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Mauna Kea State Recreation Area

Address: Saddle Road, 35 mile marker, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96721
Phone Number: 808 974 6200
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60%
Ranked #23 of 33 Attractions in Hilo
Type: State Parks, Outdoors
Attraction details
Type: State Parks, Outdoors

Hotels near Mauna Kea State Recreation Area

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10 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Hilo, Hawaii
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2014

For many years this park has been poorly maintained. The old caretaker did not do a good job maintaining the bathroom facilities or cabins. Recently the county has taken over the park and the improvements they are doing have been wonderful. Re-surfacing the parking lot, cleaning the bathrooms, not to mention opening up a second bathroom that has always existed... More 

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Honolulu, Hawaii
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
7 attraction reviews
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2014

The road up to the peak is a challenging drive both going up & back down. The road is paved most of the way up. Stop at the Onizuka Astronomy Center at the 9000 foot level. The center is named after Ellison Onizuka, Hawaii's first astronaut. He perished in the 1986 space shuttle Challenger disaster. There is a kind of... More 

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Spokane, Washington
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
62 attraction reviews
135 helpful votes 135 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2014

It's a nice place to get out of your car after a long drive from Hilo especially after a foggy and rainy day. Situated strategically at the base of Mauna Kea, enjoy the peaceful solitude and a great place to unwind before another yet leg-pumping downhill drive all the way to highway 190 or to Waikoloa Village. My husband and... More 

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Waukesha, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
20 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

As state parks go, there's not much here but as a much needed rest stop between Hilo and the Kona coast, it has a bathroom, places to eat, and air out the children. Compared to other state's rest areas, it can be a bit sparse - but does feature some great views and usually very bright sun.

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Des Moines, Iowa
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
37 attraction reviews
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2013

Saddle road is finally open all the way from Hilo to Kona. Beautiful road! On the highway at 6000 feet driving through the clouds! Amazing! Take this drive

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Midlothian
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
28 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

This place was horrible and I couldn't believe it was run by the state. It was dirty, looked abandoned and a little scary. There is nothing around the area and I wouldn't stay here. We stopped and didn't even want to use their restrooms.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Waikoloa, Hawaii
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
24 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2012

Apparently the State of Hawaii doesn't have any money for anything except keeping the bathrooms minimally-functioning. A sad state indeed.

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Honolulu, Hawaii
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2012

you love stars you love sunset go over there you will be amazed

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Pahoa, Hawaii
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
18 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2012

I stop here when travel saddle road from one side of the island to the other. It doesn't offer much - the only facility is a dirty bathroom.

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Pahoa
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2010

Dust and scrubbrush, old cabins. Consider it a reststop.

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Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Mauna Kea State Recreation Area staff and past visitors.
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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?