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Mauna Kea Summit & Observatory
Mauna Kea Summit & Observatory

Mauna Kea Summit & Observatory Tours and Tickets

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1,936 Reviews

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.

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Saddle Road, Hilo, Hawaii, 96720
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Mauna Kea Summit Sunset and Stars Free Astro Photos Hilo Kona Waikoloa Pick Up

Mauna Kea Summit Sunset and Stars Free Astro Photos Hilo Kona Waikoloa Pick Up

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284
Enjoy a sunset and stargazing experience like no other on this small-group trip to Mauna Kea—the highest point in the Hawaiian islands. Following afternoon pickup, travel in a 4x4 van to the summit—you can change into a warm jacket and pair of gloves, and sip a hot beverage, as the sun starts to set. Then, learn why so many research telescopes are located here during a brilliant celestial show.
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  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$239.00
From
$239.00

Best Mauna Kea Summit Tour (Free sunset and star photo!)

Best Mauna Kea Summit Tour (Free sunset and star photo!)

star-5
357
The 13,803-foot (4,207.3-meter) peak of Mauna Kea is Hawaii's highest point, and a popular spot for star-gazing. With this tour, travel up to the volcano summit with your guide, stop for dinner at the Onizuka Astronomy Complex, then arrive at the summit in time to watch the sunset. As dark sets in, enjoy a guided stargazing experience and marvel at the stars and planets using a refractor telescope and razor pointer.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$266.67
From
$266.67

Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small-Group Adventure Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small-Group Adventure Tour

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813
Experience big skies and incredible nighttime views on this Mauna Kea stargazing trip with a small group. Join no more than 28 guests for a warm pre-trip picnic, proceeded by a ride in a 4x4 luxury van to the summit of the Big Island's tallest peak. After admiring a sunset view, continue down to 9,000 feet (2,743 meters) for a stargazing session, complete with a telescope, hot chocolate, and dessert. The trip also includes a guide and a hooded parka to keep you warm.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$267.02
From
$267.02

Big Island Adventure Bundle: 5 Epic Audio Driving Tours

Big Island Adventure Bundle: 5 Epic Audio Driving Tours

star-4.5
48
Explore the natural wonders, historic sites, and popular attractions of Hawaii's Big Island with this downable self-drive app. Enjoy the flexibility of a self-guided tour, without the hassle of navigating or planning your route, with a live GPS map route and audio commentary. This adventure bundle includes five epic tour routes, covering all corners of the island and including the Volcanoes National Park, the Kohala Coast, the Kona Coast, and the Waipio Valley.
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  • 5 days
From
$29.99
per group
From
$29.99
per group

Big Island - South Island Coastal Loop Driving Tour

Big Island - South Island Coastal Loop Driving Tour

star-4.5
12
Come with us as we explore the fascinating volcanic landscape looping around the southern coast of the Big Island! Shaka Guide is your perfect companion with turn-by-turn directions, information on what to do & see, and a truckload of interesting stories and Hawaiian legends of this amazing island! Skip the tour bus & explore Big Island at your own pace for a fraction of the cost with the best self-guided audio GPS tours for Hawaii! Rated the #1 best GPS tour app for Hawaii with over 6,000+ raving reviews and 200,000+ downloads. Why you need it: ✅ You don't need service because you can download the tours & use them offline ✅ Much cheaper than a tour bus at only $9.99 for lifetime access ✅ Save time planning your trip because we have the best stops lined up ✅ Freedom to stop and go as you please, unlike a tour bus where you are confined to the pre-determined route (no fun!) ✅ Hear cool and fun stories along the way (and some corny joke's that might make you laugh)
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  • 2 days
From
$19.99
per group
From
$19.99
per group

Big Island - North Island Jungle Driving Tour

Big Island - North Island Jungle Driving Tour

star-5
4
Shaka Guide's driving tour app works like a tour guide in your car! On this tour drive along beautiful green coastlines, through tropical jungle roads, and go star gazing on the tallest mountain in the world. We've done our research so you will not miss a thing! Just sit back and listen to fun stories along the way. Skip the tour bus & explore Big Island at your own pace for a fraction of the cost with the best self-guided audio GPS tours for Hawaii! Rated the #1 best GPS tour app for Hawaii with over 6,000+ raving reviews and 200,000+ downloads. Why you need it: ✅ You don't need service because you can download the tours & use them offline ✅ Much cheaper than a tour bus at only $9.99 for lifetime access ✅ Save time planning your trip because we have the best stops lined up ✅ Freedom to stop and go as you please, unlike a tour bus where you are confined to the pre-determined route (no fun!) ✅ Hear cool and fun stories along the way (and some corny joke's that might make you laugh)
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  • 2 days
From
$19.99
per group
From
$19.99
per group

Big Island Spectacular Helicopter Tour

Big Island Spectacular Helicopter Tour

star-5
281
Fly above Hawaii's spectacular peaks, coasts, and valleys on this helicopter tour of the Big Island. Watch lava bubble up out of volcanoes, fly over the lush rain forests of the Hamakua Coast, and complete your trip with views of the waterfalls lining the Kohala Mountains. Only a helicopter tour lets you see so many of Hawaii's charms on a single ride and from an unforgettable perspective.
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  • 2 hours
From
$761.49
From
$761.49

Experience Hawai'i Big Island Helicopter Flight from Kona

Experience Hawai'i Big Island Helicopter Flight from Kona

star-4.5
132
Look down on the varied landscape of the Big Island from the air on a helicopter tour from Kona. This flight is longer than typical heli tours and provides the opportunity to be wowed by Hawaii’s amazing natural features, from waterfalls to volcanoes to rainforests. Fly along the coast and over Waimanu and Waipio valleys, and spot island industry like macadamia nut orchards. Upgrade to guarantee a window seat.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$761.87
From
$761.87

Doors-Off Oʻahu Circle Island Experience from Kapolei

Doors-Off Oʻahu Circle Island Experience from Kapolei

Two of the best ways to explore the Big Island of Hawaii are by air and your own two feet—both of which are possible with this Big Island helicopter tour and hiking adventure. Begin by exploring the island by air on a scenic flight, where you’ll experience the fury of Kilauea Volcano in Volcanoes National Park, and pass over pasture lands, black-sand beaches, and waterfalls that spill toward the coast. You’ll next touch down in North Kohala, the home of King Kamehameha, to hike through valleys and lush rainforests that were once inhabited by kings.
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  • 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$567.28
From
$567.28

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People Also Ask

Can you tour Mauna Kea Observatory?

No, the Mauna Kea Observatories (MKO) are private research facilities and not open to the public. However, you can visit the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy and there are plenty of guided tours that will take you to the summit of Mauna Kea for some stargazing with the operators’ own telescopes.

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How cold is Mauna Kea summit?

At 13,796 feet (4,205 meters), conditions on the Mauna Kea summit are typically chilly. Summer daytime temperatures average between freezing and 50°F (8°C). Winter temperatures range from 25 to 40°F (-4 to 4°C), but wind chill can make it seem even colder.

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Can you see the Milky Way from Mauna Kea?

Yes, you can see the Milky Way from Mauna Kea. Mauna Kea is one of the best places in the world to see the Milky Way. While it is typically visible with the naked eye, the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station has a few telescopes that visitors can use. Rangers also provide astronomical information in a nightly program.

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What time should I get to Mauna Kea?

Summit visiting hours are from half an hour before sunrise through half an hour after sunset. The best way to experience Mauna Kea is to reach the summit in time for the sunset then go down to Visitor Information Center at 9,200 feet (2,800 meters) for an evening of stargazing.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Mauna Kea Summit & Observatory?