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Mauna Kea Summit Stargazing & Sunset Adventure with Picnic Dinner

Best trip.

Reviewed by: Gcw, 2018/09/25

One of the best trips we have been on. JEFF was excellent both in the way he described the Island, his humour and knowledge.
Overall this created a memory that will last a life time.
We should also say that this trip would never have existed without pele. It made us realise how much we owe to nature and how much we take it for granted.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2018/09/22
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Very few places could match this experience

Reviewed by: Darra, 2018/07/29

Very few places could match this experience. The location; the slow climb up the giant sloping mountain. We went through rain, sun, even through a cloud; through the lava landscape, ranch lands and very bumpy rocky last stretch of road to reach the top! And wow it was a view from the top.
Be warned; it is very very cold; not what you expect from your Hawaiian break! You get nice warm coats from the tour group though (and later a little hot cocoa and brownie to keep you going!)
As the sun sets; you can see the mountains shadow on the other side; a glimpse of Maui and the glint of the sun off the telescopes preparing for their nights work. You can see the odd bit of movement as they open up. As soon as the suns down; its all go though. We have to leave the area quickly as the lights from the cars interfere with the telescopes (so no, there is no looking around inside them; if that is what you're hoping for in this trip!).
We move down slope a little to a good spot to see the huge expanse of clear, cloudless sky and the abundance of stars.
It is slightly interrupted with the brightness of the moon (so depending how long your stay is in Hawaii, plan for a darker night, unless you love the moon!); but not enough to stop us seeing nebula, planets and stars - its a really interesting spot to see both the northern and southern skies.
We did also spot a bit of the glow from the erupting volcano


Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2018/06/20
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Cool Views from the Top of the World!

Reviewed by: Ned from New Jersey, 2018/07/28

Our guide Jeff picked us up from the Pu'u Huluhulu Cinder Cone parking lot, at the base of the road up to the summit. We had a very nice pre-packaged dinner at the base camp, then rode up to the visitor center and onward to the observatories. A bumpy and steep ride, I was very happy to have an experienced driver at the wheel!
At the top the weather was cool and clear and good for viewing a sunset, then we went down to a slightly lower lot to view stars and planets through a good quality Celestron scope.... the clear air and high altitude really added detail! First time I have been able to make out the rings of Saturn, and four of Jupiter's moons were posing really well for us! Some really excellent deep space views too! Check out a cool image of the moon from the Celestron scope....

Highly recommended, especially if you live somewhere with so much haze and light pollution you don't get to see that stars that well!
Mahalo!!


  • A nearly full moon over Mauna Kea 27July2018

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2018/07/25
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Absolutely wonderful experience

Reviewed by: YOPPI, 2018/07/21

The tour guide Herald was very nice, friendly and knowledgeble on native hawaiian's culture, ecology and astronomy. We got to see a "natural planetarium" in the mountain including Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Venus. Coming from a big city we don't see stars in the sky, so the view was just breath taking and we were soooo glad we participated in the tour. I guess you can go to the summit and see stars on your own but I'd strongly recommend this tour. Because I think it will give you a whole new experience and view on the island and their culture.
Dinner was tasty too. I was expecting a lot less.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2018/07/13
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Family Trip

Reviewed by: Jon Milesky, 2018/07/16

This company was professional and went out of their way to make sure that everything was in place to make our trip first class. From calling the day before to confirm with us on meeting location and time to hot brownies at the end of the tour. Everything was great and the guide took the time to get to know us so she could make our experience the best it could be.

I would highly recommend this company.

Rating:
Attended as:Families
Activity Date:2018/07/11
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Great Experience - Great tour

Reviewed by: Athan, 2018/06/05

the views from the top of Mauna Kea are breathtaking, despite the cold. Jeff, our host was the best tour guide, funny, friendly and veru knowledgeable of the the tour and the history of the sites. All along the tour he would explain the site you are crossing and the topography.
The star gazing experience is somehting cool for someone neer seen into space before.

Brownies and hot chocolate at the end of the tour is the epitpomy of a great evening.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2018/05/28
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Wow!

Reviewed by: MTTravelers, 2018/03/07

This was one tour we will never forget! The views from the top of Mauna Kea are indescribable. You truly feel that you are on top of the world! The other positive parts of the adventure - the tour was well organize with attention to safety, tour guide Geraldo was very knowledgeable, the food was delicious and the others on the tour were a hoot to spend an evening with. If you go, be sure to dress warmly! The coats provided were great, but it was chilly prior to going up. We highly recommend this tour!

