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“Up! Up! and more up!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Mauna Kea Summit

Mauna Kea Summit
Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI
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Small Group
$207*
and up
Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure...
Ranked #1 of 112 things to do in Kailua-Kona
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Owner description: At 13,796 feet, this peak offers an incredible view of lava, desert, the valley and Mauna Loa.
Victoria, Canada
Top Contributor
183 reviews 183 reviews
47 attraction reviews
Reviews in 70 cities Reviews in 70 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
“Up! Up! and more up!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

As mentioned about the Saddle Road, make sure you have a full tank of gas. Rental cars are fine for the visitor centre but 4WD beyond there if you want to get to the summit. A couple of points to remember: Visitor centre is at 9,200 feet. The air is noticably thinner. If there is someone in your group or yourself with any form of respiratory issues, reconsider the trip. The summit is over 13,000 feet! Normal aspirated engines like your rental will be gasping for air when you get to the centre; at least our Impala sure was. And going down: use low gear; slow and steady.

Visited December 2012
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Provincetown, Massachusetts
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4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Okay”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

I thought that Mauna Kea was a little overrated. Yeah, its cool being above cloud level, but its hard to breathe at that altitude and it takes quite awhile to get there.

Beautiful at night for stargazers but personally I wouldn't do it again.

Visited February 2012
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Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
38 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“Take a Pro Tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

Don't try to drive this yourself. The weather can be volatile- as in snow and ice. Dress as if you're going to a ski resort- layers, warm jacket. The astounding view can be blocked by clouds at times. Still - what an experience!

Visited November 2012
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US
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
52 helpful votes 52 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
42 helpful votes 42 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
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