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2020-3-2 | Chevy New Roads Magazine

The Many Climates of Paradise

The island of Hawaii offers an unbelievable variety of environments. Cracked lava fields contrast with lush jungles and pristine beaches to form one of the most diverse ecologies on the planet. It’s the perfect place for your next adventure.

It’s the stuff of heady fantasy. Imagine a vacation where you snowboard down a wintry, powder-covered slope, snorkel alongside dolphins in warm waters, sunbathe on elegant black sand beaches, and bunk down amid spring-like temperatures at grassy campgrounds. Now imagine packing all these experiences into one week on a single, 4,028-square-mile island.


Amazingly, the scenario described above isn’t fantasy—rather, it’s Hawaii, or the “Big Island,” as locals affectionately call it. Possessing what may be the world’s most varied climate, Hawaii is one of just a few places where you can approximate the experience of living all four seasons in a day. The island has 10 of the original 14 climate sub-groups in the Köppen classification system—the categorization most used by climatologists—with four that are tropical, two arid, three temperate, and even polar tundra at the summit of Mauna Kea.


That’s an astounding diversity compressed on a single island. “If you go to the mountaintop in the morning and come down, you experience very different climates,” says Dr. Pao-Shin Chu, state climatologist and professor of meteorology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. “Once you reach the coast, it’s a humid tropical climate where you can even surf. And all in one day!”

The Details Matter

2020 BLAZER

3.6L V6

ENGINE AVAILABLE

9-SPEED

AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION

64.2 CU. FT.

CARGO CAPACITY

ISLAND AREA: 4,028 SQUARE MILES
CLIMATE ZONES FOUND ON THE BIG ISLAND: TROPICAL | TEMPERATE | DRY | POLAR
KÖPPEN SUB-ZONES FOUND ON THE BIG ISLAND: TROPICAL CONTINUOUSLY WET | TROPICAL WINTER-DRY | TROPICAL SUMMER-DRY | TROPICAL MONSOON | CONTINUOUSLY WET WARM TEMPERATE | SUMMER-DRY WARM TEMPERATE | SUMMER-DRY COOL TEMPERATE | HOT SEMI-DESERT | HOT DESERT | PERIGLACIAL

 

If ever a place begged to be explored by car, it’s Hawaii—a place where small-town ruralism and bustling modernity collide with untouched natural wonder. The 2020 Blazer RS with available twin-clutch all-wheel drive was engineered to handle such environments, featuring the Traction Select System with multiple driver modes for flexibility in all sorts of driving conditions. Along with ample space for people and gear, that’s handy for exploring this tropical nirvana, which offers everything from volcanoes, waterfalls, and mist-shrouded jungles to ocean cliffs, lava deserts, and countless other natural wonders.

 

According to Chu, a variety of factors now influence the island’s balmy climate, not the least of which is Hawaii’s proximity to the equator and the cool, damp North Pacific trade winds that weave along the island’s eastern and northeastern peaks. The result of these phenomena is daytime temperatures that rarely dip below 80 degrees in most places, with stark variations in rainfall. “All the Hawaiian islands are small, but even within short distances, the rainfall can change by a lot,” says Chu. “For example, the median annual rainfall in Hilo is about 130 inches, but if you go a little bit farther inland about 3 miles to Rainbow Falls, the median is between 177 to almost 200 inches per year. It’s really amazing.”

The Blazer acquitted itself admirably in one such shower on a late-afternoon trip from downtown Hilo up into the surrounding hills. You’d be tempted to keep the vehicle in Sport mode on winding roads like these. But as the skies darkened from bright blue to a deep purple-y gray and rain came in a torrent, the push of a button engaged the Advanced Twin-Clutch All-Wheel-Drive system and offered peace of mind.

 

All this rain, sun, and mountaintop snow offer myriad opportunities for adventure, and many of the Big Island’s natural wonders can be viewed in the approximately six hours it takes to circle the entire island by car. But curious travelers may want to extend their explorations over the course of several days. More time will allow for unforgettable local color detours, including stops at mom and pop restaurants.

 

The cafés, bakeries, and poke shops in these parts serve grub made with fresh, regionally cultivated ingredients like taro, coconut, sugar cane, mahi-mahi, macadamia nuts, pineapple, red snapper, coffee, and more. Hawaii is a wonderland where the term “laid back” still applies, so blend in by taking your sweet time exploring the island.

 

Play word association with “Hawaii,” and chances are good the immediate response will be “volcano.” It’s nearly impossible to miss either of the two volcanic peaks on the Big Island, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. The summit of the former, at 13,803 feet, is the highest point in Hawaii, and getting to the visitor center and observatories just below the top can be a trip. It’s yet another climb on the Big Island where the strong torque from the Blazer RS’s 3.6-liter V6 engine comes in quite handy.

