Parking and the Trailhead

This is the start of White Road
This is the start of White Road
Here's the street sign you'll be looking for
Here’s the street sign you’ll be looking for

When you get to White Road you will need to find a place to park. I try not to park right at the end of the road. Remember, this is a community when folks live, so we need to remain respectful. The side of the road can get quite muddy so we picked out a place that seemed “dry” by comparison to the rest of the road. I also chose a bit of a hill figuring that drainage would lessen the mud factor and that I could also use gravity in my favor if I had trouble getting out.

Looking for a parking place
Looking for a parking place
We can still see the top of Mauna Kea, so I'm feeling good about things
We can still see the top of Mauna Kea, so I’m feeling good about things

If you look at the next shot closely you can see a fence around a reservoir. You’ll be walking around this reservoir to begin your adventure!

This shows what the parking looks like. Proceed with caution!
This shows what the parking looks like. Proceed with caution! You can see the reservoir in the near distance.

Here’s where it get’s “complicated”.

This is the gate complete with requisite warning signs.
This is the gate complete with requisite warning signs.

In order to go on the hike you need to travel across several hundred yards of private land. As you can see, it is clearly marked. I’ve been told that there isn’t much of an issue with crossing this short stretch and that the warnings are mostly to limit tourist traffic and to give solid legal ground to the owner should issues arise.
On my first attempt at WRH we encountered a man working at the gate. We did not exchange words, he simply looked at us, moved his equipment inside the property and closed the gate, again giving us a look. Hoping he wouldn’t be long, we left and came back in about an hour. When we came back we found a few more men working. There was also another hiking group. Since my son-in-law and I were not nearly as “persuasive” as the cute 20 something girl in the shorts and bikini top, we let her go and investigate. Our plan was, if he let her through we would quickly blend in to their group; if not, we still hadn’t been told “no”. She quickly struck out and returned showing the thumbs down sign. Our new plan involved a case of beer to bribe the workers. We headed back to Waimea and stopped at the KTA for some beer. We also took the time to grab lunch since the hour was getting late (THAT’s why I wanted to leave Hilo at 5:30 this time!). Upon our return we found that the work crew was also taking a lunch break. With no one to ask, we proceeded over the gate and around the reservoir. At the end of the day, when we got back to the gate the men were still hard at work. We passed by without incident, exchanging a “howzit?” with one of the crew. We decided to leave them the case of beer, which they seemed to appreciate. Always pay it forward for the next group if you can!

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