L. Ainsworth | | November 27, 2007

HONOLULU -- The serene beauty of the lush forest on Hawaii may not be present everywhere on the island, but it is alive and thriving on Tantalus, just a short drive away, outside downtown Honolulu.

Puu Ohia, the formal name for the mountain, which is part of the Ko'olau Mountain Range, is home to many of Hawaii's native trees, beautiful plants and exotic animals which can all be seen by just taking a drive off the Pali Highway.

Round Top road is a 10-mile blacktop road that stretches from one side of the mountain to the other.  The road is narrow and winding, with at least seven hairpin turns and, at one point for a short distance, becomes only one lane.

The canopy of trees is so dense that the road is virtually invisible when looking at the mountain from below.

Along the 10-mile stretch are several vistas where you can stop, get out of your car and absorb the breathtaking view.

At the top, Puu Ualakaa State Park provides a rest area, picnic tables and an amazing lookout point with a view of Honolulu, Waikiki, Diamond Head, the Punchbowl Crater and Pearl Harbor.

Tantalus also provides several hiking trails up and down the side of the mountain ranging from one hour to all day hikes.

Other recreations include bicycling and running the 10-mile loop.

Tantalus is the epitome of Hawaii's beauty with majestic views, recreations and a wide array of Hawaii's native flora and fauna, and it won't cost you a penny.

Tantalus is approximately a two-hour drive including stops along the road.

To get there from Waikiki get on Ala Wai Blvd.  Turn right onto McCully St. and head toward the mountains.  Cross a bridge over the H1.  After the bridge, turn left onto Wilder Ave.  Turn right on Makiki St. at the first set of lights.  Follow Makiki St. up until you come to a Y and then take Round Top Dr. the rest of the way.