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Address: Mauna Kea volcano, Island of Hawaii, HI
Phone Number: 808-881-3827
Saturday
Closed
See all hours
Hours:
Mon - Fri 7:30 am - 5:00 pm

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Awe inspiring

Takes a bit of effort to get to the top of the mountain, every afternoon the park rangers take folks with 4-wheel drive vehicles (only those are permitted to drive to the... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed June 3, 2015
Cardiotron
,
Honolulu
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16 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Honolulu
Top Contributor
343 reviews 343 reviews
98 attraction reviews
157 helpful votes 157 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2015

Takes a bit of effort to get to the top of the mountain, every afternoon the park rangers take folks with 4-wheel drive vehicles (only those are permitted to drive to the 14,000-foot summit of Mauna Kea) if the weather allows-up tot he top. Its a bit safer that way in a caravan as the roads are dirt and can... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Stockton, California
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
10 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2015

We were lucky enough to get a private tour of Keck #1's telescope. This is an incredible facility with extremely devoted scientists and support personnel. The trip to the almost 14,000 feet (4,300 meters) was very fast and with incredible scenery along the way. The 8+ meter telescope was nothing short of amazing! Although it is not easy to get... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
284 reviews 284 reviews
66 attraction reviews
134 helpful votes 134 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2015

The visitor center in Waimea is separate from the mountain top observatory tour. The Visitor Center is an embarrassment to such a prestigious enterprise. I was in and out in five minutes after reading every photo cation and staring at the static displays. Souvenirs were limited to coffee mugs, postcards, and a couple of t-shirts. Clearly some new direction and... More 

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Santa Barbara, California
Top Contributor
281 reviews 281 reviews
45 attraction reviews
132 helpful votes 132 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2014

We are huge astronomy fans and we really wanted to drive to the top to visit the W.M. Keck Observatory telescopes. We rented a 4x4 to be safe and were pleased that we did. At the visitor center at 9000 feet you feel the high altitude. At the top at over 14,000 feet I really was feeling the altitude. Be... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Texas
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2014

There are numerous signs warning that the road up from the visitors center is dangerous and they recommend that you take a commercial tour mini-bus from that point up. I was skeptical that the warning was just to help the tourism business, but my wife was spooked and opted to wait at the center. I drove up in my rental... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Gans, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
20 attraction reviews
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2014

It was very nice to at least go inside one of the observatories while we were atop Mauna Kea. While you didn't go up to any of the telescopes, you were able to see all the vast equipment inside. And some nice restrooms as well.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Los Angeles, CA
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2014 via mobile

We weren't able to go to the mountaintop and see the actual mirrors/lenses. But the visitors area in Waimea had amazing photos and the guide there showed us some of the most amazing work the Keck Telescopes did. It is worth 30 minutes to see the awesome science happening in Hawaii

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Denver, Colorado
Top Contributor
257 reviews 257 reviews
67 attraction reviews
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

Was not able to drive to the top of Mauna Kea, but visited the Keck Observatory Offices lobby in downtown Waimea which had many displays and gifts and lobby host Liz gave us a complete run down on activities current and past. We were thrilled with all the information. Next time we will get a 4WD for the drive to... More 

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Sandwich, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
12 attraction reviews
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2013

read desp4vacay information regarding the observatory it is very informative. My additional comments are:- the road across to the observatory has been resurfaced so it is in reasonable condition. Make sure you have trainers on your feet as the walk up the hill to see the sunset is not a smooth path - take a torch/flashlight to light your way... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
NJ
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
3 attraction reviews
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

Be sure to have a full tank of gas before you head up to the observatory. There are no places to stop once you start up the mountain. We headed up around 5pm, and went to the observatory. They had a little gift shop there along with an informative video about the hiking and summit and some projects that their... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 3

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Additional Information about W.M. Keck Observatory

Address: Address: Mauna Kea volcano, Island of Hawaii, HI
Phone Number: 808-881-3827
Location: United States  >  Hawaii (HI)  >  Island of Hawaii
Open Hours:
Monday 7:30 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday 7:30 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday 7:30 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday 7:30 am - 5:00 pm
Friday 7:30 am - 5:00 pm

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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?