Mauna Kea Summit Tours

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 and cookies.

Tour Highlights:

  • 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
  • Sip hot chocolate during your private starshow at 9,000 feet elevation with an 11” Celestron telescope
Tour Inclusions:
  • Dinner choice of one of the following:
    • Teriyaki Chicken (gluten free) - served with brown rice, carrot, zucchini, bok choy, yellow squash, with a garlic & white wine sauce, and a caramelized pineapple garnish (sauce made with soy sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic and sesame oil)
    • Kalbi Beef Short Ribs (gluten free) - served with brown rice, carrot, zucchini, bok choy, yellow squash, with a garlic & white wine sauce, and a caramelized pineapple garnish (sauce made with soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar, ginger and garlic)
    • Vegetarian Thai Curry (gluten & dairy free, vegetarian, & vegan) - served with brown rice, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, portobello mushroom, sugar snap peas, green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, onion, bok choy (sauce made with lemongrass, ginger, garlic, coconut milk, coriander, paprika, tomato puree, thai curry paste, cumin and soy sauce)
    • Food is prepared in a facility with nuts, oils & other potential allergens; please be aware cross contamination may occur during preparation and inquire about any allergy concerns before booking)
  • Assorted teas
  • Hot chocolate and brownies served for dessert
  • Warm hooded parkas and gloves are provided
Gallery
 Mauna Kea Observatory ToursAmazing Sunset Views
 Tours to Mauna KeaSunset Watching
 Mauna Kea ToursMauna Kea Stargazing
Mauna Kea Summit ToursMauna Kea Observatories
Mauna Kea Summit ToursMap
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!
Requirements:
Restrictions:
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:
Daily
Duration:
Approx. 7-8 hours roundtrip
Vendor:
Hawaii Forest and Trail
Capacity:
Max. of 14 guests per tour
Equipment:
Hooded parkas and warm gloves are provided. We utilize an 11 Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope for stargazing.
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