We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Mauna Kea

Certificate of Excellence
Improve this listing
Sponsored by:
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Your filters are still active.
There are no pins in your viewport. Try moving the map or changing your filters.
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: Island of Hawaii, HI
Activities: Skiing, Watching sunrise/sunset, Hiking
Visit Mauna Kea like an insider
Small Group
$207*
and up
Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 135 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 109
    Excellent
  • 20
    Very good
  • 3
    Average
  • 0
    Poor
  • 3
    Terrible
Can't believe we didn't know about this!

This was our 3rd visit to the Big Island and we had no idea you could go up Mauna Kea. We were unfortunately not able to go to the summit because it isn't recommended for teens... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed May 24, 2015
sunny38
,
Ontario Canada
Add Photo Write a Review

135 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Ontario Canada
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2015 NEW

This was our 3rd visit to the Big Island and we had no idea you could go up Mauna Kea. We were unfortunately not able to go to the summit because it isn't recommended for teens under 16 due to the lack of oxygen, 40% less, but we did you up to the visitor centre for the star gazing program.... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
England, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
171 reviews 171 reviews
28 attraction reviews
123 helpful votes 123 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2015

Words and even pictures can't do justice to our trip to the top of Mauna Kea. Sunset was spectacular and star gazing from a small side road near the visitors centre on the way down was stunning. It's one of the best places on the planet for stargazing - hence all the best telescopes in the world are here. Trust... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
22 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2015

This was our second visit to Mauna kea but our first with kids (6 & 9). We were restricted to staying at the VIS as it is not recommended to take kids under 16 to the summit. Nonetheless it was a magical experience with cloud cover clearing for a perfect view of the early evening sky. Having been before we... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Toronto
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2015

The visit to Mauna Kea was truly amazing. The drive was really easy, roads are great, and no winding roads. We were concerned as my 4 year old daughter gets nauseous. She did good. We had drive through the clouds, which was an amazing experience, and once past the clouds the sky was clear. We got to the visitors center... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Gloucester, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2015

What a fantastic experience ! We chose not to try for the summit - either on our own or with a tour - just made it to the observatory in our hire car: and we weren't in any way disappointed. We had a truly memorable experience ( me, my wife and two teenage sons). I should add that we aren't... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 6
Doonan, Australia
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
41 attraction reviews
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2014

Didn't do enough homework and missed out on the summit. Tried to hire a 4WD from Alamo, didn't get one and then found out wasn't allowed to go to top with that company anyway. The wall of shame at the visitors centre ( its a very small visitors centre)shows the disasters that have befallen others and most looked like FWD... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
San Antonio, Texas
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2014

Pros: I've never seen so many stars. It was an awesome sight. The center's speaker was interesting and kind of funny. Watching the sunset from sunset trail was a beautiful sight. The drive from Mauna Lani was easy, 55 minutes, minimal traffic, clear (no fog) although from the resort it appeared that Mauna Kea was totally clouded over. The road... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2014 via mobile

Wonderful tour up to the very top along with stargazing through amazing telescopes. Even watched the space shuttle fly over. Take warm coats, it's 35-40 degrees at the top.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Tokyo
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2014

We drive a 4WD from KEAUHOU and leave for 3:00. Although starlit sky tour is also good, sunrise is the highest more. After sunrise, when I was walking toward the summit, the double rainbow was visible to my shadow. ***Tips which do not get altitude sickness*** Drinking a little water is continued every from the entrance this side neighborhood of... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
SF Bay Area
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2014

It is possible to visit the summit on your own for a fraction of the cost of a commercial tour. We rented a 4x4 SUV with low range from Harper https://www.harpershawaii.com/, and with layers of clothing, plenty of water and food, we headed for the Ellison Onizuka Visitors Center where we had a picnic, watched videos, geo-cached and got some... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 3

Travelers who viewed Mauna Kea also viewed

Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii
Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii
 

Been to Mauna Kea? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Mauna Kea and other visitors
3 questions
Ask a question
Questions? Get answers from Mauna Kea staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?