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Mauna Kea State Recreation Area

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Address: Saddle Road, 35 mile marker, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96721
Phone Number: 808 974 6200

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Most recent review
Pleasantly surprised!!

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... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed September 1, 2014
ijoanne1979
,
Hilo, Hawaii
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10 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Hilo, Hawaii
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
12 helpful votes 12 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Honolulu, Hawaii
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
7 attraction reviews
44 helpful votes 44 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes 7
Spokane, Washington
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
69 attraction reviews
149 helpful votes 149 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Waukesha, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Palm Harbor, Florida
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
37 attraction reviews
37 helpful votes 37 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
27 helpful votes 27 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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
30 helpful votes 30 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

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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?