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Mauna Loa Observatory

154 Waianuenue Avenue, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720
808 933 6965
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Ranked #12 of 39 Attractions in Hilo
Type: Observatories/ Planetariums
8 visitor photos
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40 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Savannah, Georgia
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2014

Make sure to take in stargazing but make sure to wear winter clothes. I could not believe the weather changed from 88 before we started up to right around 32 when we got up there and we did not go all the way up. They do set up telescopes and point out the different stars so you can enjoy the... More

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Auburn, Washington, USA
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
23 attraction reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2014

I would give this a 5 star rating for the view, but the COLDNESS knocked off some stars. It's difficult to believe that you are as high up in elevation as you really are, but bringing a jacket to Hawaii is just wrong. Going to the Observatory without a jacket is REALLY WRONG! Plan ahead, if you really want to... More

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Dallas, Texas
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
35 attraction reviews
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2014

Driving up a sharp, angry lava field on a winding one-lane paved road is a lonely and thought-provoking journey. There are rarely any cars in sight, so the mind has plenty of time to wander and consider the local history and geology. The colors of the lava change dramatically from jet black to blood red. The pahoehoe lava gives in... More

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Wayne, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
10 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

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Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
14 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 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

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Las Cruces, New Mexico
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
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 1
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 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.

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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.

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Rochester, MN
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
11 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 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 2
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

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