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Mauna Kea State Recreation Area

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Address: Saddle Road, 35 mile marker, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96721
Phone Number:
+1 808-974-6200
Website
Book In Advance
More Info
$213.54*
and up
Hakalau Bird Watching
More Info
$186.46*
and up
Mauna Kea Voyage
More Info
$207.29*
and up
Volcano Hike to Red Hot Molten Lava

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 68 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 28
    Excellent
  • 14
    Very good
  • 4
    Average
  • 1
    Poor
  • 2
    Terrible
Extraordinary Views...but bring a jacket!

We made the 1:45 hour trek from Kona up to the Mauna Kea Summit. The Saddle Road is a beautiful stretch of highway, and we enjoyed the ride. After arriving at the Mauna Kea... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 weeks ago
cb5995
,
Antelope, California
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68 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 49: English reviews
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
445 reviews
141 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Many of the reviews and photos are of the Mauna Kea Summit. This recreation area is actually at about 6600 feet right on Saddle Back Road. It is a nice stop for a bathroom or for a kids break. The photos that show a playground a representative of this stop.

Helpful?
Thank 2Travel-4funNow
Antelope, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We made the 1:45 hour trek from Kona up to the Mauna Kea Summit. The Saddle Road is a beautiful stretch of highway, and we enjoyed the ride. After arriving at the Mauna Kea visitor center, we then carried on up the bumpy, gravel road towards the top. There was no possibility of being in a hurry due to the... More 

Helpful?
Thank cb5995
Olympia, Washington
Level Contributor
394 reviews
140 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

So many great hikes, panoramic vistas and places to stop for a picnic. Its worth a day trip to go here.

Helpful?
Thank WhirledTraveler4Peas
Honokaa, Hawaii
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 12, 2016

Good stop for restrooms and a kid break at the play area. High altitude so it is nice and cool here. Take a break!

Helpful?
1 Thank IrefuseTosignup
Hilo, Hawaii
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 7, 2016

Nice place to stop and use the restroom facilities have lunch on the picnic tables and gather some brochures for info on the area. Camping cabins are available as long as you have gotten permits ahead of time. Elevation is about 6000 feet so it gets chilly. Dress warm.

Helpful?
1 Thank 765matildak
Keller, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 25, 2016

Unreal attraction that is worth the wait for the sun to go down behind the clouds! Then stay for a little star gazing! Bring a jacket because it is cold up here, even though it's 80 at the beach! Must have 4 wheel drive, and steady nerves, as the climb in the jeep can be a little nerve racking!

Helpful?
1 Thank Aaron K
Mahwah, New Jersey
Level Contributor
83 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 24, 2016

One of the must things to if on the Big Island. Take the tour and go up there. Don't be a hero and think you'll just get there and not get acclimated to the high altitude. They don't limit you to 30 minutes there for no reason. You lose living cells at that height. Enjoy the sunset as you won't... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank PeterHa1
Hampshire
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 10, 2016

We went on a trip with Arnotts Lodge and really enjoyed the whole experience of going up to the summit. They provided coffee and hot cocoa because it was freezing cold also jackets. I took hat, gloves and scarf. Lauren our guide was excellent and so informative. She pointed out the planets etc. Unfortunately it was almost a full moon... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Carol035
Springfield, Illinois
Level Contributor
230 reviews
101 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 155 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 3, 2016

At first it seems odd to find a park with a playground and restrooms up there, but it does make a nice stop, and walk around. We were just driving over the island for the first time and decided to stop to get a closer look at the landscape - so it was nice that they included this on the... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank Melston
Taylorsville, Utah
Level Contributor
32 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 25, 2016

It's like being on top of the world to watch the sunset on top of the clouds. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time at the observation station. You need to acclimatize for at least a half an hour before continuing to the top.

Helpful?
1 Thank Diana G

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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?