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.

“amazing experience”
Review of Mauna Kea Summit

Mauna Kea Summit
Book In Advance
More Info
$223.96*
and up
Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small-Group Adventure Tour
More Info
$213.54*
and up
Volcano National Park Small Group Twilight Tour
More Info
$203.13*
and up
Hawaii Birdwatching Small Group Adventure Tour
Ranked #2 of 135 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.
Reviewed April 22, 2014

The sunset at the summit of Mauna Kea was just awesome. Unfortunately we were a little altitude sick, but enjoyed it very much. Be aware of the altitude, the summit is 4200m above sea level and don't drive to fast up the hill. And it's quite cold up there, take a jacket with you. FYI: we drove up to the summit with a normal car, no 4wd, although it's not recommended.

1  Thank Mary B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (3,653)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

2,086 - 2,090 of 3,653 reviews

Reviewed April 21, 2014

Visited Mauna Kea yesterday and just made it for sunset. Did it in our Jeep with no problems, road to summit is just very bumpy and rough. Definitely worth it for sunset viewing and we are even talking about going back again while we are here, no two sunsets are alike, and the pictures are breathtaking. Just remember to dress for it, the temperature was 41degrees with wind at the top, so jeans and a jacket are what I will be wearing next time.

1  Thank jeanine g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2014

It is about an hour drive from Kona. We rented a 4 wheel drive and had no problem driving up the unpaved road past the visitor center. I saw two cars drive up as well as there was no snow/ice on the roads on the day we visited.

The views are spectacular, as the summit sits above the clouds, stay to see the sunset. There is a visitor center at around 9,000 feet where volunteers set up telescopes for visitors at night. We were able to see Jupiter and it's 4 moons. This was the highlight of my trip.

It is not advised to take children below 16 above the visitor center as the air gets very thin (40% thinner than at sea level). A short hike from the visitor center gets you a great sunset view. Tour operators do take kids 12 and older to the summit, book tours in advance, by the time we called up, it was all full.

Public is not allowed inside the observatory, drive past the visitor center if you like to see the views and the outside of the observatory. Left my 10 year old and wife at visitor center and drove up to the observatory. There was snow and ice at the summit, but the road was clear and we had no problem driving. The observatory sits above the clouds, so watch out if you end up driving though the clouds, it can be scary as visibility is about 1 to 2 feet and you have to drive very slowly.

4  Thank sdasan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2014

This is not to be missed! Drive your 4-wheel drive car or truck to the top of Mauna Kea and have a look around. It is breath-taking quite literally as you have much less oxygen than below the summit. But take it slow and visit the different telescopes. Try to get a look inside at least one. This can be arranged at the base facilities. So worth the trip - particularly at night to view some cool space stuff.

1  Thank Jul D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2014 via mobile

Mauna Kea Summit is amazing. You probably haven't ever expierenced anything like being here. Star gazing experience of a lifetime.

Thank 808mccracken
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