We took the Mauna Kea Sunset and Starshow Tour offered by Arnott's Lodge. We were driven up to the Onizuka Visitor Center, where we were able to see Silversword plants, peruse the small gift store and see an informational movie (what you see seems to be hit and miss with your timing, but the point is to get used to the altitude). Then we proceeded up a curvy road (a bit narrow for two-way traffic), which is not entirely paved, in a four-wheel drive provided by Arnott's. Our driver/tour guide, Daniel, was friendly and full of information. He also sang for a group called "Mellow Mood", and had a beautiful voice.
Arnott's can provide some coats if you need them, but you will be happiest if you bring appropriate clothing. The winds were around 50mph when we were on the mountain, and the temperature drops to around 30 degrees up there at night. I brought a long sleeved duofold shirt, a wool sweater, my Columbia jacket and liner, fingerless gloves (so I could leave them on while taking pictures), and a hat, all of which I donned on the mountain. I also brought water, powerbars, sunglasses and my camera. Make sure your hat and sunglasses fit snugly or they may blow off if winds are high. I was very comfortable and had a wonderful time. The views cannot be beat. Afterwards, you return to the Visitor Center, where portable telescopes are set up. The view of the stars is amazing - so many are so clear to the naked eye. Also because of its location, they get over 80% of all constellations (many of the southern, and most of the northern) over the course of the year. In May, we were able to see both Polaris/Big Dipper and the Southern Cross at the same time.
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