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.

“Highly recommend Mauna Kea Summit Adventures!”

Mauna Kea Summit Adventures
Ranked #48 of 209 Tours in Kailua-Kona
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Mauna Kea Summit Adventures offers daily trips to the summit of Mauna Kea for sunset and stargazing. We are the pioneer service of this kind and we have over 30 years of experience. Our daily trip starts off on the Kona coast 4 hours before sunset and returns 5 hours after sunset. We travel in custom built 4x4 mini coaches with panoramic windows. Our guides are experts in island geography, geology, culture and astronomy. At the 9,000FT.level, we stop for the better part of an hour to dine and experience the visitor's center. We arrive on the summit before sunset and we stay until the best of the color has faded. Afterward, if natural conditions allow, we put on a highly informative stargazing session with large, computerized amateur telescopes. MKSA does not guarantee the weather in any way. Although the mountain enjoys a great majority of fine weather there is the possibility the tour may be canceled, and refunded or may encounter poor conditions in the field.
Reviewed February 17, 2013

My wife and I recently did a tour with these guys and had a wonderful time. Chris was our tour guide on this day and we can't say enough about him. I won't go into his details here but this guy is highly qualified and was everything you could hope for in a tour guide. He kept us all entertained and interested in what we were seeing and about to see. I assumed our guide would tell us about the geography, geology, astronomy etc, but had no idea he would know so much about the history, birds, animals, marine life, trees/plants/flowers etc. Also you could just tell that Chris really likes what he does and was very professional about it. He also answered and had answers for everbody's questions.

After eating and climatizing at the visitor centre we headed for the summit and took in a most spectacular sunset. I can honesty say I saw colors in the sky I have never seen before, and it felt like we were standing on the top of the world. After sunset the Stars program started and we were both amazed at what we saw through their high end telescopes. Although we were in a group of about 12 people, never did we feel rushed to look through the telescope and move on, plus there was always opportunities to have a second look (which I did) after everyone was done. Chris did not move onto the next part of the program until everybody was done.

All in all we had a great time with memories that will last a lifetime. This company was excellent to deal with, and our guide Chris just made the trip even better.

As a final note I would just like to say that it bothers me when I see people on Trip Advisor basically say to others that they should save their money and go at it yourself for free, and not be on somebody elses clock. We have done both and there is pros and cons to each. However this is definately something I think should be done in a tour like this. There was just so much to be learned on this trip, we would have really missed out doing it on our own. Also after spending a few hours at high altitude, I would have been way too tired to drive all the way down and back to Kona, at night, in the dark, on these roads. Our whole van fell asleep on the ride back (except for Chris of course).

Thank Uncoiler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (588)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More languages
All reviews
in 41 reviews
"star gazing"
in 116 reviews
in 58 reviews
"night sky"
in 46 reviews
"visitor center"
in 61 reviews
"our tour guide"
in 44 reviews
in 10 reviews
"the big island"
in 69 reviews
"milky way"
in 24 reviews
"provided parkas and gloves"
in 6 reviews
"warm parkas"
in 8 reviews
"great tour"
in 34 reviews
"new moon"
in 10 reviews
"rings of saturn"
in 11 reviews
"southern cross"
in 13 reviews
"big telescopes"
in 6 reviews
"great star"
in 7 reviews

779 - 783 of 1,082 reviews

Reviewed February 17, 2013

2  Thank Tes I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2013

Thank Sinklus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2013

Thank RickNStl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed February 5, 2013

This was on my list for a long time and Chris was an excellent guide. Seeing the telescopes was fantastic and the star gazing superb. The landscape is unlike anything I'd seen before. Sunset at the top was beautiful. Chris answered all of our questions and was very knowledgeable about the stars, telescopes, geology, plants and animals. He managed a perfect balance of educating us and entertaining us. We stopped at the visitor center for about a half hour to eat and get a bit acclimatized (it's at 9200 feet). Very crowded with lots of tours but but we found a place to sit. Then off to the summit for sunset. We spent about 40 minutes up there (about 13800 feet) well equipped with parkas and gloves from the company. Then back down to just past the visitor center (and all the crowds) to a secluded spot where two vans (ours and another from the company) did our star gazing. Really great. Then back down the mountain to our pick-up spot. Really a fantastic time. I have had problems with altitude before but none this time.

1  Thank Marnie99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Mauna Kea Summit Adventures also viewed

Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii
Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii
Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii
Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii

Been to Mauna Kea Summit Adventures? 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