The observatories feature state-of-the-art telescopes that provide detailed views of constellations and planets, and the stargazing experience is enhanced by inky night skies devoid of light pollution. The Mauna Kea summit ranks “polar” on the Köppen climate scheme, so adequate thermal gear is a must. Make the effort: Spending time in the staggeringly silent Hawaiian mountain night is unlike any other experience on the planet.

 

No Big Island visit would be complete without taking in a lava flow. Hawaii is still growing thanks to constant volcanic activity, and a lava tour allows you to witness the island’s remarkable evolution. See the incandescent flows of molten rock spilling from Kilauea and Mauna Loa by way of boat, helicopter, and hiking tours at Volcanoes National Park near Hilo. The black sand beaches, created from the steamy intersection of lava and ocean water, are even more impressive after you’ve seen one born.

 

That dynamic Big Island coastline is largely surrounded by clear turquoise waters. The omnipresent surf with its generally warm water begs to be engaged. Snorkeling these waters is like swimming in an aquarium, with neon-colored parrotfish, Moorish idol, tang, butterfly fish, and cardinalfish making for an almost psychedelic underwater adventure. For a drier ocean experience, book a glass-bottom boat tour.

 

In any case, don’t shy away from bringing whatever you need for a perfect beach day. With the rear seats folded, Blazer RS offers 64.2 cubic feet of cargo space, and the available Cargo Management System will keep your gear in place.

 

With Hawaii’s numerous ecologies, astounding biodiversity, and multiplicity of climates, the question for visitors isn’t so much about what you can do on the island, but rather what can’t you do. The Big Island can transform otherwise routine activities like hikes, jogs, or drives into a journey of discovery. When you have the perfect vehicle and a few good friends, there’s practically no better place on Earth to explore.

 

STORY: BRUCE BRITT / PHOTOGRAPY: JUSTIN WIRTALLA / DRONE PHOTOGRAPHY: BAYLY BUCK

  • With rear seats folded. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • EPA estimated with 3.6L V6 engine.

  • EPA estimated with 3.6L V6 engine.

  • Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc. Siri, iPhone and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner's Manual for more information.

     

  • Model year 2018 and newer vehicles include: 1 month of OnStar Safety & Security Plan and 1 month of Chevrolet Connected Services which include navigation services, Remote Access Plan and 1 month or 3 gigabytes of 4G LTE data (whichever comes first) from vehicle delivery date. Services are subject to user terms and limitations. Visit onstar.com for more details. Data plans offered by AT&T. Availability subject to change.

  • EPA-estimated 53-mile range based on 106 MPGe combined city/highway (electric); 367-mile extended range based on 42 MPG combined city/highway (gas). Your actual range may vary based on several factors, including temperature, terrain and driving technique.

  • Requires available Performance Exhaust or Z51 Performance Package.

  • Requires available Performance Exhaust or Z51 Performance Package.

  • If you decide to continue service after your trial, your selected subscription plan will automatically renew thereafter. You will be charged at then-current rates. Fees and taxes apply. To cancel you must call SiriusXM at 1-866-635-2349. See SiriusXM Customer Agreement for complete terms at siriusxm.com. All fees and programming subject to change. ©2018 Sirius XM Radio Inc. All rights reserved.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

  • Does not detect people or items. Always check rear seat before exiting.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google, and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android (TM) 5.0 Lollipop or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

  • Service varies with conditions and location. Requires active service plan and paid AT&T Data plan. See onstar.com for details and limitations.

  • Premier shown seats seven. Standard on L, LS. Available on LT.

  • EPA-estimated with available 3.6L engine (FWD).

  • The system wirelessly charges one mobile device. Some devices require an adaptor or back cover. To check for phone or other device compatibility, visit my.chevrolet.com/learn for details.

  • Dependability based on longevity: 1987–July 2017 full-size pickup registrations.

  • Model year 2018 and newer vehicles include: 1 month of OnStar Safety & Security Plan and 1 month of Chevrolet Connected Services which include navigation services, Remote Access Plan, and 1 month or 3 gigabytes of 4G LTE data (whichever comes first) from vehicle delivery date. Services are subject to user terms and limitations. Visit onstar.com for more details. Data plans offered by AT&T. Availability subject to change.

  • With available Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8.

  • Requires Silverado 3500 HD Crew Cab 2WD DRW with fifth-wheel hitch and available Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Read the vehicles Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • EPA-estimated 15 MPG city/ 20 MPG highway.

