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  • Excellent62%
  • Very good25%
  • Average9%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible3%
Travelers talk about
“saddle road”(16 reviews)
“mauna kea”(13 reviews)
“rest area”(3 reviews)
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Saddle Road, 35 mile marker, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96721
+1 808-974-6200
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Most Helpful Positive Review
Reviewed May 30, 2014

The road up to the peak is a challenging drive both going up & back down. The road is paved most of the way up. Stop at the Onizuka Astronomy Center at the 9000 foot level. The center is named after Ellison Onizuka, Hawaii's first...More

11  Thank Hawaii96815
Most Helpful Critical Review
Reviewed February 19, 2017

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...More

3  Thank Chris K
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All reviews saddle road mauna kea rest area nice rest stop ramen noodles the sun set four wheel drive feet above sea level visitor center nice place to stop picnic tables watch the sunset rental car the big island parking lot playground observatories
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1 - 10 of 85 reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago

For many years this place was my driving break as I headed across the saddle road. It has nice bathrooms and if you have kids it has a very nice playground with modern equipment. I know there are cabins for rent but we've never stayed...More

Thank TedinHawaii
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Must Go. We arrived about 45 minutes before sunset and walked around. The telescopes are way cool especially when they open up. Then the sun set. OMGeeeee. We simply stared in amazement. This was definitely a highlight moment of our trip. The drive to top...More

Thank daqattaq
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The guide on our tour made this trip up Mauna Kea very special. He was entertaining and very knowledgeable, and very concerned with the welfare of his passengers as we ascended two and two-thirds miles above sea level into the thin, low-oxygen air. The view...More

Thank 2FansofMexico
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We visited in September and the view and sunset from this place is just incredible. We drove all the way to the top and it was such an incredible experience. We decided not to go on a guided tour and I am glad we didn't...More

Thank Brittany B
Reviewed October 5, 2018

Stunning place to watch sunset but worth taking an organised tour. You can't take a hire car to the top without invalidating insurance so for the best experience an organised tour is worthwhile. But while the sunsets are spectacular, don't forget to turn around and...More

Thank Pole2Pole_Images
Reviewed August 25, 2018

A place of paradise for the astronomer or geologist ( I am into both sciences). with many major observatories at the top of Mauna Kea. The twin Keck 10 metre scopes, Gemini, Subaru and others. Apart from this, it's one of the highest places in...More

Thank Dave N
Reviewed August 20, 2018

worth the visit. the trip to the top takes time, but is worth it. looks like mars. you can take a trail to the top, but the Hawaiians don't want you to for religious reasons. there are nice walks to see the sunset from the...More

Thank tenisax
Reviewed August 13, 2018

Nice place to stop & eat when going to Onizuka center visitor station. Has restrooms and play area for kids. Has modern play equipment and we were trying to figure out how they worked. A little girl showed us how she played on the equipment.

Thank dragon428
Reviewed August 6, 2018

We found this to be a fairly new looking facility featuring a very interesting playground for young children. Hiking trails are available, also.

Thank Roy L
Reviewed July 23, 2018

This is an amazing park to visit! The visitor's information station(VIS) has lots of knowledge, souvenirs and hot water for tea and ramen noodles to warm you up. The VIS is at 9,200, they ask you to wait at least 30 minutes to acclimate to...More

Thank journey_in_wander
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Questions & Answers
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Becky G
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