We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Mauna Loa Observatory

154 Waianuenue Avenue, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720
808 933 6965
Improve this listing
Ranked #10 of 39 attractions in Hilo
Type: Observatories/ Planetariums
8 visitor photos
Write a Review

37 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Wayne, New Jersey
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014

Like driving up a long driveway. One tiny section is unpaved in the middle. By the way you can walk in past the gate. The is a very clean out house just inside the gate. Great veiw of the lava fields and valley. When your done drive up to Mouna Kea for sunset. It will takeat least an hour to... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
13 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2014

The observatory is an interesting place to learn the history of immigration to Hawaii from Asia. The shows that were ON were mainly for the kids but I had fun as an adult too because I did not know most of the stuff they were talking about. We even tried looking up in the sky in Goa to find the... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Las Cruces, New Mexico
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2014

is a 1 lane, paved 18 mile road, with possibly sharp lava on the sides, take it real slow driving... to a working weather facility (pre-arranged tours only) and a remote trailhead through cairned raw lava towards the Mauna Loa summit... I had Mauna Loa to myself the weekday I went! Spectacular day hike to the North Pit lava lake... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2014

Service was fantastic and food was very good. Can choose between buffet style luncheon or set menu items. Very large meals.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Gresham, Oregon
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
15 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2014

Spend at least 45 minutes at the Visitor's Center (at 9200 ft) adjusting to the elevation before heading to the top.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Rochester, MN
19 reviews 19 reviews
4 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2014

We left Hilo in the rain and eventually drove above the clouds just in time to see the sunset after a short hike up the trail by the visitor center. We then stayed around for the weekly star viewing session put on by the University astronomy club. Excellent time had by all!

Was this review helpful? Yes
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2014

The chief administrator, Dr. Barnes, was generous with his time and explained the work at the observatory. He answered a lot of questions from our teenage visitor, and it is a worthwhile trip for anyone interested in global environmental issues, climate change, or atmospheric science. Call ahead to make an appointment. Not appropriate for young children on account of the... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Louisville, Colorado
Top Contributor
133 reviews 133 reviews
18 attraction reviews
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2013

This is an interesting way to spend several hours. The drive up is on a curvy paved road that actually has white lines. We never saw another vehicle or person and there are several spots where you could pull over and pass if needed. On a clear day the views are incredible. great adventure and far less travelled than Mauna... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Placentia, California
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2013

It was a wonderful stop seeing the volcano & caldera. Their store was full of more information. The sight was rather majestic. We walked through the lava caves which was actually my favorite part.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Papamoa, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
19 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

Loved the spectacular views up here, definitly dress warm so you can spend more time out of your tour van. We were able to see Maui the day we were up there and got some amazing shots of the surrounding landscape, sunset was beautiful, highly recomend going here.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

Travelers who viewed Mauna Loa Observatory also viewed

Hilo, Island of Hawaii
Hilo, Island of Hawaii

Been to Mauna Loa Observatory? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Mauna Loa Observatory, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.

Manage your listing