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“Amazing Tour- beautiful sunset” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mauna Kea Summit Adventures

Mauna Kea Summit Adventures
P.O. Box 9027, Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI 96745
+1 808-322-2366
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Small Group
and up
Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure...
Ranked #55 of 204 Activities in Kailua-Kona
Type: Tours, Adventure
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Attraction details
Owner description: Mauna Kea Summit Adventures offers daily trips to the summit of Mauna Kea for sunset and stargazing. We are the pioneer service of this kind and we have over 30 years of experience. Our daily trip starts off on the Kona coast 4 hours before sunset and returns 5 hours after sunset. We travel in custom built 4x4 mini coaches with panoramic windows. Our guides are experts in island geography, geology, culture and astronomy. At the 9,000FT.level, we stop for the better part of an hour to dine and experience the visitor's center. We arrive on the summit before sunset and we stay until the best of the color has faded. Afterward, if natural conditions allow, we put on a highly informative stargazing session with large, computerized amateur telescopes. MKSA does not guarantee the weather in any way. Although the mountain enjoys a great majority of fine weather there is the possibility the tour may be canceled, and refunded or may encounter poor conditions in the field.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Amazing Tour- beautiful sunset”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

This was one of the best tours I have ever been on while traveling. Ask for Jim for your guide/driver. There were two buses in our group and after exchanging notes with couples on the other bus, we were fortunate to have such an engaged, knowledgable and enthusiastic driver. Jim shared information with us the entire trip. He knew about the lava types, history, culture and astronomy.

After the beautiful sunset at the summit, we headed down for some star gazing through a 11" telescope. Jim gave the overview of the various stars and planets, we spent about an hour looking at various things. It was very interesting.

I prefer to do things on my own, but I would not have been comfortable driving up the roads to the summit. They are not very wide or well marked. I also would have missed all the commentary and the star gazing.

Spend the money... ask for Jim. You will have great tour.

Visited April 2013
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491 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“You don't need a tour to see Mauna Kea”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

If you have a rental car, four wheel drive, you can do it yourself. The trip is overpriced and they have a free starlight show at the visitor centre. The equipment there seemed better than the telescopes the company provided and you have to wait in line to see the stars either way.
The sites are amazing and definately a must see on the island. Dinner, veggie lasagne, was lousy and the equivalent to plane food. Our guide Jim was amazing though and very knowledgable.
I must say at $200 its a complete rip off. You really don't need a tour to see Mauna Kea.

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lebanon, Ohio
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Good way to get cold in Hiwaii!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

This is a great experience. Mauna Kia and Mauna Loa look like large hills but once you start to climb you quickly understand how big they are. Going from eighty degrees to twenty seven with a fifty mile per hour wind was unique. The cold weather gear provided was excellent and the extreme cold did not present a problem.

The pickup was on time and the trip was comfortable. The dinner was good and the guides knowledgeable. The highlight of the trip for me was actually standing among the greatest telescopes on earth at over 13,000 feet.

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North GA
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“If you can only do one tour, make it this one!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013

This was the highlight of our trip to The Big Island. From the time I booked the tour until we were dropped off after the adventure, we were treated with courtesy and professionalism! We were picked up at the exact time we had been told we would be and we were brought back to our vehicle on time.

The sights were jaw dropping wonderful. Sunset was miraculous. I never knew there were so many stars in the sky. We saw the new comet and also saw Jupiter and a few of its moons. And, even I could pick out the constellations!! Both of our guides were great. The hot chocolate was a nice pick me up since it was so cold.

I repeat, if you only do one tour, do this one! You won't be sorry!

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Amazing experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

We stayed at the Paniolo Greens in Waikola and got picked and dropped off up right at our hotel in front of the swimming pool area. Our ride to the summit was very informative and we learned lots of things about Hawaii we didn't know from an ecological perspective. Our tour guide was Gregory and he was totally awesome. He was upbeat and informative and very enthusiastic. He was like that the entire trip! Even driving back late at night. I don't know how he did it. He narrated the entire way up to the top and gave lots of interesting facts about Mauna Kea. It was so interesting to see how the landscape changed as we ascended. Had we just drove ourselves it would not have been the same and we would've been more worried about the driving instead of just sitting back and enjoying the narration and beautiful sites. The sunset up there was incredible, albeit freezing. They do give you parkas and gloves but I would recommend wearing something really warm and bring a hat and scarf. It was super windy up there. We had a nice hot dinner while all the other tour groups just had sandwiches. When we got back to the observation area they took us to a spot away from all the other tour groups so it was just us enjoying the stars which was great. We weren't stuck with all the other tourists up there. The vans were great with really big windows and were well maintained. First class operation! We would highly recommend this tour.

Visited March 2013
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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