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“Wow what a view!!!!”
Review of Mauna Kea Summit

Mauna Kea Summit
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Waterfall Heli-Trek: Big Island Helicopter Tour and Hiking Adventure
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Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small-Group Adventure Tour
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Volcano National Park Small Group Twilight Tour
Ranked #2 of 133 things to do in Kailua-Kona
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: At 13,796 feet, this peak offers an incredible view of lava, desert, the valley and Mauna Loa.
Salem, Ohio
Level 6 Contributor
236 reviews
77 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“Wow what a view!!!!”
Reviewed December 21, 2012

We didn't want to leave the Big Island without visiting the Summit. We took a tour up, better than driving yourself ( if you do make sure you have 4 wheel drive) I would reccomend going with a tour. It was so beautiful! We got some outstanding pictures once we made it to the very top (13,000 feet). The sunset was so breathtaking from the view so high! Dress very very warm! Its about 30 degrees up there and feels even colder. Put lots of layers on. The air is very thin so make sure you take your time walking around up there. You may get out of breath quite easily. Star gazing was also incredible. They have a small gift shop at the visitors center . Some really neat things to look at there. You might want to bring a flash light if you go at night. Enjoy! You should go!!!

Visited December 2012
1 Thank Christa H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Seattle, Washington
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed December 20, 2012

The summit is spectacular and worth any challenges you may face getting there. Tour groups are incredibly expensive and I suggest doing it on your own. Rent a 4-wheel drive vehicle and get to the top yourself. I've seen plenty of 2-wheel drive cars make it up, but I wouldn't do it. Make sure you leave plenty early to make it to the top at least 30 minutes before sunset so you see the sunset in its entirety and you'll want to allow 30 minutes at the visitor's center to acclimate. We use the time at the visitor's center to suit up into our snow stuff as it can be very cold and windy both at the visitor's center and at the summit. Do not skip this simple step since altitude sickness will probably ruin your adventure. The road after the center is very rough, but you'll forget it all when you see the view from the top!

Visited December 2012
3 Thank emma1227
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Unbelievable Stars and Sunsets”
Reviewed December 19, 2012

You don't need to book a tour. Drive up to the visitor center park on the shoulder (back in to make it easy to get out in the dark). Hike to the top of the hill across from the visitor center for great sunset views (it takes a little longer than you'd think at the altitude). Wait for the visitor center to bring out the telescopes to get the chance to see planets, the moon, nebulas, and a free sky tour. We always pack a dinner to eat in the car after sunset while we wait for the stars to come out (there are also astronomy movies inside). Bring your own hot chocolate as there are free cups and hot water or buy packets up there. If you have 4x4 head up to the lake. A longer hike but incredibly silent sunsets! It is a sacred place of Ancient Hawaiians please respect it.

Visited June 2012
1 Thank kipukahonu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
day, calif.
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“worth the trip”
Reviewed December 17, 2012

The smoking brakes on rental cars at the visitor center tell the truth. don't do it if you are not used to backcountry driving. But if you take it slow, most cars can do the road if there's clear weather. Don't go up if the weather is even looking like it might get bad.

Visited November 2012
1 Thank chartreuse_shrimp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
135 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“No snow and great views”
Reviewed December 17, 2012

We drove up to the summit and walked over to the top. Little light headed. Road was fine when we went but can see that it could be bad in rain or snow. Enjoyed the info center, watched the videos and bought some water and souviners.

Visited November 2012
Thank fwbooks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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