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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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117 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    94
    18
    2
    0
    3
Date | Rating
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  • Italian first
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  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Indianapolis, Indiana
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
12 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 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
87 helpful votes 87 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 5
Eldridge, Iowa
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
45 attraction reviews
99 helpful votes 99 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 2
Seaville, New Jersey
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 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

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Sydney Australia
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
19 attraction reviews
53 helpful votes 53 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
101 reviews 101 reviews
3 attraction reviews
67 helpful votes 67 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 1
Bloomfield Township, Michigan
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
19 helpful votes 19 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 4
Brescia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

On the Mauna Kea You feel on top of the world or maybe... on another world! You need just a 4x4 car and a heavy jacket (even in summertime) is a very windy place. Sunset is so romantic (i add some pics), but you have to come down from the mountain quickly as the sun fell, there are no streetlights... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 3

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