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Maunakea Visitor Information Station

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Mauna Kea Access Road, 6 miles uphill from the intersection of Route 200, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720
+1 808-961-2180
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Overview
  • Excellent64%
  • Very good25%
  • Average9%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“mauna kea” (184 reviews)
“wheel drive” (71 reviews)
“milky way” (68 reviews)
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Hours
Hours Today: 12:00 PM - 10:00 PM
LOCATION
Mauna Kea Access Road, 6 miles uphill from the intersection of Route 200, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720
CONTACT
Website
+1 808-961-2180
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Write a ReviewReviews (1,527)
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All reviews
"mauna kea"
in 184 reviews
"wheel drive"
in 71 reviews
"milky way"
in 68 reviews
"hot chocolate"
in 68 reviews
"bring warm clothes"
in 40 reviews
"watch the sunset"
in 56 reviews
"stargazing program"
in 25 reviews
"star gazing program"
in 20 reviews
"night vision"
in 18 reviews
"light pollution"
in 23 reviews
"saddle road"
in 79 reviews
"visitor's center"
in 51 reviews
"new moon"
in 17 reviews
"sea level"
in 31 reviews
"gift shop"
in 65 reviews
"star tour"
in 20 reviews
"naked eye"
in 19 reviews
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1 - 10 of 1,295 reviews

Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

If you enjoy stargazing and breathtaking views, this is a must! Take the time to hike the 200 feet up to Sunset Hill if going all the way up to the summit isn’t possible. Don’t forget to bring warm clothes because just moments after the...More

Thank Jessica U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

merchandise is a little pricey,imo. but is a nice facility free to get into. have telwscope to view sun set up during day and at night for stars, both free. good place to hike around and see sunset from surrounding hills if you are not...More

Thank Sharron i
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago

Nice gift shop with lots of great information about Mauna Kea. Particularly safety information if you are adventurous and want to drive on up to the summit if the road is open. Rest rooms are available.

Thank Tom M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This place is really great to see some awe-inspiring starry skies, especially considering they have public star-gazing nights where they set out telescopes and point them at specific constellations. There is low light pollution due to the observatories on the summit. Only thing is that...More

1  Thank KaitlynKubat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Wanted to go up the mountain for a long time and finally made it. Long road to 10k visitors center, then another 3k feet to top. We stopped at visitors center. Was told that 4 wheel drive was recommended to go higher but visitors at...More

1  Thank Neil L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2018

A rolling video and small gift shop is what we found. The road to summit was closed due to bad weather. Able to hike to sunset hill but not very good visibility. Weather was mild, 50's. Pants and light jacket were all we need (we...More

Thank jads8627
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2018 via mobile

We came up for star gazing with the kids, unfortunately it was cancelled due to incremental weather. Instead, we participated in a presentation about testing programs for Mars taking place on Mauna Loa, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The grounds were hard to walk around at...More

Thank SatChild
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2018

My wife, son and I went to the Maunakea Visitor center in early April, 2018. We went about an hour-and-a-half before sunset and stayed about 1:15 past sunset, and it was everything we expected and more. Observations. This place is 9,200 feet above sea level....More

1  Thank mjaggerlip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2018

This was a very fun evening. First, from the info station we hiked to the top of a hill to watch the sunset. Seeing the sun dip below the clouds was really a special sight. It is cold and windy up there. You'll want a...More

2  Thank Mnikaido
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2018 via mobile

Weather didn’t cooperate with us so it was impossible to do any kind of stargazing during our stay. We still wanted to visit because it is supposed to have good scientific information about the astronomy performed there. There was not much to enjoy in the...More

Thank KSB_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Questions & Answers
mlc_traveler
May 6, 2018|
Answer
Response from Jan M | Reviewed this property |
We have been there in November several times and around 09:00 no problem with parking.
1
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Google Translation
d h
I’m planning on going to Hawaii in December 2017. Is going to the Visitor Information Station (VIS) worth it, without visiting the summit? Does it matter for the VIS if you’re there during the day only, or if is it better if you’re there at dark? (I’m not bringing my own telescope). Is it regular practice to ignore the rental contract and just drive to the summit if you know how to drive mountain roads (weather permitting)? Basically, I don’t want to take the time to drive up the mountain road and only look at a kiosk. If the VIS is just a kiosk, with no view, I’d rather go the summit. If I can’t do that, I’d just skip it altogether, I have mountain views at home :) As background, I’m from Colorado and drive in the mountains frequently. I have no qualms about driving 2WD vehicles on gravel, steep, narrow roads - in good conditions. I really understand that wet, snowy or icy conditions (and night) changes things dramatically, as does roads with crazy steep inclines, large boulders, and bad weather, will make any trip high-clearance 4WD vehicle worthy.
December 7, 2017|
AnswerShow all 7 answers
Response from WonderingWhimsy | Reviewed this property |
The Visitor Information Station and watching the sunset was the best thing I did on the Big Island.
0
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Cee G
October 26, 2017|
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Response from Beth C | Reviewed this property |
I agree with Brad W. However, I wouldn't count on anyone bringing their personal telescope and would bring your own.
1
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