  • Requires short box. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google, and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android(TM) 5.0 Lollipop or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

     

  • EPA-estimated 15 city/20 highway for 4x4 with 4.3L V6.

  • Requires Long Box. Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

  • 910 lb.-ft. @ 1600 rpm with available Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8.

  • With available Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8.

  • With available Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8.

  • Read the vehicles Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner’s Manual for more information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc. Siri, iPhone and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See your vehicle Owner’s Manual for more information.

  • Connected services include navigation services and Remote Access Plan. Services subject to Terms and limitations. Certain services require working electrical system, cell reception, and GPS signal. OnStar links to emergency services.  See onstar.com for details. Availability subject to change.

  • Connected services include navigation services and Remote Access Plan. Services subject to Terms and limitations. Certain services require working electrical system, cell reception, and GPS signal. OnStar links to emergency services.  See onstar.com for details. Availability subject to change.

  • EPA-estimated MPG city/highway: Sonic Sedan with 6-speed manual transmission 27/38; with 6-speed automatic transmission 26/34; Sonic Hatchback with 6-speed manual transmission 26/35; with 6-speed automatic transmission 26/34.

  • Your actual range may vary based on several factors, including temperature, terrain, battery age, and how you use and maintain your vehicle.

  • Read your vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Certain features require a SiriusXM subscription and the Chevrolet Connected Access plan. See siriusxm.com and onstar.com for details and limitations.

  • Do not use summer-only tires in winter conditions, as it would adversely affect vehicle safety, performance and durability. Use only GM-approved tire and wheel combinations. Unapproved combinations may change the vehicle’s performance characteristics. For important tire and wheel information, go to my.chevrolet.com/learnAbout/chevrolettires or see your dealer.

  • Premier shown seats seven. Standard on L, LS. Available on LT.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Standard on all trims:  Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, Following Distance Indicator, Intellibeam Headlamps. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints.  Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint.  See the Owner's Manual for more information.

  • Read the vehicles Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment 3 System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Read the vehicles Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • On LS models with available front-row split-bench seat.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Read the Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity to some devices.

  • Read the Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Read the Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Park Assist and Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert. Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Requires AWD and 3.6L engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for more important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Standard on Extended Cab and 2WD Crew Cab Short Box models.

  • Standard on 2WD Crew Cab Long Box and 4WD Crew Cab models.

  • Available on Extended Cab models

  • Available on Crew Cab models

  • Read the vehicle owner's manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Equipment from independent suppliers is not covered by the GM New Vehicle Limited Warranty. GM is not responsible for the safety or quality of independent supplier alterations.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • To avoid the risk of injury, never use Recovery Hooks to tow a vehicle. For more information, see the Recovery Hooks section of your Owner's Manual.

  • The system wirelessly charges one compatible mobile device. Some phones have built-in wireless charging technology and others require a special adaptor/back cover. To check for phone or other device compatibility, see my.chevrolet.com/learn or consult your carrier.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

     

  •  

    Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • To avoid the risk of injury, never use Recovery Hooks to tow a vehicle. For more information, see the Recovery Hooks section of your Owner's Manual.

  • The system wirelessly charges one compatible mobile device. Some phones have built-in wireless charging technology and others require a special adaptor/back cover. To check for phone or other device compatibility, see my.chevrolet.com/learn or consult your carrier.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Go to my.chevrolet.com/learnAbout/bluetooth to find out which phones are compatible with the vehicle. Full Bluetooth feature functionality varies by device, model and software version.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc. Siri, iPhone and Apple Music are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android™ 5.0 or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Always use safety belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner’s Manual for more information. 

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

  • Chevrolet Infotainment System functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices. Map Coverage available in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.

  • Read the vehicle Owner’s Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Requires available 3.6L engine and Trailering Package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow

  • Requires available 3.6L engine and Trailering Package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Always use safety belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See the Owner’s Manual for more information.  

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Google and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires the Android Auto app on Google Play and an Android compatible smartphone running Android 5.0 or higher. Data plan rates apply. Android Auto is a trademark of Google LLC.

  • Vehicle user interface is a product of Apple and its terms and privacy statements apply. Requires compatible iPhone and data plan rates apply. Apple CarPlay is a trademark of Apple Inc. Siri, iPhone and Apple Music are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

  • Always use seat belts and child restraints. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate child restraint. See your vehicle Owner’s Manual for more information.

  • Read the vehicle Owner's Manual for important feature limitations and information.

  • Standard on Extended Cab and 2WD Crew Cab Short Box models.

  • Standard on 2WD Crew Cab Long Box and 4WD Crew Cab models.

  • Available on Extended Cab models.

  • Available on Crew Cab models.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. Click here to see all Chevrolet vehicles' destination freight charges.

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