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“Bundle up!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mauna Kea Summit

Mauna Kea Summit
Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI
8084640840
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Recommended
$145*
and up
Dolphin Waterfall Boat Tour in Hilo
Ranked #1 of 117 things to do in Kailua-Kona
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Vienna, Virginia
Level Contributor
156 reviews
118 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Bundle up!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

You'll go from 85 degree weather near sea level to 35 degrees at the summit, all in a matter of a couple hours! The road to the top was challenging for us in our 4-cylinder rental cars. The drive can be frightening if you're afraid of heights. It's all worth it for the views at the top, though. There's also a space observatory around the 9000 feet mark. On our way back, after spending time at the peak, we stopped at the observatory and they held a stargazing session. It's one of the best places in the world to view the stars, since it's right in the heart of the Pacific Ocean and not corrupted by light pollution.

Visited February 2012
Helpful?
Thank Shubh K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,319 reviews from our community

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Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
196 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Up! Up! and more up!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 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
Helpful?
Thank Blue Magic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Provincetown, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Okay”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 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
Helpful?
Thank BMcK329
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Level Contributor
118 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 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
Helpful?
Thank LasVegasTravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
US
Level Contributor
80 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 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
Helpful?
Thank JoeDassin1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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