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2018/03/01
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Fantastic experience

Reviewed by: Christine S. , 2017/12/30

Our original trip was postponed due to snow on the summit of Mauna Kea but we rescheduled and had an unforgettable experience. Our guide Hank was great. As well as his astronomy expertise, he provided lots of information on Hawaiian culture. The views on the way up to the summit were spectacular. Great photographic opportunities of the sunset, views and night sky.
I would thoroughly recommend this trip.

Rating:
Attended as:Families
Activity Date:2017/12/04
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Excellent narration, food and drive

Reviewed by: Richard V., 2017/11/18

This was my second trip up to the summit of Mauna Kea for the Sunset & Stargazing Adventure. The drive up this time was smoother than the first, thankfully, and our guide was excellent. You could tell he was well-informed on all the topics he discussed. The catered Hawaiian dinner was very tasty, and in sufficient quantity to satisfy a good appetite. The only drawback this time was that the clock-drive on the telescope was not working, which took away from our ability to look at celestial objects at high magnification. I recommend this trip, and also that the tour company repair their clock drives!

Rating:
Attended as:Friends
Activity Date:2017/11/04
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Wow!!

Reviewed by: Curt, 2017/11/17

This was one of the best tours ever! The high lite was the star gazing, holy cow was it fantastic!

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2017/11/14
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Awesome trip

Reviewed by: Brad, 2017/11/15

We had a great time in our trip. Our guide jeff was fantastic and took the time to make sure everyone had a great night. Highly recommend this trip.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2017/11/12
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Almost Heaven

Reviewed by: Ralphg, 2017/11/12

If you have the opportunity to visit Hawaii and the big island is on your agenda, the tour to the top of Mauna Kea is a must do !! The journey up and down the mountain is exhilarating, the views on the way up, stunning and the views from the top at sunset - unforgettable!!!!
Of course the weather gods can have their say and you could be unlucky.
Very impressed by the capability of our driver Joe who also made our star gazing even more memorable with his explanations and knowledge. You will leave with an impression of how “special” it is to visit the top of Mauna Kea and with an understanding of why the Hawaiian people see it as a place to be treated with respect

Rating:
Attended as:Solo Travelers
Activity Date:2017/11/09
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Mauna Kea, awesome!!

Reviewed by: Andrea, 2017/10/22

Excellent, just do it, unforgettable experience!! Thanks to Hawaii Forest and Trail group, make sure your tour is through them, in fact make sure all your Big Island tours are through them, they are AWESOME!!

Rating:
Attended as:Solo Travelers
Activity Date:2017/10/19
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What an amazing experience!!

Reviewed by: Karen from MO, 2017/09/24

This trip was the highlight of our trip to the Big Island. We had a great time and enjoyed the experience immensely. I was a little disappointed when they called me that morning and told us the road to the summit was closed and we might not be able to go to the top. Since we were on a limited time schedule we decided to go anyway. Nate was our guide and picked us up in Kona. On the ride to Mauna Kea, he explained about the different kinds of lava flows and some of the myths about Pele. When we got to the sheep station, Nate set up our meal for us and explained about life as a sheep rancher on the island. He promised that if we didn't get to go to the summit, he would make sure we at least saw the sunset from another spot. Supper was very good and it was fun getting to know the other tourists with us. After we ate, we got the good news that the road had opened and we were able to go to the top. What a gorgeous sight!! We saw the sun set on one side and turned around and saw the full moon coming up on the other. After watching the sunset, we went back down to visitor center and did some stargazing. Nate was very knowledgeable about the constellations. We were able to see the rings around Saturn and other constellations that night. The hot chocolate and warm brownies tasted good after being up on the summit where it was pretty chilly! I would definitely recommend this adventure for anyone visiting the Big Island, If we are fortunate enough to return, we will be doing this again!! Thank you Nate for a great evening.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2017/09/05
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Joe!

Reviewed by: Nay, 2017/09/24

Joe was amazing!!! His passion for astronomy was so refreshing and we loved his poem at the end.

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2017/09/21
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Mauna kea

Reviewed by: EdL, 2017/09/04

All good. Hank was great. Zzzzxzzzzzzxxzxzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Rating:
Attended as:Couples
Activity Date:2017/09/01
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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.


Rating:
Attended as:Couples
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