Mauna Kea Summit Sunset & Stargazing Adventure

Spectacular scenery, stars and experience

Reviewed by: RBP, 2017/08/02

The sights were amazing and unique. The guide was amazing and knowledgeable. I have traveled all over the world and this would be one of my top 20 experiences. Tour arrangements were excellent.

Reply from activity provider

Mahalo RBP, we are thrilled you had a great experience and thank you for letting us know.
Aloha,
Dan Berman
General Manager
HFT - Kohala Zipline

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2017/07/25
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Sunset and Stargazing at Mauna Kea

Reviewed by: JJ & Kathy, 2017/06/13

This tour was the highlight of our activities on the big island.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2017/05/18
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Great way to see the top of Mauna Kea

Reviewed by: Marianna, 2017/06/12

Our guide Joe was very knowledgeable about astronomy. It was cool to see the top of Mauna Kea and observatories. We went during a half moon and the star visibility was still very good. The mountain is above the vog, so you should be able to see the stars even if the vog is a problem.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2017/06/04
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Mauna kea summit trip

Reviewed by: Linda & Scott Cherry, 2017/01/11

Great trip. Unfortunately the summit was closed due to high winds when we reached visitor center. Our guide, Joe was great. He took us on a hike to see the sunset which was amazing and then to an area where he set up a huge telescope for star gazing. He was very knowledgeable and made what could have been a disappointing trip into a great one. We had an amazing experience. I would highly recommend it. Good good too!


  • Chilly sunset!

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2017/01/06
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Cold Calgarians

Reviewed by: Elizabeth, 2017/01/08

Our guide, Hank, made the tour worth every penny. Not only was he totally organized and pleasant, his knowledge sharing was priceless. Geology, geography, astronomy, Hawaiian culture, history: so interesting! Thank you for a great day!

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2017/01/04
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This tour was PERFECT !!! I'm gonna give it 10 stars :)

Reviewed by: Elaine, 2017/01/04

This tour was perfect, reply promptly when I had question.
The sunset and the starry night are stunning, wanna go again.
The guide is super nice, I joined 12/22, but forget the guide's name (sorry)
He was really professional and full of knowledge with the stars and thanks him gave us a ride to hotel, we are really appreciated !! Wanna say thanks again :)
If I have the chance, I'll go again !


Rating:
Attended as:Friends
Activity Date:2016/12/22
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Beautiful Views

Reviewed by: NLKTravel, 2016/11/19

Pros: Our guide was very knowledgeable and I learned a lot. You go from sea level to about 13,800 feet, so remember to drink water. The views at 13,803 feet were beautiful. The observatories are interesting to see (from the outside). You observe stars with an 11" telescope at the visiter center parking lot. The guide points out stars/planets that everyone gets a chance to see. They give you jackets with gloves available.

Cons: It is a bumpy ride and some of the road is dirt. The "hot" meal was more of a box lunch. Bathroom breaks are limited. You do climb to 14,000', be prepared for the climate and altitude change. I was under the impression we could see more of the observatories, you only see them from the outside and are not allowed in.


  • Observatory at Mauna Kea

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2016/10/25
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Srargazing 2016

Reviewed by: CGTUR, 2016/06/20

Great tour, the guide was very knowlegable answering all questions put. The trip was worth every penny. The sunset seen from the summit was truly spiritual.


  • Sset !!!

Rating:
Attended as:Solo Travelers
Activity Date:2016/06/17
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Mauna Kea Summit Sunset & Stargazing Adventure

Reviewed by: Lon/Betsy Emelander, 2016/04/03

Well worth the long ride from Hawaii to the mountain. The guide was excellent and gave every one a look through the telescope multiple times. A once in a life time experience!

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2016/03/09
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Great tour

Reviewed by: Dave S., 2016/03/29

Great tour and great guide in Brett....very knowledgeable and entertaining...one comment is tour could be shorter by eliminating the dinner

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2016/03/24
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Great Experience

Reviewed by: Annette & Mike, 2015/06/19

Nate our tour guide was great! And extremely knowledgeable! Would recommend to all to experience not only the beautiful sunset but also the amazing stargazing!


Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2015/06/16
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Overjoyed!

Reviewed by: Marzia (Roma-Italy), 2015/04/15

Hawaii Forest and Trail stands for competence, professionalism, passion and respect for the environment they allow to see and for travelers. They really think and manage everything with great knowledge and kindness. I felt cared for in every way, even the chocolate cake! The lesson on the stars was fantastic and we all got to use the telescope. Every wish was realized. The only thing we had to do was to be overwhelmed by the mystical magic Mauna Kea!







Rating:
Attended as:Solo Travelers
Activity Date:2015/03/25
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Great Tour

Reviewed by: DanV, 2015/03/28

This tour was great including the tour guide Greg

The only part that was not good was the food. The food was terrible. There must be a place closer that make much better food.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2015/03/17
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Mauna Kea Summit - Excellent

Reviewed by: KSD2014, 2014/10/12

Jason was our guide, very knowledgeable and friendly. Amazing views from the peak, wonderful sunset and star gazing, even got to see the rings of Saturn. Dinner at deserted sheep farm was OK. Hotel pickup would have been nice.


