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Mauna Kea

Island of Hawaii, HI
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Volcanos, Observatories/ Planetariums, Ski/ Snowboard Areas, Mountains
Activities: Skiing, Watching sunrise/sunset, Hiking
Traveler Description: Mauna Kea 28 miles (45.1 km) W of Hilo on Hawaii 200, then N on the access road to the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy (808) 961-2180... more »
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118 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Coatesville, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
59 attraction reviews
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2014

Go for the sunset for an amazing view of the island below and the stars above. Make sure you bring something warm as it can get close to freezing on your island adventure.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Indianapolis, Indiana
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
13 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2014

We couldn't make it for the sunset, but we got there to see the star show. Have never seen so many stars so clear. It was like you could reach out and touch them. Very knowledgeable people to tell you about the stars and formations using a neat laser that seems like it touches the stars themselves. Make sure you... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Trowbridge, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2014

This is a must do to see a awesome sunset. We drove ourselves in a 4WD it's is an experience driving to the top but part of the adventure. We stopped at the visitors centre for 45 minutes to help prepare for the high altitude at the summit. People were driving to the top in normal hire cars, don't do... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Dacula, Georgia
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
31 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2014

The peak is snow-capped, and makes an interesting site in a place like Hawaii. A VERY steep road takes you from the Saddle Road (200) to the visitor center. From there, not only do you need 4WD, but warm clothes, and be prepared to handle the high altitude.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Buffalo, NY
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
27 attraction reviews
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2014

The rating we are giving in this review reflects our experience going up Mauna Kea, not the actual Stargazing program itself. If you are lucky enough to have a clear night up top, I’m sure it is as spectacular as the other reviews say it is. The Stargazing program at the Visitor’s Center runs from 6 to 10PM. My husband... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 6
Eldridge, Iowa
Top Contributor
107 reviews 107 reviews
45 attraction reviews
100 helpful votes 100 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2014 via mobile

This is an awesome experience if you can do it. I think you could drive it in a regular car, but I believe it is best to have a 4WD. There is a five mile stretch of road that is gravel and washboards. Take warm clothes along. It is cold up there. Take a camera and be prepared for one... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
Seaville, New Jersey
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2014

The 2 days that we were on Saddle Road traveling from Kona to Hilo we had hoped to travel to the summit of Mauna Kea, but it was closed due to weather conditions. One day it was too windy at the top, and the other day they were expecting 9" of snow. We drove to the Visitor's Center in our... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Sydney Australia
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
19 attraction reviews
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2014

Takes nearly two hours from hilo. But you can four wheel drive it yourself. Be careful though. When you get up there sit in your car and watch the sun go down. It's beautiful. Highlight of hawaii so far!

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Calgary, Canada
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
3 attraction reviews
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2014

We are back in Puako after our second failed attempt this week at stargazing. The cloud coverage was thick and horrible and didn't allow for any stargazing whatsoever. Nobody's fault obviously but disappointing nonetheless. Apparently the winter months mean more clouds and less chance at seeing any stars which would have been good to know before the 2 hour return... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Bloomfield Township, Michigan
11 reviews 11 reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2014 via mobile

We wasted time and money. Drive to the visitor center in your own car and save the $168 per person. The tour groups are a rip off. They will tell you that a light dinner is served. Our light dinner included vegetable lasagna in a tin container, and a brownie!!! No drinks were provided. You will be eating in the... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 5

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