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Mauna Kea Summit

Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI
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Ranked #1 of 50 attractions in Kailua-Kona
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Type: Mountains
Description: At 13,796 feet, this peak offers an incredible view of lava, desert, the valley and Mauna Loa.
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1,232 reviews from our community

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English first
Framingham,MA
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
11 attraction reviews
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014 NEW

We drove up in our minivan rental car to the visitors center. The is at about 9000 ft. My husband has one lung so we did not go to the summit. The car groaned on the way up but made it with no problem. I think any newer rental car would. The visitors center gives a talk each evening outside.... More

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Dunnellon, Florida
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014 NEW

Everything was perfect! No moonlight the night we went so we had a wonderful display of stars and planets. Tour guide had an excellent knowledge of the area going to summit on Saddle Road. Loved every minute of the trip. Can't wait to take the grand kids when they're older! Looking through the Celestron telescope was a fantastic experience!

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Kailua, Hawaii
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
17 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014 NEW

Get a rental car and go at during the evening. We went up around 4pm and stayed till after sunset. There are some truly amazing views from this place. We went up without 4WD without issue, just go slow and be careful.

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Virginia Beach, VA
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014 NEW

Way too many people crammed into a very small building and outdoor "patio". It was shoulder to shoulder. The facility just isn't suited for THAT many people. I eventually used the men's restroom b/c the line for the women's was way too long and I would have missed the bus. We never saw the sunset for the clouds which was... More

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Westport, Connecticut
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014 NEW

Dress warm and do it. Go at night for the stargazing at the visitors center. When you have a look through the telescopes go to the far end of the silversword garden to get away from the people and the lights and take it all in. Its amazing!

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Calgary, AB
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014 NEW

Stargazing on Mauna Kea has been a childhood dream of mine for a long time. I am an avid astronomy nerd so this was a huge deal for me. It was everything I had hoped. We planned our trip up 3 hours before the moon rise that day. The view of the cosmos was amazing. What I didn't expect was... More

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Bangor, Maine
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
7 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014 NEW

The drive up is amazing. It requires 4x4 as the trip DOWN is steep and the low gear has to be LOW gear. We drove up with a Jeep and had no issues....I took it slow as instructed, both up and down. There are no guardrails to speak of...a few here and there...the road starts tar, then immediately turns to... More

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Concord, California
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
15 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014 NEW

I plan to return to Hawaii in hope of being there on a day when Mauna Kea is not enveloped in clouds. It is hard to believe that this peak is so high, since it is low and sloping, not dramatically pointy like, say, Mount Rainer. The area around the peak is surreal. Don't know that I recommend the complete... More

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Pleasanton, California
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
12 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2014

If you can go from 7:00 to 9:00 pm they have a free program. You will find a beautiful sunset and a good education. They have volunteers with $20,000 telescopes you can look through for free. The visitor information station is at 9,300 feet. Do nit go to the summit of 12,000 feet with children. My 8 year old had... More

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Alpharetta, GA
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

Our family of four (kids 14 & 12) swung in to Mauna Kea on the way back from Hawaii Volcano National Park to Kona - it was definitely worth the trip! Once you turn off Saddle Rd and make the drive to the Mauna Kea Visitor Center, the weather begins to change (it was around 5:45pm). It's like driving to... More

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