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Attended as:Couples
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Sunset and stars

Reviewed by: Anne, 2014/08/17

Amazing sunset from the summit and a very informative evening all round. The meal en route was pretty average but the pause in the journey for the meal made the transition
to 14000 feet more manageable. The views are out of this world and it was a relief not to have to drive ourselves to and from the summit, even though on our trip the minibus broke down and it took an hour to get the replacement bus up to us. It was handled well though and overall was a very worthwhile trip.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2014/08/10
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summit

Reviewed by: Floyd Wilson, 2014/04/19

Trip was the best. Food was wonderful. Nate was super. Very knowledgeable. Learned so much. Thank you and we will tell all our friends.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2014/04/16
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Expected too Much

Reviewed by: JMC, 2014/01/31

Good organization but a rather long ride to the top. Stargazing was only so-so. I expected that we would see the stars through one of the observatories located at that top but instead, about 20 of us took turns looking through a kids reflective telescope. Not very exciting. Air is rare up there so be prepared for the possibility of altitude sickness.

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Attended as:Couples
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Great Trip on New Year's Eve

Reviewed by: Steve Frey, 2013/01/19

Our guide provided a trip filled with interesting history, fun facts, and a great stargazing discussion! Probably the best activity we did on our Big Island vacation.

Rating:
Attended as:Families with Young Children
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Travel Agent

Reviewed by: Mr. Anonymous, 2012/11/18

We had Nate as our tour guide, he did a wonderful job. We learned
about about the Hawaii, Observatories, and stars. He enjoys his job and it shows. Would recommend this tour to those in good health with no lung issues. It was amazing to be at 13,700+ feet.
Star gazing was fun with all the information presented.
Dinner was good. Would recommend this tour.




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Attended as:Couples
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Good trip that could have perfect

Reviewed by: Larry, 2012/09/19

The food was not very good this time. I didn't get the choice I requested on their website (beef) and instead got cold/dry chicken. I went with Forest and Trails since I used them for this tour the last time I was on the Big Island. The last time we stopped near the Ranger station and were allowed to go in and look at the exhibits, this time we parked in a remote corner and were too far away. The views were amazing and well worth the little issues that came up.

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Attended as:Families
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Great evening under the stars

Reviewed by: Lindsay, 2012/08/06

My husband and I enjoyed our afternoon/evening learning all about Mauna Kea and the journey up the mountain. Our tour guide was wonderful and knowledgeable.

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Attended as:Couples
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Expensive-drive if you can

Reviewed by: MEFDenver, 2012/07/23

My husband and I have driven in the mountains for 40 plus years but booked this because we were led to believe it was difficult to get a permit to go up to Mauna Kea Summit in a private vehicle. If you are used to altitude and drive in the mountains, don't pay for this. The meal was only so-so though I realize if you are not used to living at altitude you don't want a heavy meal when you do the ascent as you do not have the extra red blood cells most of us who live at 6,000+ feet carry. The guide was okay but on the highway he drove way too slow. It really was not worth the price to us. It would be great if it was the only way you would be at the summit as seeing the sunset there was awesome. Our driver led us to believe that rental car companies would not allow you to drive a rental car up it. But, when we returned our car to the airport to leave we found out that was not the case (at least with our company). There is part of the road that is unpaved but it was graded and r

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Attended as:Couples
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It's amazing sky!!!

Reviewed by: Mr. Anonymous, 2012/04/04

Nearly 14000 fts above sea level. You will able to see very beautiful sky!!! The tour guide has wonderful knowledge about stars positions. It's worth it.

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Attended as:Friends
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Saw the Most Stars Ever

Reviewed by: Tanya W, 2011/11/04

Overall, this was fun.The main guide was knowledgeable and really knew his constellations. One negative was they should have had the single guy sit by the guide and let my husband & I sit together.They both ended up yelling to each other across the aisle over me on the drive back.

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Attended as:Couples
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Unbelievable!

Reviewed by: Mr. Anonymous, 2010/01/15

The trip was just amazing! Our guide was very entertaining and knowledgeable. Would go back and do this again! Can't believe the view! This is one of the few trips we will never forget!

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Attended as:Couples
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I'll never look at the sky the same

Reviewed by: Brad, 2008/04/11

What a wonderful tour and an incredible and knowledgeable tour guide. We will never look at the stars in the same way. Don't miss this while on the Big Island, it's an awesome trip!

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Attended as:Families with Young Children
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Untitled

Reviewed by: Mr. Anonymous, 2008/03/20

Breath Taking Experience. Great Guide.


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Attended as:Couples
1 people find this helpful!
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I love this trip!

Reviewed by: SFBayArea, 2008/03/18

This was a wonderful, amazing tour! The sunset view from the summit of Mauna Kea is incomparable. I felt like I was standing on top of the world. The stargazing was also wonderful. I never saw the stars so clearly before. My tour guide was Buck, who gave us a great astronomy beginner's lesson. He also was very professional, and knowledgeable about other aspects such as the culture, history, and environmental ecology of the island. I highly recommend this trip to everyone. Bring gloves and a knitted cap--you will use them. The tour company will provide parkas. Cookies and hot chocolate before stargazing was a nice touch!

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Attended as:Friends
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Just do it.

Reviewed by: Merla Salongcong, 2007/10/19

Alltogether it was a great experience. Everything was so well organized. Our guide, Anne, is AWESOME! She's very knowledgeable about everything we saw that evening and her enthusiasm is very much appreciated and infectious. She made the whole experience even better! Thanks guys!

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Attended as:Friends
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Simply Amazing!

Reviewed by: Mr. Anonymous, 2007/07/27

Having grown up in Hawaii, I have grown very fond of Mauna Kea and it is definitely my favorite place to be. This trip, though pricey, is well worth the expense. When will you ever see both the North Star and Southern Cross in one place? And when will you ever feel like you can just reach out and touch the stars. The staff is very knowledgeable and willing to answer any questions and concerns. This is by far the best tour I have ever taken on the Hawaiian islands. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a unique adventure or anyone interested in the stars!

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Attended as:Friends
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