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Mauna Kea Observatory

Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station, 9,200 foot level of Mauna Kea, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720
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Small Group
and up
Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure...
Top Rated
and up
Big Island Adventure Combo: Helicopter, Zipline...
Ranked #1 of 33 Attractions in Hilo
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Observatories/ Planetariums, Landmarks
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314 reviews from our community

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English first
Newnan, GA
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
24 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2014 NEW

Actually went to see all the stars but hit a night with a full moon and was able to see 600 stars instead of 6000 stars as I was told by the rangers. There was t a beautiful sunset though.

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Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
17 attraction reviews
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2014

We were interested in going to the top of this peak, tallest in Hawaii. Take a 4-wheel drive vehicle if you decide you want to do this. The road is rough in some places but very drive-able. Not much fun if you don't have 4WD although we saw people do it. At the top, there are observatories. Only one had... More

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2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2014

We went to the Mauna Kea Visitor Center just before the sunset, we could not go the the Observatory as you need a 4 wheels car... We did a little "treck" up a hill (10 minutes) to see the sunset and it was the most beautiful one we had ever seen ! With the clouds it was magical ! After... More

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Silverdale, Washington
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
10 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2014

"The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork." (‭Psalms‬ ‭19‬:‭1‬ NKJV). Spectacular in every possible way. Dress WARM, it's COLD up there!

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Auckland, New Zealand
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2014

I drove up to the observatory in my rental car which wasn't 4 wheel drive. Its easy enough driving as far as the observatory, but if you want to get all the way to the top you need a 4x4. It was nice above the clouds when i first got there, but then the rain set in. Would love to... More

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Newport News, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2014

This is off Rt 200 which looks like a small county road on the map. But in reality, it is a brand new highway. The visitor center is 6 miles (paved narrow road) off Rt200. The visitor center is at 9000+elevation. To reach the peak from the visitor center, you need a 4 wheel drive for the off-road. But across... More

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Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
9 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2014

We went up there fully knowing that the observatory would be closed but even just being up there and seeing those stars was an amazing sight to see. This should be a must do on anyone going there.

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Brooklyn, New York
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2014

get a 4wd vehicle so u can drive to the top! the sunest was the most epic ever! followed by stars.. bring really warm clothes including gloves. cuz its really cold! bring your camera!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2014

Awesome sunset! Definitely the highlight. You should plan to be there an hour before sunset to leave enough time to climb the cinder cone for the best view of the sunset. Interesting movie and great telescope sightings.

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San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
10 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2014 via mobile

You should have a four wheel drive and expect to go slow. This road is wide enough and close to the edge but not horribly so. The steep grade makes it tricky. Gear down and take it slow and you will have no problem. View from the top is amazing. Follow advice at the visitors center part way up and... More

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