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Mauna Kea Observatory

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Address: Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station, 9,200 foot level of Mauna Kea, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720
Phone Number: 808-961-2180
Website
Visit Mauna Kea Observatory like an insider
Small Group
$207*
and up
Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour

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Just an amazing find

Loved the lectures and using the telescopes. Wished we'd worn heavier cloths. It's pretty windy at the visitor center but they do provide warm soup and you might bring along... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed March 29, 2015
Punamana1
,
Los Angeles, California
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377 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Los Angeles, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2015 NEW

Loved the lectures and using the telescopes. Wished we'd worn heavier cloths. It's pretty windy at the visitor center but they do provide warm soup and you might bring along some hot chocolate. But the admission is free and it's unbelievable.

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2015 NEW

The drive to the visitor's center and then to the summit is quite a contrast to the rest of the island but VERY beautiful. A four-wheel drive is a MUST. The unpaved road above the visitor center is very rough but well worth the trip. At lower levels we were only able to see the mountain peaks 1 day due... More 

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Kealakekua, Hawaii
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
7 attraction reviews
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2015

On your way to the Mauna Kea summit, is the Mauna Kea Observatory. Be sure to stop, enjoy the ammenities, and get acclimated to the climate, because going up to quickly can make you sick. Read the information/warning on driving up to the summit and coming down. Here you can purchase snacks and gifts. Restroom facilities also available.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Haleiwa, Hawaii
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2015

We drove to the top. along the way, stopped for photos and to enjoy the beauty. I am unable to hike the 38 miles to top. (this takes 2 days for an experienced hiker. I played snow angel...all in Hi....on beach in morning and enjoing snow in the afternoon.

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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2015 via mobile

If you You have never been at 13,700 ft to watch the sunset then this is the place to be also the observatory is atreat while the stars are coming into view later go to visitors center to see them thru the telescopes and you might be able to see Hilo

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Storrs, Connecticut
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
21 attraction reviews
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

This was the one thing that I have wanted to do, and am so glad that I did. Like some other reviewers say, It's all about knowing how to use your vehicle's engine braking, and not burn your brakes out on your vehicle. We wasted money on a Harper's car, we passed a newer Camaro coming down the mountain on... More 

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Little Rock, Arkansas
Top Contributor
140 reviews 140 reviews
54 attraction reviews
110 helpful votes 110 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2015

The observatory at the visitors center is open in the evening and students from the university will conduct astronomy lessons and let you view through the high power telescopes. They have a gift shop and sell snacks and drinks. This is a good resting area if you will be hiking to the summit

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
Saskatchewan
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
26 attraction reviews
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2015

It's like you're on another planet. I can't describe it, but it's a must-see. If you're in a group just rent a 4x4 and drive up there by yourself, don't go on one of the expensive tours. So beautiful but sooo cold. Seriously, I am from the Canadian prairies and I found it cold (although I think that day was... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
11 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2015

A bucket list item for us for sure. It is stunning to be up 13,000+ feet. Being so far above the cloud layer is surreal, the sunset was pretty. We rented a 4 wheel drive from Harper's in Hilo-the only company that will let you take their vehicle up. Everything we read said we had to have 4 wheel to... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 5
Carson City, Nevada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2015

Who would believe snow in Hawaii. The top of Mauna Kea is beautiful. Most of the year there is snow and in the winter there is skiing (if you are adventurous). The sun set is fantastic. you are above the clouds and the colors are all across the rainbow. Don't miss it.

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  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?