Growing up here on the Big Island has given me the opportunity to explore so many beautiful places that are simply breathtaking. You can literally plan your day based on the climate you wish to experience. According to the Hawaii Big Island Travel Guru, the Big Island has four out of the world’s five major climate zones, or ten out of thirteen subzones. Simply pull out a map, pick your climate, and start planning your next excursion.
Big Island Climates – Map Provided by Hawaii Big Island Travel Guru
The climate map above, provided by Hawaii Big Island Travel Guru, is a great tool to use when selecting activities and or deciding where to buy real estate here on the Big Island. As you will see, there are so many variables that it is important to educate yourself about the unique climates each region has to offer.
Mauna Kea Snow Cap, Big Island – Hawaii | Photo Compliments of Wendy Wagner
Adventuring to Lake Wai’au
If you haven’t done it already, I highly recommend adding a day trip to Lake Wai’au to your Big Island adventure list. Located at approximately 13,000 feet near the summit of Mauna Kea, Lake Wai’au is one of the few lakes in the State of Hawaii. Once you embark on your journey make sure to bring a picnic to enjoy at the Mauna Kea Visitor Center, so that you may spend an hour or so acclimating to the elevation changes before heading towards the summit.
Green Pastures of Mauna Kea, Big Island- Hawaii | Photo Compliments of Ian Lindsey Photography
The dramatic terrain paired with spectacular views make driving up the summit of Mauna Kea an adventure in itself. Once you reach the 6 mile mark, you will see the trail to Lake Wai’au winding up two giant cinder cones. The hike itself is only a little more than a half mile, but the trail’s high elevation makes it a slow trek.
Trekking the Trail to Lake Wai’au | Mauna Kea, Big Island – Hawaii
According to Wikipedia, “Hawaiian mythology share that Lake Wai’au was bottomless and was the portal for spirits to travel to and from the spirit world.” Today, Hawaiian rituals are still performed occasionally in which the lake is considered to be a sacred site. Visitors should not disturb, enter, or drink the water of the lake. Upon arrival, you can see why the Hawaiians consider the lake a sacred site. The peaceful, serene landscape makes you feel as if you are on another planet.
Take an Adventure to Lake Wai’au Located Just Below Mauna Kea’s Summit | Big Island – Hawaii
The temperature can be dramatically cooler than where you departed from, so be sure to dress in layers and check the weather advisory at the Mauna Kea Visitor Center. For safety purposes, 4WD or AWD vehicle are required for accessing the trail head. Please allow a minimum of four to five hours to complete this trip. If you wish to visit Mauna Kea’s summit, a minimum of an additional hour will need to be added to your schedule. Have fun and be safe!