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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
Attraction details
Type: Observatories/ Planetariums, Landmarks
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330 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Morristown, Tennessee
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2014 NEW

If you want to go all the way to the top in your rental car, it is possible but proceed with due risk. I have been to the top twice during the day so I did not see the stars. Once the road was freshly grated and it was an easy climb up. The second time the road was VERY... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2014 NEW

My wife and I decided to forego renting a 4 x 4 or plunking down the cash for a guide to take us too the summit. I'm sure the view at the summit is worth it but to be honest I thought the view from the visitor center was pretty awesome.. you can walk up several trails to get a... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
New Braunfels, Texas
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2014

Very majestic and informative.. The observatory is massive and impressive.. Roads up there are pretty rough.. Make sure you stop at visitors center on the way.. It's dangerous to not do a safety stop and the direction to do that could be better.. It's COLD!!! So, wear warm clothes or you won't be able to stay..

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Seattle, Washington
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2014

The road is very rough, the cost is pretty high, very cold so wear warm clothes but the view of the stars are amazing. Our guide was very enthusiastic about the tour too.

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Washington, District of Columbia, United States
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2014

Bring a couple of layers of clothes because it is cold at night, but worth seeing the stars from here. There are also a couple of telescopes you can view the stars through and free guided tours as well.

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5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2014

There is too much science and astronomical information, not enough cultural information. Mauna a Wākea, Mountain of the Sky Father, is the most sacred mountain in all of Hawai'i and one of the most revered mountains in all of Polynesia. It is the tallest mountain in the world! This is completely overshadowed at the Information Station. It would be nice... More 

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Vancouver, Canada
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2014

A visit to Mauna Kea is a MUST! Incredible sunset, stunning views! The literature says you need a 4x4, but We did it in a rental car and it was fine. Just make sure you're not terrified of driving up steep gravel and windy roads :) don't ride your brakes on the way down. We both got a bit altitude... More 

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new york
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2014

This was really fun - driving up to the visitor's center was sort of scary, but exciting. Feeling the temperature drop was pretty cool. We walked up one of the small hills to watch the sunset, although there were clouds, but it was still awesome. Then we did some stargazing which wasn't all that amazing, but the guy explaining stuff... More 

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Ridgewood, NJ
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
3 attraction reviews
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2014

My husband and I were prepared for the cold - temperature in the 40s and a constant 15 mile per hour wind blowing. We had brought jackets and pants and you really need them (also gloves and closed toed shoes). We climbed up a bit above the visitors center to see the sun set and it was lovely. From 6:00... More 

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Basel, Switzerland
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2014

We loved the diversity on the Big Island, and part of this is this 4200m high mountain. You need a 4WD to get up to the summit, and there you feel like on Mars. For people that donut have a 4WD, drive up to the visitor center. They put out telescopes, but it gets very crowded. Would recommend a 3D... More 

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