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“Hot chocolate!”

Maunakea Visitor Information Station
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$223.96*
and up
Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small-Group Adventure Tour
Ranked #2 of 82 things to do in Hilo
Certificate of Excellence
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Reviewed October 23, 2012

It seemed very strange down in South Kohala that afternoon packing jumpers, coats, gloves, and beanies for this trip to the Visitors Centre on Mauna Kea. It was a long haul up, about 1.25hrs drive, much of it through fog and low cloud. We arrived just before sunset and hiked to the top of the small hill nearby. While short, it did seem strangely tiring, until I read that we were at 2800m. That's way higher than I have ever stood on planet Earth before (Mt Kosciuszko is only 2280m!)!! We were very glad of all the warm clothes we had brought, and even gladder of the hot drinks offered by the VC for minimal charge - nice one! I would have loved to stay an see the stars, but I had an early start next morning, and was a little wary about driving at night, in fog, and on the wrong side of the road! I'd love to return for a longer visit.

Thank sapientpear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,171 - 1,175 of 1,448 reviews

Reviewed October 23, 2012

Great View from the TOP. Was there around 11am, OKT 2012 but unfortunately need to hitch hike on another 4 wheel drive car as the road during our visit was improper for the road during this period.

Great Panorama from the TOP. Well worth visiting.

Thank Steve R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2012

Photographed sunset from the top. Puffy clouds below us and sirrus clouds above. Great sunset. Gets cold. Layer and you'll be OK. Stop at visitor's center to acclimate - the top is almost at 14,000 ft above sea level and your breathing will be somewhat labored with walking around. It's worth the drive in a 4WD vehicle.

1  Thank AA3RR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2012

Great Stargazing. They liked the movies they played. Nice to see through the telescopes. Was quite windy though, make sure you dress warm and bring blankets to wrap up with.

Thank CathRuss K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2012

Drove up from Hilo - quite an uphill journey, from sea level to 9300 feet. Took about an hour to get there. My rental car, a small Hyundai, complained some, especially the last 3000 feet. By the time I got to the visitor information center, it was tired. I would not have dared going to the top in the hyundai, and according to the signs, i would not have been allowed as they only let 4 wheel drive vehicles go any further.

Got there about 6pm went around back and strolled thru a fenced in "garden" of silverswords plants, one of the world's rarest plants. About 25 plants in various sizes but none blooming. Also ran into a Nene goose, the world's rarest goose. Then climbed a hill to view the sunset, came down and watched a recording on Mauna Kea observatories. Went to the deck, heard talks about the stars, constellations, etc from U of Hawaii staff, and viewed a bunch of stars in thru telescopes. Probably about 40 - 50 people there. As the cold set in more and more (had on 2 tee shirts, a long sleeve flannel shirt and a Hawaiian shirt and it was not enough- I was not planning to go up Mauna Kea until that day), my wife and I left around 8:30. We have seen stars with as much clarity in the Adirondacks, but the range of visibility was much greater on Mauna Kea. Also, because of the latitude, we saw stuff not seen in ny. Going back to Hilo was virtually all downhill and dark. We probably used 3 or4 gallons of gas going up to Mauna Kea and about a half gallon going back as we mostly coasted, riding our brakes. A great experience.

Thank jibbajibba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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