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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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Ranked #1 of 39 Attractions in Hilo
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Type: Observatories/ Planetariums
54 visitor photos
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281 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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English first
Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2014 NEW

Very cool, go at night of course and watch out for the invisible cows! Bring a low level light as to not disturb all the telescope users

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Ottawa, Canada
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2014 NEW

Timing us everything which is why we made two trips to the top of the world. Great parks staff and Ranger Pablo for his detailed answers to ours and everyone's questions. A unique experience that couples and families can all enjoy! Pete from Ottawa Canada

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Pleasant Grove, Utah
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
28 attraction reviews
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2014 NEW via mobile

Didn't know I all this winter gear I packed would actually come in handy. I had read reviews on tripadvisor about it being cold so we brought sweat shirts and coats. When we left the valley it was in the low 90's. By the time the sun set at the observatory it was 44 and windy. I loved looking through... More

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3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2014 NEW

I highly recommend doing the guided tour to the top of Mauna Kea's observatory! The trip I did involved hiring a 4WD and meeting at the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Center, where we spent about an hour acclimatising to the higher altitude. If you do this tour, you need to come in a 4WD, as they will NOT take you... More

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Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2014

My wife and I drove up to the top of Mauna Kea in February 2013. We were told we needed a 4WD vehicle to drive to the top. Staff at the visitors center said the road conditions are rough and narrow. The road conditions were fine (even better than the roads we drive on at home). We only had a... More

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Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
17 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2014

We only had one evening available to go here, and I am glad we had a four wheel drive vehicle because it was cloudy at the visitor center and there were no telescopes. We made the climb to the top, which I found quite rough and scary, but the view at sunset was great. The drive back down in the... More

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Doha, Qatar
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2014

It's a must see on Big Island. You really do feel closer to heavens up there. It's just a pity one cannot view the stars from the top of the mountain. Dress warmly.

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Seattle, WA
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
16 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2014

My husband is an amateur skygazer, and so this was a must-see stop. This is a beautiful place to go no matter what level of interest you have in astronomy. You are up SO high in the mountain that you have a crystal clear view of the stars at night. The volunteers have set up several telescopes so you can... More

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Syracuse , NY
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2014

At least my 4th trip up to the summit , so am used to the drive up but then again , there's nothing run-of-the-mill about this Big Island adventure . Sunset is pretty much the focus here but any time is fine . 4wd is not really necessary (done it 3 out of 4 times with 2wd) but paying attention... More

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Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
5 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2014

We were discouraged from driving to the top because car didn't have 4wd. However, we saw so many cars going to top so we tried it. Well worth it! The road is gravel except for the last few switchbacks at the top. The view was stunning at sunset. Being above clouds and watching the sunset was amazing. Bring a jacket... More

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