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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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121 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    98
    18
    2
    0
    3
Date | Rating
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English first
Tokyo
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 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

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SF Bay Area
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 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

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Wildwood, Missouri, United States
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
27 attraction reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2014

Mauna Kea is one of the best places for star gazing in the world. We had an excellent 8 1/2 hr experience of Star Gazing at Mauna Kea. We went with a group of 14 with Hawaii Forest & Trail. It's pricey at just over $200 each. We got 20% off w/ a Holo Holo Discount Card. The guide was... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Coatesville, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
133 reviews 133 reviews
64 attraction reviews
49 helpful votes 49 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.

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Indianapolis, Indiana
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
14 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 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
11 helpful votes 11 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

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Dacula, Georgia
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
33 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 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.

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Buffalo, NY
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
27 attraction reviews
94 helpful votes 94 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 7
Eldridge, Iowa
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
51 attraction reviews
107 helpful votes 107 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 5
Seaville, New Jersey
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 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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