SOTA on The Big Island

We’ll be on the west side of the island the second week of March. I’m planning to bring my HF rig with me. How feasible is it to knock out an activation while I’m there? Besides Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, has anyone attempted any of the other smaller peaks recently? Recommendations requested, possibly a co-activation if anyone currently lives there.


W7MDN Matt


Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?

KH6/HW-004, -005, -006 and -008 appear hike-able. But would really appreciate a local’s perspective.

The database shows no activations for any of those. HW-001 has 12 activations and HW-002 one activation, if you activate any of the others you will have the honour of being the first!

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Hello Matt,
Mauna Kea is a semi-drive-up.
Suggest you read the SOTA blurb about hiking it and Mauna Loa, relating to rental car restrictions, etc. Here’s a link: SOTA Summits
On that subject, some of the other HW peaks are on restricted land. Restrictions are a moving target.
A very knowledgeable local hiking guide may be able to get reliable info. for you.
All best, and will be looking for your alert / spot.

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Matt… Mauna Kea can easily be done in a family sedan, but check to see if there are restrictions, such as observatory employees only. That was the case during the second half of 2019, starting just one day after I was there. The cops spent 5 million dollars in overtime pay during the blockade, issuing more than 8,000 citations to trespassing natives. A month ago, the appeals court in that state ruled in favor of the cops. One guy who activated there before me said he set up in the parking lot… oops, that’s not in the activation zone.
Elliott, K6EL

Mauna Kea, with Maui high point in the background

I’ve worked KH6ML a couple of times in the past few weeks. Not sure if he does SOTA as I’ve been working him on his POTA activations. He’s local and might have some local knowledge on who to talk to…Good luck and have fun…73, Todd KH2TJ

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Hi Todd,
Love the welcome sign!

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I’ve been to the top of Mauna Kea, but not for SOTA, unfortunately. Aside from all the other comments here just remember that it can be very cold up there. We went up with a tour and the guide supplied everyone with heavy coats as we neared the top. And then there’s the hypoxia…

Appreciate all the replies, thanks. We did manage to drive to the top of Mauna Kea last trip in 2019 but as you say that may have changed. I’ll see if I can contact KH6ML for the local gouge.