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“Highlight of our visit” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Mauna Kea Summit

Mauna Kea Summit
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Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Kona and Waikoloa - Small Group Tour
Ranked #2 of 128 things to do in Kailua-Kona
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: At 13,796 feet, this peak offers an incredible view of lava, desert, the valley and Mauna Loa.
Level Contributor
31 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Highlight of our visit”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 21, 2013

The summit for sunset is amazing, absolutely the highlight of our trip. The visitor center gets very crowded but we were smart and purchased egg salad and a ham/cheese sandwiches, space ice cream and drinks for a mini car picnic while we watched the sunset from inside the car. It is extremely windy and chilly even in June so you probably won't want to spend a lot of time outside the car unless you have winter clothing on. We positioned our car sideways so I could snap as many photos as I wanted with the window rolled down and then rolling it up when we got cold. Amazing, beautiful sunset above the clouds with the numerous observatories. Once we traveled down we went back to the visitor center and they had all the telescopes set up for great views which included Saturn which was pretty cool to see (even for a non-nerd)! They also give a lazer pointer presentation of the stars and constellations which was nice but also very chilly. I would not miss this as a part of your trip if you have any inkling of interest! As for the drive, we are used to mountain driving and it was absolutely fine on the way up. You do need to be careful on the way down mostly with your breaks because it is a very steep incline but if you go slow, take it easy (especially if snow is present) its a very doable drive even with a rental car.

Visited June 2013
3 Thank lenleigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Denver, Colorado
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 19, 2013

I read the reviews here on TripAdvisor and dragged our family on a 7 hour excursion to the top of Mauna Kea and was completely underwhelmed, as was the entire family. The road is long and there isn't much to see along the way. The summit is uninspiring. This is not an active volcano, so there is nothing volcano-like to see. The views are so-so. You are not able to enter the observatories- if that was possible, maybe it would have been better. Or perhaps to see stars at night, but I'm not convinced. The stars at sea level are awesome enough. We would have been much happier spending another day by the beach, or pool.

Visited June 2013
5 Thank Brandisanger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honaunau, Hawaii
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Top of the World in Hawaii”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2013

Mauna Kea is the only really accessible mountain top of our two volcanos. The sunrise or sunset trip can if the weather permits once in a lifetime views. Yet beware even in the summer it can be extremely cold and have huge winds. Check the summit forecast before you go. There are many tours that offer heavy coats, since the last thing most tourists bring to Hawaii is their mountain jacket. Also its over 12000 feet high and the air is very thin. So it could present some health concerns, but for most just walk very slowly and you may not notice it.

Visited August 2012
2 Thank RHBennett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hobart, Australia
Level Contributor
41 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“The highest we've been not in a plane”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 16, 2013

We went to this destination with a tour group. The scenery was spectacular, as was the sunset. The temperature is at freezing point so take a warm jacket. Be aware also of effects of being in such a high altitude as it can be a little unsettling.

Visited April 2013
Thank majonicho18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hesperia, Ca
Level Contributor
31 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 13, 2013

We went on a star gazing night. It was the best! Bring a jacket it gets cold up there! Oh and watch for the invisible cows!! LOL

Visited June 2013
Thank Happytraveler044
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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