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

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 17 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 16
  • 0
    Very good
  • 0
  • 1
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If you are interested in the telescopes …

If you are interested in the telescopes this is a great stop. The visitor center isn't large but the lady at the desk took us around and explained the telescopes and other... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed August 12, 2015
Ann B

17 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2015

If you are interested in the telescopes this is a great stop. The visitor center isn't large but the lady at the desk took us around and explained the telescopes and other astronomical devices they are using. She was great with my 12 year old too. Asked him questions and got him thinking. She also gave us some take away... More 

Level Contributor
368 reviews
106 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 164 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 

Stockton, California
Level Contributor
29 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 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 

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
284 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 128 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 

Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
309 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 135 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 

Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 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 

Gans, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
39 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 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.

Los Angeles, CA
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 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

Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
262 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 90 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 

Sandwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 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 

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