We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
New! Find and book your ideal hotel on TripAdvisor — and get the lowest prices

“Okay” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Mauna Kea Summit

Mauna Kea Summit
Book In Advance
and up
Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Kona and Waikoloa - Small Group Tour
Ranked #1 of 122 things to do in Kailua-Kona
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: At 13,796 feet, this peak offers an incredible view of lava, desert, the valley and Mauna Loa.
Provincetown, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

I thought that Mauna Kea was a little overrated. Yeah, its cool being above cloud level, but its hard to breathe at that altitude and it takes quite awhile to get there.

Beautiful at night for stargazers but personally I wouldn't do it again.

Visited February 2012
Thank BMcK329
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

2,880 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Level Contributor
143 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Take a Pro Tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

Don't try to drive this yourself. The weather can be volatile- as in snow and ice. Dress as if you're going to a ski resort- layers, warm jacket. The astounding view can be blocked by clouds at times. Still - what an experience!

Visited November 2012
Thank LasVegasTravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
89 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“A must see!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012

Definitely a must see! You cannot go to Hawaii without experiencing the sunset and the stars on the Mauna Kea! Going to the visitor center is however sufficiant, the view is amazing and you can go for free with your car. The best activity on the island!

Visited December 2012
Thank JoeDassin1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
31 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“worth the trek”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

it's hard to get up there -- 2+ hours from kona to the visitor center, then another 30-45mins up a 4x4/dirt road. but the sunset view from up there is worth it.

once it was completely dark, best star-gazing experience ever.

i just wish the road was better and for there to be actual toilets on top.

Visited November 2012
1 Thank EmersonMonty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kirkland, Washington
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Be Prepared for An Adventure :)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

My husband's bucket list included driving to the top of Mauna Kea and so it's the first thing we did after arriving on The Big Island. They advise you to use a 4 wheel drive vehicle and they are right. We drove a 4 cylinder car with front wheel drive and it took everything that car had to make the trip. We stopped at the 9,000 ft. mark to hang out at the station before heading to the top - they tell you to stay there for at least 30 minutes to acclimate your body. Regardless, I still felt light headed at the top. The observatory at the top offers a full presentation so you understand the significance of the mountain and how it is utilized. I'm not a fan of heights, so I was relieved when we started back down!

Visited December 2012
2 Thank Diana H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Mauna Kea Summit also viewed

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Island of Hawaii
Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii

Been to Mauna Kea Summit? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing