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“A must see!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mauna Kea Summit

Mauna Kea Summit
Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI
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Ranked #2 of 50 Attractions in Kailua-Kona
Type: Mountains
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Attraction Details
Owner description: At 13,796 feet, this peak offers an incredible view of lava, desert, the valley and Mauna Loa.
US
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“A must see!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012

Definitely a must see! You cannot go to Hawaii without experiencing the sunset and the stars on the Mauna Kea! Going to the visitor center is however sufficiant, the view is amazing and you can go for free with your car. The best activity on the island!

Visited December 2012
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California
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“worth the trek”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

it's hard to get up there -- 2+ hours from kona to the visitor center, then another 30-45mins up a 4x4/dirt road. but the sunset view from up there is worth it.

once it was completely dark, best star-gazing experience ever.

i just wish the road was better and for there to be actual toilets on top.

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kirkland, Washington
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Be Prepared for An Adventure :)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

My husband's bucket list included driving to the top of Mauna Kea and so it's the first thing we did after arriving on The Big Island. They advise you to use a 4 wheel drive vehicle and they are right. We drove a 4 cylinder car with front wheel drive and it took everything that car had to make the trip. We stopped at the 9,000 ft. mark to hang out at the station before heading to the top - they tell you to stay there for at least 30 minutes to acclimate your body. Regardless, I still felt light headed at the top. The observatory at the top offers a full presentation so you understand the significance of the mountain and how it is utilized. I'm not a fan of heights, so I was relieved when we started back down!

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“A once in a lifetime experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

So cool to see the sunset from this high altitude. High over the cloudes. In freezing conditions on a paradise Island, great.
The star gazing was not at it best because it was full moon. I´m sure it can be amazing. A must do when on Big Island

Visited November 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Skalvallen, Sweden
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“4x4?”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

Ok , here's the deal: Prior to my visit to the Big Island I did A LOT of research wether to drive up Mauna Kea in a 4x4 or a regular rental. For all of you that are asking the same question, let me tell you this: We did it in a two-wheel drive Nissan Altima and we where perfectly fine! There is an unpaved road for less than 5 miles between the visitor center and the summit.
Although the weather in the valley was very rainy the road itself was dry. Once you're above the clouds there is was no problem at all. Maybe we where just lucky but I don't see the point in renting a 4x4 for double the price. However I cannot advise to do as we did. The drive up a regular car worked out for us - it might not for you.
Whichever way of acending you choose, Mauna Kea is worth it. Awesome views and maybe the most beautiful sunset I've ever seen.
At last, two more things:
1. bring warm clothes and GLOVES!!!
2. if you can choose, don't go during full moon. The moon is too bright and you can't see as many stars.
Anyway, have a great trip!

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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