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Maunakea Visitor Information Station

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Mauna Kea Access Road, 6 miles uphill from the intersection of Route 200, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720
Phone Number:
+1 808-961-2180
9:00 am - 10:00 pm
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 10:00 pm
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Mauna Kea Voyage
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 1,285 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 713
  • 262
    Very good
  • 90
  • 18
  • 10
Best star gazing on the planet!

Wife and I visited Maura Kea Visitors Center and the summit. Sunset is not to be missed! Definitely visit for the sunset and stay around to do some star gazing. Remember the... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 days ago
Jim T
Colorado Springs, Colorado
via mobile
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1,285 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,093: English reviews
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

Wife and I visited Maura Kea Visitors Center and the summit. Sunset is not to be missed! Definitely visit for the sunset and stay around to do some star gazing. Remember the summit is at over 13000 feet so dress warm, move slowly, bring water, and don't spend more than 30 minutes or so at the summit. You have to... More 

Thank Jim T
Fremont, California
Level Contributor
227 reviews
104 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

We were like most visitors to Mauna Kea - a sunset from the top of Hawaii. We were part of a tour group that stopped at the Visitors Center for a hot picnic dinner and a bit of time to acclimate to the altitude (9200 feet). Be advised there is often a long line for the restroom (for the women).... More 

Thank Glenn M
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
182 reviews
96 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Take one of your nights in Hilo and make the drive up to Maunakea. Time is so you can sit and watch the sunset, then wait for the stars to come out and enjoy looking through the telescopes the scientists will set up. It's really cool even if you are not into astronomy. Check their website to see if they... More 

Thank Kristine C
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
445 reviews
141 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

This is a very nice visitor's center. There are restrooms and lots to buy. The staff is very friendly and helpful. If you are there at night there are alway volunteer astronomers there to help you with your stargazing. Even if you cannot make it to the summit, this would be a great place to stop one night. It is... More 

Thank 2Travel-4funNow
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
53 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

as clear a star map in the sky as you can see on Earth. At the ranger station the show starts a bit after sunset and explores the sky-for free!- telescopes set up to view celestials bodies, explanation of the night sky. It will be crowded, but patience is rewarded.

Thank GWarner9411
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

They have an educational event every evening at 6 starting with a movie and then star gazing. The lights from the cars going down the hill can be distracting but even with that, your eyes will get sensitive enough to see more stars than you thought possible, The speaker is very engaging and tries to mix knowledge with entertainment.

Thank Margo Y
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

I went for the evening star talk in February 2017. Volunteers give a very good tour and talk. The viewing conditions are awesome. Four excellent amateur telescopes were set on some of the evening's best sights (Andromeda galaxy, Orion nebula, etc) If you have one, bring a red-colored flashlight to preserve your night vision and avoid irritating your fellow star-watchers.... More 

Thank travelfan55
Level Contributor
82 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

we went in the morning on day staff was getting ready for high winds and low temps. from information available, if you have time to spend (and conditions are right), it's worth going at night, but we did not follow up on this. lots of good information about the area in the visitor center. excellent view from the center.

Thank Tourista50
Queenston, Canada
Level Contributor
47 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We first went here in the morning, to get a feel and information about the place. Glad we did since it was quiet. The friendly staff had all the time for us and we could watch the Night Sky video without any disturbance. They told us to come back the same evening instead of the next as we had planned,... More 

1 Thank Adrian S
East Nassau, New York
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Well worth the detour to drive the switchbacks up and up from the 6000' Saddle Road to the 9200' visitors' center.

Thank Pet_Lover34

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Maunakea Visitor Information Station and other visitors
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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?