Mauna Kea Observatories
Mauna Kea Observatories
4.5

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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles115 reviews
Excellent
90
Very good
17
Average
5
Poor
2
Terrible
1

Flutist60
Roy, WA54 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
We came up with the Hawaii Forest & Trails group, and were able to do a little stargazing, although the weather was horrid on our day. Next time we're on the Big Island we'll definitely go up again. Wow, the stars are so bright without all the light pollution!
Written 5 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Geoff_Hughes_100
Cumberland, RI31 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Suggest planning the date and time of your trip (if you have the luxury). Do a Google search to see if the road isn’t blocked by the protestors (there is no single website that tells you day to day - you just have to keep googling or checking recent reviews on TA) or because of weather conditions (yes it snows and winds can reach 130mph!!!). AND yes you need a 4x4 (or risk the rangers rounding you up and turning you back).....

With all that said - the view from the top is spectacular and very rarely can you find a spot in the US that you can drive to +13,000’!
Written 11 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

S L
Monument, CO46 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019 • Couples
Would have loved to see the observatory however the protesters are blocking the road. Why is this allowed?
Written 23 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Allison zylstra
Cambridge, Canada259 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Couples
We took a shuttle to the top to see the sunset and then do star gazing. It was absolutely amazing. it was breath taking. it was amazing to see all the observatories. The view was unbelievable. It was worth the price to go up and get some explanation as to what was what. It was also worth it because the road is crazy going up and terrifying going down. Bring a jacket its cold at the top!
Written 20 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tama
17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019
When we made a reservation, we often checked the Mauna Kea summit weather since we wanted to visit there in the clearest skies. We decided to go there in April, 2019. When we left the hotel at Kailua-Kona around 13:30, the weather was bit cloudy. However, when we drove up to the summit, it was a completely different world with a blue sky. We stayed at the summit until sunset. Then, we moved down to the point where a guide set up a large telescope and explained the night sky using a laser point. The trip itself took about 7.5 hrs. or so, but it is worth taking this trip. We highly recommend it.
Written 10 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Fitzy051972
15 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018
My Family and I were staying in Kona for the week before xmas 2018, amongst one of the many things we wanted to do while on the Big Island was to visit the Observatory on Mauna Kea.
The drive was an experience on it s own quite steep in places and after the visitors centre a large portion is an unsealed winding road to the top.
The day we visited the wind was strong and I believe around 10 degrees celcius - incredible to think just hours before we were in Kona in shorts and t-shirt and now 13000 feet above sea level reaching for the warm clothing.
This is a must do while visiting the Big Island the views above the clouds were so amazing a real adventure.
Other than the cost of the hire car and fuel there were no other costs just a donation at the visitors centre and you are on your way, quite unbelievable.
Dont forget a warm jacket and the camera.
Written 22 March 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

zipidydoodah
Toronto56 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2018
Plan for a moonless night if you can. Obviously seeing stars will be better then.
Stop for a bit of acclimation half way up. Make sure you use the washroom as we could not find the facilities at the top.
Pack a late lunch, bring hot tea/coffee/chocolate. Bring some blankets too and get ready for a spectacular sunset. There is a short hike up a further hill just to the south east of the parking lot (free parking!!). Take your time getting up there but remember it's a religious site so do behave and DONT LITTER.. unless it's a flower as an offering.
Written 5 February 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CFeye
Houston, TX10 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2019
This is a full day high altitude adventure. The drive takes much of the time. The meal choices are generous and of the beef and chicken our group of 7 had nary a complaint. The HOT chocolate was divine. Enough of the food. the pre-sunset arrival gives one a great orientation. The multitude of observatories was surprising, and amazing. We had perfect weather, no moon, no cloud cover -excellent for the drive down to the viewing site. The viewing area was somewhat obscured by other autos driving in and out with auto lights - in that much darkness they seemed especially bright. We did see stars, constellations and enjoyed it all. The road is very rough, going up much more noticeable than going down. Our driver was great, but a gravel road with pot holes its what it is. Yes, it was cold. We went prepared with undershirts, layers and such, still cold. Parkas and mittens and blankets offered were most appreciated.
Written 12 January 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RockyCZ
Prague, Czech Republic18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2017
Visiting the Mauna Kea Summit and Observatories gives you the feeling of being on top of the world for good reason: You’re actually pretty close. Standing at 13,796 feet (4,138 meters), the mountain is Hawaii’s tallest and the highlight of many visitors’ trips to the Big Island of Hawaii. The Mauna Kea Observatories (MKO) feature some of the world's largest telescopes, including equipment from Canada, France, and the University of Hawaii, due to its designation as an unparalleled destination for stargazing.
Written 28 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ross C
Sydney461 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Couples
We hitch a ride to the summit as we were not allowed to drive in the car we had. the views at sunset were stunning especially looking back over to the volcano.It was extremely cold at sunset.
Written 15 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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