Hawaii Route 137

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Route 137 marker

Route 137
Kapoho-Kalapana Road
Route information
Maintained by HDOT
Length9.6 mi[1] (15.4 km)
Major junctions
West endPahoa Kalapana Road
East end Route 132 near Kapoho
Highway system
Routes in Hawaii
Route 132Route 139

Route 137 is a state highway in Hawaii County, Hawaii. The highway, known as the Kapoho-Kalapana Road, the Beach Road, or the Red Road,[2] travels along the eastern coast of the island of Hawaii between Kalapana and Kapoho.[1] It passes near Kīlauea and its lava fields, as well as Isaac Hale Beach Park and other protected areas.

Route description[edit]

A section of the Red Road with pavement still containing Hawaiian volcanic red cinder, never having been repaved with black asphalt (2012)

Route 137 travels along the Pacific Ocean, near the flat flanks of Kīlauea, and through lava fields, as well as by Isaac Hale Beach Park and other protected areas. Locally it is known as the Red Road,[3] due to its long having been paved with Hawaiian volcanic red cinder;[4] most of it was paved with black asphalt in 2000 but it is still called the Red Road.[5][6] It is a designated scenic byway,[7] with picturesque tunnels of tropical trees and a variety of ocean vistas.[3]


Several lava flows from Kīlauea have crossed sections of the highway en route to the Pacific Ocean. The 1990 lava flow that destroyed Kalapana moved along Highway 137.[8] During the 2018 lower Puna eruption of Kīlauea's East rift zone, a lava flow from Fissure 20 buried a section of Route 137 between Kamaili Road and Pohoiki Road[2] and flows from Fissure 8 flowed east across and along Hawaii Route 132, cutting more of Route 137 in the vicinity of Kapoho.[9]

Major intersections[edit]

The entire route is in Hawaii County.

0.00.0Pahoa Kalapana RoadWestern terminus
9.615.4 Route 132Eastern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Appearances in art[edit]

Artist Arthur Johnsen (1952–2015), a resident of Lower Puna, depicted vistas of the Red Road in numerous plein-air impressionistic oil paintings. Many of these paintings were anthologized by the East Hawaii Cultural Center and the Hawaii Museum of Contemporary Art, in a 2014 book titled Paintings of the Red Road by Arthur Johnsen.[10][11]


  1. ^ a b c Google (May 21, 2018). "Hawaii Route 137" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Pang, Gordon Y.K. (May 19, 2018). "Lava crosses Highway 137 and enters ocean". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  3. ^ a b http://hwy137redroad.org/
  4. ^ https://www.hawaiimagazine.com/blogs/hawaii_today/2013/11/1/red_cinder_road_big_island_hawaii
  5. ^ https://www.to-hawaii.com/big-island/scenicdrives/redroad.php
  6. ^ https://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/hawaii/red-road
  7. ^ http://hwy137redroad.org/endorsements/
  8. ^ Clark, Hugh (July 24, 1990). "Inmates aid lava victim". Honolulu Advertiser. p. A3. Retrieved May 24, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  9. ^ HNN Staff (June 6, 2018). "Kapoho Bay, playground for Big Islanders and many others, is lost to lava". Hawaii News Now. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  10. ^ "Book sales benefit Hilo art museum". Hawaii Tribune-Herald. November 12, 2015. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  11. ^ "Paintings of the Red Road by Arthur Johnsen" (PDF). EHCC/Hawaii Museum of Contemporary Art Publishers. 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 31, 2018.

External links[edit]