No matter what time of day, Round Top Drive will be packed with a steady stream of tour buses, rental cars, mountain bikers and downhill skaters. Add to that, locals who commute up and down the mountainside everyday, and you’ve got one busy road!

A stunning view from Round Top Drive.

While nature’s surrounding beauty is what makes Round Top such a spectacular cruise, it’s also what causes the most frustration for drivers. At least a couple times out of the year, h3 winds knock down telephone poles or trees; heavy rains flood roadways and cause mountain slides. For drivers, this means major detours.

Thanks to the blustery winds lately, we had the pleasure of also taking this detour. A fallen tree not only blocked the roadway but knocked out power to some of the surrounding homes. Our home is near the bottom of Round Top, but because of the closure, we had to drive up and around the other side of the mountain via Tantlus. It’s about an extra 25 minutes in our commute.

On the way up, we saw a train of big white tour vans making their way down from the lookout, right above Manoa Valley. Because their usual route is through Round Top, I know that they, too, were a bit frustrated with the detour. Some parts of the road tend to be narrower than Round Top and very dark, too. Drivers must use their high beams at night (if there’s no oncoming traffic).

If you get stuck on Round Top or Tantlus, then the main thing to note is that both roads are connected. So if one road is closed, drive the other way. For us, the detour turned out to be a nice change of scenery on our daily commute home.


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