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Mauna Kea

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Address: Island of Hawaii, HI
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Recommended
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$200*
and up
Hawaii Birdwatching Small Group Adventure Tour
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$699*
and up
Experience Volcanoes National Park: Helicopter, Coach, and Walking Tour from...

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Definitely worth it, amazing experience! And do it by yourself! Organized tours are not worth it.

A lot of things have been said about a visit to the summit of Mauna Kea and I don't think I can add much. Yes, it's amazing, yes, it's fabulous, yes, it's worth it, yes, it's an... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 1 week ago
cristina.lussiana

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171 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Level Contributor
30 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

A lot of things have been said about a visit to the summit of Mauna Kea and I don't think I can add much. Yes, it's amazing, yes, it's fabulous, yes, it's worth it, yes, it's an unbelievable experience, yes, it's magic. It's worth it. Definitely. And the most interesting thing is that you can easily do it by yourself... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank cristina.lussiana
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
122 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Highly recommended. You can drive all the way to the top. For the last piece to the top you are required to have a four wheel drive. Views are just stunning. This volcano is the highest mountain in the world, measured from its base.

Helpful?
1 Thank MoksiJourney
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We made the mistake of going to Mauna Kea during the day, and wish we had gone at night instead. Home to one of the best observatories in the world, you can apparently see the stars here better than almost anywhere else. We drove the steep and winding drive from Kona during the day and did a little 20 minute... More 

Helpful?
Thank Allie V
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
22 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

No matter where you are on Big Island, Mauna Kea is definitely a place you need to visit. Go with a tour--it's not cheap, but you won't have to worry about renting a 4X4 and you'll have a tour guide who can show you a lot. Being on the summit, above a sea of clouds is so incredibly surreal and... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Maggie H
Wake Forest, North Carolina
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 weeks ago

We went to the visitors center for sunset and stargazing - well worth it. Arrive with enough time to hike the small hill near the visitors center to see sunset then hang around for stargazing. The video wasn't very good that they show, but the stargazing was fantastic. The ranger said you will never see more stars in your entire... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank jenniferg72
Level Contributor
55 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2015

You must rent a 4x4 to make it to the summit. The only way that you can ensure that you get a 4x4 is to rent a Jeep as they all come with 4 wheel drive. The Visitor Center is at the 9,000 ft level. Go there and stay for about 30 minutes or so to acclimate to the elevation.... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Jdp107
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
52 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2015 via mobile

Awesome experience, we only went as far as the visitor center and were not able to continue to the summit as you need a vehicle with a 4 wheel drive to go all the way to the summit. But they do require you to stop at the visitors center to check the road and weather conditions of the summit if... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank veggiegirl13
Lafayette, Louisiana, United States
Level Contributor
117 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2015

The ride from Kona to the Visitor's Center at Mauna Kea not too long ago was not for the faint of heart (or for the rental car companies). Now the Saddle Road (now named for the late Senator Inouye), is a beautiful drive and only gets a bit exciting on the ride up to the center from the highway. Great... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank RiverCajun
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
177 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2015

Well, at least the best you can drive to. We rented from the only authorized 4WD company that permits its vehcies to the top of Mauna Kea: Harpers. Be sure to check your car rental for this to make sure you are covered. Anyway the scenery is simply outstanding if you get the weather. Nothing compares to this view and... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank Tom P
Gladstone, Australia
Level Contributor
120 reviews
71 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2015

Definitely a must to visit on the Big Island. We were going to book onto a summit tour but they were all booked out during our trip. We already had a rental car and we are glad we made the trip by ourselves from Kona. We left in the afternoon and arrived probably 45 mins before sunset. Don't get discouraged... More 

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6 Thank Shonbirds

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