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Mauna Kea Observatories

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Address: Island of Hawaii, HI
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Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure...
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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    Very good
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Top of the World

I have to admit this is one of the highlights of my life. Being on top of the world is something you can only appreciate by being 15,000 feet up. You have to dress warm it's about... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed October 26, 2015
Staten Island, New York

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43 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Staten Island, New York
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2015

I have to admit this is one of the highlights of my life. Being on top of the world is something you can only appreciate by being 15,000 feet up. You have to dress warm it's about 32° At 15,000 feet and 40% less oxygen. I had a rental car so I drove up which can be a challenge because... More 

Thank Blueline4395
Conway, Arkansas
Level Contributor
56 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2015

The big telescopes are fascinating if you know what you're looking at. It was cool (literally) to be at 13,700 feet. They make you leave the summit after sunset. It was too rainy at the visitor center at 9,200 ft to see anything.

Thank timurray2000
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2015

We went to Mauna Kea observatories by ourselves, they say that is recommended to rent a 4X4. We did just for that day thinking that the part of 4Km without asfalt was really bad. but NOO! it is so good even without asfalt... we change the car for a 4x4 but actually once we were up, there were normals car... More 

Thank Marinaortizz
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
771 reviews
609 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 346 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2015

The drive to the top of Mauna Kea is a must do, really is. The drive is spectacular and the views at the top are even better. Stay for the sunset, it is worth it regardless of how cold and windy it is,

Thank aussie_traveler_7
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
108 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2015

We visited for the park for second time as we stopped at the visitors centre on the first visit Finally made it to the observatories this time and had clear sky It felt very surreal The road was very misty and not for the faint hearted

Thank stegeb
Palm Springs, CA
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2015

We came up with a couple of Seniors, but left them at the Ranger station for the lecture while we went to the summit for sunset. I would put this visual experience with visiting the Grand Canyon. Both have to be experienced to really understand the epic scale of the view from the summit of Mauna Kea.

1 Thank tonyjenson
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
76 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2015

We arrived at 1 pm on Saturday to listen to the Park Rangers about the mountain then take the caravan with them up to the summit. We were prepared with a 4-wheel drive that the car rental would allow you to take off road (Harpers) and an oxygen canister we purchased at Sports Auority. We also brought a picnic dinner... More 

Thank jzk131
Ferndale, California, United States
Level Contributor
46 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2015

We went up during the day, so didn't get to go in any of the observatories. It was a long trek up the mountain but the view was awesome! Mauna Loa was visible at times, as was Maui. The signs state 4WD only, but I can see it was for liability. The road is a bit "washboardy," but I've certainly... More 

2 Thank Colleen H
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
28 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2015

This is a must for the Big Island! Just know if you have kids 16 and under there are no tour companies that will take them. So plan accordingly and get a nanny/babysitter (Big Island Babysitters/Jackie is the owner). We met our tour guide at the center and we took us in a van with 6 others. (It's super risky... More 

1 Thank Melissa L
Calgary, Alberta
Level Contributor
59 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2014

Unique and amazing experience. We drove ourselves. You gotta get a true 4 wheel drive with locking differential. It's no joke. Ours was a Ford Ranger pickup, and while it fit the bill, it was not sufficient (back end too light maybe). On the dirt road after the visitor center, the back wheels kept slipping. It was a little scary... More 

3 Thank MarshBird

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