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Mauna Kea

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Budapest, Hungary
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Mauna Kea

Hi.

I want to travel to Big Island (Hawaii) and visit the Mauna Kea. I want to go to the top of the volcano. My problem is that I haven't got a driver licence and I will travel alone. The organized tours are $200. It is extremely expensive for me. I can walk on foot from the Mauna Kea Visitor Center to the top but how can I reach the Visitor Center? Is there any public bus which go to the Visitor Center? Taxi is expensive for example from Hilo to Visitor Center?

Thank you in advance your help.

Elk Grove...
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1. Re: Mauna Kea

I can't think of any way other than catching a ride with someone who is renting a four wheel drive vehicle and driving themselves. When will you be there?

LA
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2. Re: Mauna Kea

A tour is your only option.

Edited: 1:37 pm, January 21, 2013
Budapest, Hungary
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3. Re: Mauna Kea

I think I will be visit Hawaii in this June. I want to spend 3 weeks in 4 islands.

Big Island, Hawaii
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4. Re: Mauna Kea

The only way to get to the Visitor's Center is with a tour or your own car. A taxi from Hilo would cost you much more than the tour. Also note that last I heard, the reputable tours only depart from the west side, not Hilo.

The "walk" from the Visitor's Center to the summit is 7 miles one way with a 4600 foot elevation gain.

None of the islands are conducive to visiting without a car except Oahu.

Edited: 3:42 pm, January 21, 2013
Island of Hawaii...
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5. Re: Mauna Kea

Be sure to read the Top Questions on visiting Mauna Kea and go to the link posted there.

A taxi would cost far more than a tour, and there are no buses.

Hiking from the VIS is only for the very fit and acclimated, but it should not be done that way. People who hike up generally camp and go up in stages. Your body won't acclimate enough for the hike by staying an hour at the VIS. To go up by car, yes.

Also no one should walk up solo. People die doing that. You do not seem to realize this his an extreme and isolated location, so do some reading on it.

Btw, coming to this island without a car is a big challenge, and doing it without much money makes it really tough.

Ed to add I should have refreshed before I posted because I missed Shea's post that said much the same thing.

Edited: 4:05 pm, January 21, 2013
LA
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6. Re: Mauna Kea

You should review the descriptions of each of the islands before you commit.

The only island that is easy to visit without a rental car is Oahu.

The others are difficult, Kauai and The Big Island of Hawaii being the most difficult. That also means that you will be relying on tours and you need to look at your budget with that in mind.

Hawii just isn't a great destination for a cheap backpacker type of visit if you don't drive.

Kona
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7. Re: Mauna Kea

Aloha, young traveler from Budapest! I love your beautiful country; spent some time years ago at Radihaza near Lake Balaton, riding the beautiful Hungarian 3-day eventing horses across the glorious countryside . . .

I am impressed by your single-minded goal to travel to the top of Mauna Kea, even to the point of being willing to hike from the visitors center the summit. What, may I ask, inspired this desire?

You refer to Mauna Kea as a "volcano" but of course it has not been active in some time. It's the highest point in the Pacific Islands, and the daytime island vistas and nighttime stargazing are wonderful. The summit is the site of numerous observatories that have been the source of a lot of controversy here.

It's also one of the most sacred places in all of Hawaii. Many Native Hawaiians will tell you that the name should not be literally translated as "white mountain" because of its periodic snow. There are two Hawaiian names for this sacred mountain: Mauna a Wakea, and Mauna Akea, Ka Piko a Wakea. Both refer to Wakea, the God who is the sky father.

Wakea is partner to Papahanaumoku, earth mother, who gave birth to the islands. Hawai’i island is their child. And Mauna Kea is that child’s piko, or navel. Because of its place in Hawaiian genealogies, Mauna Kea is considered a kupuna, an ancestor.

Traveling to the summit of Mauna Kea should never be taken lightly, on the physical, logistical or spiritual level. But if we had some sense of why you want to get there so badly, perhaps we can be of more assistance helping you to get there.

California
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8. Re: Mauna Kea

I wonder if this young lady isn't confused about where the active volcano is located. If she wants to see the volcano, she should visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, not Mauna Kea.

Kona
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9. Re: Mauna Kea

I wondered that, too!

Island of Hawaii...
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10. Re: Mauna Kea

Maybe so but the OP knows that the summit is above the VIS and has priced the tours to the summit, so presumably has read the tour descriptions. The tours don't go to Mauna Loa summit and it doesn't cost $200 for a tour to Kilauea summit, and the whole walking from the VIS to the summit part would make no sense.