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Address: 154 Waianuenue Avenue, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720
Phone Number: 808 933 6965

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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  • 34
    Excellent
  • 14
    Very good
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    Terrible
Fountains of Lava

We visited on April 28th when the fountains of lava could be seen during the day! The lower trail was closed, but I saw on the news that these fountains had spewed hot debris on... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed April 29, 2015
strattons117
,
Lake Winnebago, MO
via mobile
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52 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Lake Winnebago, MO
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
11 attraction reviews
115 helpful votes 115 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2015 NEW via mobile

We visited on April 28th when the fountains of lava could be seen during the day! The lower trail was closed, but I saw on the news that these fountains had spewed hot debris on the lower observation area. This was a neat museum too.

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Virginia Beach, Virginia
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2015

Best to go after sunset so you can see the glow from the lava. Such an amazing sight! We walked from a park before the observatory then walked up to the observatory. There is also a nice view of the glow from that park. Another great place to see in the Big Island!

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Baltimore, Maryland
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2015

A great diversion, but it's above the cloud line. Dress warmly and be prepared for potential cloud cover. A weather-dependent event.

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Tucson, Arizona
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

Beautifully diverse 1 lane paved road through spectacular scenery. Drive slow for safety and enjoy the drive. Did not like that we could not get into the observatory or get close enough for a good pic.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Honolulu, Hawaii
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
33 attraction reviews
124 helpful votes 124 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2015

This road was surprisingly well made and maintained. It is a very smooth albeit long drive to the end where it reaches the observatory, which is closed to public. There are two hiking trails at the end of the paved road, but they look like really for the serious hikers. If you do plan to hike there, do your research... More 

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New Jersey
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
3 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2015

It was a very rainy afternoon when I decided to take a detour up Mauna Loa. Not to be confused with Mauna Kea - as this is the weather observatory and not the astronomy observatory. My experience was almost other worldly given the dense fog the entire climb on a very well paved, one lane, 13 mile road. At least... More 

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Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

Highly recommended and definitely one of the highlights of our trip. The as trombones are very knowledgeable and willing to answer all of your questions. I don't really recommend spending time in the gift shop (unless you are in there to warm up) as the video they play doesn't even focus on Mauna Loa at all. It is quite cold... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
14 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2015

both observatory areas on this island are definitely worth the trip. Spectacular views and great photo opportunities. Bring a jacket due to change in weather.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Media, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
25 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2015

We visited the visitor area (at night of course). Would definitely not miss this. The drive from our site north of Hilo took about an hour up Saddle Road. Signs not well identified - keep eyes pealed and have a map. Rental car struggled up the road with the wind against us. Dress warm and layered and with hoodie (gloves... More 

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Raleigh, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
11 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2015

We visited in July, and it got *cold*! Fortunately, the visitor's center does sell warm clothing, hot chocolate and coffee. There are some really cool hikes and places to watch the sun set. Then, visit the visitor's center for some great star gazing - we really learned a lot about the stars visible from Hawaii, and saw the Southern Cross... More 

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Mauna Loa Observatory and other visitors
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Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

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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?