Stop 7: South Kohala/Waimea
It's like being in Texas when you drive over the top of Kohala volcano towards the town of Waimea. Here you can find the Parker Ranch, which is one of the largest individual ranches in the United States.
This view is of one of the cones of Mauna Kea volcano, just as one descends the Saddle Road outside Waikii. This is an old cone that has heavily vegetated slopes. Note the profile of southwest Kohala in the distance; many individual cinder cones can be seen here.
The main attraction of the Waimea district is the land itself -- the attractive pastures, ever-changing skies, rail-fenced pastures, a cooler climate than much of Hawaii, and attractive stands of trees. This area is well worth a visit if you get tired of the beaches on the west coast and the tropical forests north of Hilo.
Now, do you think this look like Hawaii? On the southern flank of Kohala volcano, the Parker Ranch has some excellent grazing country where you can still find the Paniolos, or Hawaiian cowboys!
From here you can continue on to Stop 8 on the ground, or you can pick another point from the Big Island Virtual Field Trip page.
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Authors: Peter Mouginis-Mark & Lori Glaze
Copyright by P. Mouginis-Mark
Curator: Lori Glaze
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