Hawaii Forest & Trail - Mauna Kea Summit & Stars Adventure
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the summit of Mauna Kea, known to be the best location for stargazing in the world. Watching a sunset and the stars from atop Mauna Kea’s summit at 13,803 feet (4,207 m) is an awe-inspiring experience.
Your adventure begins with a ride up the Mauna Kea access road, where you’ll get to see the changing landscapes, from desolate lava flows and rolling pasturelands to sub-alpine dryforests.
Prior to heading up to the summit, you’ll be served a hot picnic-style dinner. You’ll then continue up the mountain, and once at the summit, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of the entire Big Island. From up here, you can even see Mt. Haleakala on the neighbor island of Maui. It might be hard to believe that you’re standing on the world’s tallest mountain when measured from the ocean floor, rising over 32,000 feet (9,754 m) from the ocean floor to its summit.
After the sun sets, the tour continues to the Visitor Information Station, located at 9,000 feet (2,743 m), where we’ll set up our own telescope to do some stargazing. You’ll also be served hot beverages.
- Enjoy a warm picnic dinner on the beautiful mountain while learning about Hawaiian star navigation
- Your guide will share historic accounts of early travelers through the mountain lands
- Delight in the awe-inspiring sunset at the top of Mauna Kea, the highest point in the Pacific
- Stand amidst the world’s largest collection of research telescopes
- Descend to a lower elevation after the sun sets and sip hot chocolate
during a private star show with our 11” Celestron telescope
- Dinner choice of one of the following: Beef stew or vegan chili (gluten free)
- Assorted teas
- Hot chocolate
- Warm hooded parkas and gloves are provided
Amazing Sunset Views
Mauna Kea Stargazing
Mauna Kea Observatories
- Where and When:
- Afternoon departure, between 1:30 pm and 3 pm. The exact departure time depends on the season and will be specified on your voucher.
Tour departs from the following locations:
Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters, 73-5593A Olowalu St., Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 View Map
Please meet us across the street from Home Depot at our Kona Headquarters. This is a departure point for many Hawaii Forest & Trail Tours. This location also has a 900 sq. ft. retail store that includes outdoor gear and apparel, books, maps and gift items.
Queen's Marketplace, 69-201 Waikoloa Beach Dr, Waikoloa, HI 96738 (near Charlie's Thai Cuisine) View Map
The backside of this popular shopping area serves as a pickup location for many Hawaii Forest & Trail tours. Look for Charlie's Thai Cuisine, and HF&T will be at the curb!
- Please bring your own water bottle for use on tour. Water bottles are available for purchase at Hawaii Forest and Trail and a jug will be available for refills.
- Mauna Kea summit tours are not recommended for those with respiratory, circulatory or heart conditions (no pacemakers), pregnant women and those who have conditions not conducive to high altitude or physical activity.
Children under 16 are not permitted on this tour due to altitude.
The tour is also not recommended for people who have been scuba diving in the past 24 hours.
Participants will be required to sign a waiver of liability.
Participants should be able to hike on rocky or uneven terrain.
- Special Notes:
- Be prepared to encounter muddy, wet or cool conditions. The average mean temperature at the summit is freezing.
- Operation Days:
- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday
- Approx. 7-8 hours roundtrip
- Hawaii Forest and Trail
- Max. of 14 guests per tour
- Hooded parkas and warm gloves are provided. We utilize an 11 Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope for stargazing.