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“Awesome visit”

Maunakea Visitor Information Station
Ranked #7 of 53 things to do in Hilo
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Reviewed 13 August 2018

It was (in Aug 11/12, 2018) a perfect "storm" of - new moon night, 100% clear skies, Perseid meteor shower night & a Sat. night - so it was very crowded. The star gazing show by one of student astronomers (about 10 mins) is very informative. The telescopes (long, long lines of people) set out for the public showed Jupiter, Saturn & stars in a nebula. The solar scope was not too great during the daytime. In the sky, we could see 100's of stars, 4 planets (Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Venus) & the Milky Way (like a string of clouds stretching overhead horizon to horizon). Saw a few meteors from the Perseid shower. Since it was 100% clear - it was very, very cold (in the low 30's) !! Must get there by 4:30pm at the latest, else parking fills up & yes, you are indeed turned back. The food in the visitor station's fridge (sandwiches, drinks, etc.) gets sold out pretty soon & you're just left w/ boxes of ramen noodles (which don't run out !). Well worth visiting at least once.

2  Thank a-wt-p
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"mauna kea"
in 184 reviews
"watch the sunset"
in 56 reviews
"wheel drive"
in 75 reviews
"bring warm clothes"
in 43 reviews
"milky way"
in 70 reviews
"stargazing program"
in 27 reviews
"night vision"
in 19 reviews
"star gazing program"
in 19 reviews
"hot water"
in 41 reviews
"light pollution"
in 24 reviews
"saddle road"
in 80 reviews
"visitor's center"
in 51 reviews
"new moon"
in 18 reviews
"gift shop"
in 68 reviews
"sea level"
in 30 reviews
"altitude sickness"
in 16 reviews
"clear night"
in 21 reviews
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20 - 24 of 1,594 reviews

Reviewed 12 August 2018

I toured the Mauna Kea summit on August 1, 2018. It was breath-taking. I had the benefit of receiving the tour from a friend who works at Keck. This was definitely the way to do it. We were able to drive around the entire summit and even walked to the high point of the summit. My friend gave a tour of the entire Keck telescope complex, which was very interesting to an aerospace engineer who works with space telescopes. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Going from sea level to nearly 14,000 feet can be rough on some people. I did not have any problems, but I live at 5,000 feet back home and regularly hike and camp above 11,000 feet. If you are not accustomed to life at higher altitude, please be cautious as you get up to the summit as it is not for everyone.

Thank goodricm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2018

You can easily drive to the station with a normal car, if you are not going to the summit and only to he station. You can watch videos about observatories, ask questions, stargaze (depending on the weather, day you visit, so call and ask what they are doing on the day you are planning to go). There is a shop, restrooms, you can hike the area but make sure someone knows you are hiking.But hiking to the summit I do not recommend, since the weather can change dramatically quick. A must go to. Recommend.

Thank Branka K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2018

We enjoyed the view from here and were lucky enough to have a friend with 4 wheel drive so we reached the top. We felt that Pikes Peak was more difficult to travel up, but this was still pretty amazing.

Thank Dancebuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 August 2018 via mobile

We stopped at the visitor information station before we continue our driving to the summit of Maunakea. It is recommended to ensure you get acclimatized with the altitude. At the VIS we used their restroom facilities (they were clean) and we spent time watching a video about the observatories installed in the summit. They have a small store and the rangers in the VIS where friendly and provided additional recommendations before we drive the last 8 miles to the summit. They offer 3 nights a week the opportunity to watch stars with telescopes. They recommend to arrive around 4:30 PM in the afternoon.

3  Thank Ricardo L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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