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“5 stars for the stars. 2 stars for the visitors center.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mauna Kea Summit

Mauna Kea Summit
Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI
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Visit Mauna Kea Summit like an insider
Small Group
$207*
and up
Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure...
Ranked #1 of 111 things to do in Kailua-Kona
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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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.
Framingham,MA
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“5 stars for the stars. 2 stars for the visitors center.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

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. There are telescopes set up and you can wait in line to look through. The talk is done with a laser pointer right outside the visitor center. The building, the light if the cars coming and going and the speaker's weak laser pointer made what could have been an amazing talk very hard to follow. I remember seeing a similar talk at Yellowstone and I will never forget it. If they would just set up a 50 yards away from the building and parking they would have a unforgettable show. Anyway when we gave up and walked about 50 yards up the road we looked up and the sight of the stars is breathtaking. I have never seen anything like it and I have traveled to remote places. Don't miss it!!

Visited July 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Dunnellon, Florida
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Amazing Star Gazing Trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

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!

Visited June 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kailua, Hawaii
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“A Must on any Big Island Visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

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.

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia Beach, VA
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Not a fan at all”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

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 ok b/c we would see the stars back at the base right? wrong. It was so cloudy we didn't even stop to look through the telescopes we only stopped to wait in another bathroom line. The following night was cancelled due to the clouds which in my opinion is a much better option than going and wasting an entire evening. They should have cancelled our trip too. Basically we paid almost 200 bucks a person for a van ride with strangers up a lava mountain.

Visited July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westport, Connecticut
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Window on the universe”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014

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!

Visited July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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