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Mauna Kea State Recreation Area

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Saddle Road, 35 mile marker, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96721
+1 808-974-6200
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$225.00*
and up
Hakalau Bird Watching
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Overview
  • Excellent63%
  • Very good24%
  • Average9%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible3%
Travelers talk about
“saddle road” (17 reviews)
“mauna kea” (12 reviews)
“rest area” (3 reviews)
LOCATION
Saddle Road, 35 mile marker, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96721
CONTACT
Website
+1 808-974-6200
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Write a ReviewReviews (103)
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"saddle road"
in 17 reviews
"mauna kea"
in 12 reviews
"rest area"
in 3 reviews
"nice stop"
in 5 reviews
"high altitude"
in 3 reviews
"bring a jacket"
in 3 reviews
"watch the sunset"
in 3 reviews
"clean restrooms"
in 2 reviews
"rental car"
in 3 reviews
"visitor's center"
in 3 reviews
"picnic tables"
in 3 reviews
"after dark"
in 2 reviews
"hot chocolate"
in 2 reviews
"the big island"
in 5 reviews
"parking lot"
in 2 reviews
"playground"
in 5 reviews
"summit"
in 10 reviews
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1 - 10 of 74 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

We drove up to Mauna Kea visitor center for the Sunset view. Unfortunately, the sun set between two mountain peaks and we were unable to see a full sunset. I may try again next time but will definitely avoid going there in June. After the...More

Thank Koh J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2018

We had the good fortune of scheduling our trip up to the summit well in advance on what turned out to be a day the summit road was open. We rented a 4 wheel vehicle from Harper's Car Rental, which is the only rental company...More

1  Thank Sharon O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2018

Our Sunrise Tour was canceled due to weather so we decided to drive up the mountain as far as allowed in our rental car. The Visitor Center is at 9600 feet or so. It provides food and restrooms(opens at noon). Easy to access of Route...More

1  Thank Tethier919
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed March 1, 2018

We stopped here on our way back from Hilo to Kailua-Kona. The recreation area has plenty of bathrooms, a children's play area, walking and biking paths.

Thank LeeH_943_57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2018

Drove up here to check out the observatory but also hiked a small train near the Visitor's Center that allows you to see silversword ferns, similar but smaller than the ones on Haleakala. If you're a science and astronomy geek, this place is for you!

Thank cklonowski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2018

Came to the island and drove to Maunakea for personal and cultural view only to find the road to the summit blocked off at the Visitor Center due to weather conditions. It had just snowed the night before so from where we were we could...More

Thank T G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2018

Fun and beautiful drive up for a great view, there was snow at the top, did a short hike at the visitor center then drove to summit - you need a high clearance vehicle or 4 x 4. If you plan to hike to summit...More

Thank David H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2018

This is a small roadside rest area on Saddle Road (not the Visitor’s Centre or the Mauna Kea summit.) This may be the only washroom directly on the Saddle Road between Waikokoa and Hilo, so it’s worth a stop! If it’s a sunny day, it’s...More

Thank Jim L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2017

Nice rest stop on Saddle Road when driving to Hilo. There are restrooms available right off the road making it a convenient stop.

Thank Sharon L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2017

This drive is worth it! If you've not been to the Big Island recently, you may not known that the Saddle Road is one of the nicest in the country. It's an easy drive to Mauna Kea, and worth it! The highlands of the Big...More

Thank Emily H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Questions & Answers
travelblg
November 6, 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Jim W | Reviewed this property |
There was a little snow when we were there. You can see a nice sunsets on a clear day, but the best sunset is at the top of Mauna Kea. The visitor's center (at 9,000 ft.) has nice telescopes set up at night and they will... More
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