Mauna Kea Stargazing Tour & Summit Sunset Adventure, Big Island tours & activities, fun things to do in Big Island | HawaiiActivities.com

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Mauna Kea Stargazing Tour & Summit Sunset Adventure
SALE

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Lose yourself in the magic of Mauna Kea.

Journey to the highest peak in Hawaii for a spectacular sunset and stargazing tour with Mauna Kea Summit Adventures. Watch a Mauna Kea sunset from the summit then marvel at the glittering stars and planets through professional telescopes!

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Travel to the top of the Big Island in a luxury van and learn interesting facts about island geology and natural history from your knowledgeable guide. You’ll first stop at the Onizuka Visitor Information Station (VIS) to acclimate to the altitude and enjoy a delicious meal. Then get ready for the steep half hour ascent to the summit and watch the enchanting sunset from above the clouds! Back at VIS you can warm up with hot drinks as your guides interpret the fascinating night sky. Watch as the guides use lasers to point out constellations, star clusters, and other stunning celestial bodies. You can also look through Celestron telescopes to see planets and distant galaxies! This sunset and stargazing tour is unlike any other Big Island tour!

    Tour Highlights
  • Sunset at the summit: The most dramatic spectacle in Hawaii!
  • Guided stargazing with lasers and Celestron telescope at the Visitor Information Station
  • Duration: 7.5-8.5 hours
  • Pick-up Available from Kona International Market, The Queens Market Place, Saddle Road Junction (between Hwy 190 and 200) or Maunakea Recreation area
  • Dinner package includes a hearty portion of 3-cheese vegetable lasagna served with a big homemade chocolate brownie. Gourmet hot cocoa, coffee, and teas accompanied with biscotti while stargazing

Mauna Kea Summit Information:

Where does this activity take place? This dormant volcano is one of the only places on earth where you can drive from sea level up to the towering height of 13,796 ft. (4,205 m.) in about two hours.

What will the weather be like? Temperatures can sometimes drop below freezing and the Mauna Kea summit is one of the two locations in Hawaii where it can snow, with the other being the sister volcano Mauna Loa.

Although the weather can be cold, the clear icy air makes for incredible stargazing. The Big Island also has state regulations to limit light pollution so that stargazers and astronomers alike can see even more of the vast universe. These ideal conditions are the reason Mauna Kea summit is home to 13 observatories.

Is Mauna Kea a special place? In addition to its scientific significance, the Mauna Kea summit is a sacred place in Hawaiian culture and religion. The summit is regarded as the home of multiple deities and is revered as the birthplace of the Hawaiian Islands and its people. Please be mindful of both the scientific and cultural importance of the summit area by not disturbing the telescopes or archaeological sites.
For other details about Mauna Kea tours, or what to expect during Mauna Kea adventures, jump to our FAQ section.

To hear what others are saying, jump to our Mauna Kea stargazing reviews page.
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Price
Mauna Kea Sunset & Stargazing Tour (with Dinner)
1 Select a date
2 Select the amount (# of participants, vehicles, hours, etc.)
You can book a maximum of 9.
Adult/Child (Age 16 & over)
USD 235.00
USD 235.00
Instant Confirmation USD 0.00 USD 0.00
USD 0.00
USD 0.00
Total:
*The price is subject to change depending on the start time or add-on(s) you choose.
Adult/Child (Age 16 & over)
USD 235.00
USD 235.00
USD 264.32 11%off
USD 264.32 11%off
GE Tax included
Enjoy a Mauna Kea summit adventure complete with a hearty meal! The best way to avoid altitude sickness is to acclimate to the high elevation before going all the way to the summit, and to not go to the summit on an empty stomach. So on this tour you can enjoy a delicious meal at the Visitor Information Station (9,200 ft./2,800 m.) where you can also learn about the Mauna Kea Observatories.
Dinner Menu

Entree: three cheese, veggie lasagna

Dessert: homemade brownie

Beverages: water, hot tea, coffee, hot chocolate

Please note: If you have a group of 8 people or more, please call us at 808-690-9990 to make your booking.

  • Duration (incl. transportation): 4.5 - 8.5 hour(s)
  • Available: Daily
  • Schedule: for all packages
  • Pick-up: Available
  • Inclusion: Dinner / Parka / Hot cocoa / Coffee / Tea / Guide
Package detail / Schedule
Mauna Kea Sunset & Stargazing Tour (without dinner)
1 Select a date
2 Select the amount (# of participants, vehicles, hours, etc.)
You can book a maximum of 9.
Adult/Child (Age 16 & over)
USD 226.00
USD 226.00
Instant Confirmation USD 0.00 USD 0.00
USD 0.00
USD 0.00
Total:
*The price is subject to change depending on the start time or add-on(s) you choose.
Adult/Child (Age 16 & over)
USD 226.00
USD 226.00
USD 254.81 11%off
USD 254.81 11%off
GE Tax included
If you decide to book the standard package without dinner, you're welcome (and encouraged) to bring your own food. Or if you decide to eat before the tour, you'll have more time to check out the Onizuka Visitor Information Center. They'll have a solar telescope set up so you can safely look at the sun and potentially see sun spots or solar flares.
Please note: If you have a group of 8 people or more, please call us at 808-690-9990 to make your booking.
  • Duration (incl. transportation): 4.5 - 8.5 hour(s)
  • Available: Daily
  • Schedule: for all packages
  • Pick-up: Available
  • Inclusion: Parka / Guide
Package detail / Schedule
Schedule & Location
  • Schedule
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  • Pick-up
    Time & Location
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  • Drop-off
    Time & Location
  •  

  • 15:15-16:45 Pick-up from Kailua-Kona & Waikoloa
  • 17:00 Dinner at the Onizuka Visitor Center (1 hr)
    124725 Before sunset, enjoy a hearty meal at the Mauna Kea Visitor Center. Here you can see 3D models of the summit observatories, watch videos about Mauna Kea and the astronomical research going on at the summit, and look through a solar telescope.
  • 18:00 Sunset Viewing from Mauna Kea's Summit (1 hr)
    246227 Upon arrival at the summit your guides will provide a short presentation on the Mauna Kea observatories. Then you'll have approximately 20 minutes before and after the sunset to take in the panoramic views and walk around the giant telescopes.
  • 19:00 Mauna Kea Stargazing (1 hr)
    246207 After sunset, head back down to VIS for a stunning stargazing experience! Warm up with a hot beverage and watch as the guides use lasers to point out constellations and planets, then look through a Celestron telescope for a closer view.
  • 21:00-23:30 Drop-off
Notes
Restriction(s)
  • All Packages
    • Guests who are pregnant are not permitted to participate in this activity.
    • Participants may not scuba dive within 24 hours of this activity due to the risk of decompression sickness.
    • Persons who are obese (Body Mass Index of 40 or over) should not make this trip.
    • Participants with any history of a respiratory problems (this includes pneumonia in the last 6 months, any lung conditions or surgeries) are not permitted to take this tour. Contact your physician if you have questions about traveling to this altitude.
    • Participants with any history of heart problems (this includes ANY heart surgery, stent, pacemaker, heart valve irregularities etc.) are not permitted to take this tour. Contact your physician if you have questions about traveling to this altitude.
    • Wheelchair Accessibility: Tour vehicle is not equipped with a lift. Must be able to get into the van with assistance, storage available for collapsible wheelchairs. Please indicate during booking for most convenient arrangements.
    • This activity is not wheelchair accessible.
    • People 16 years old and above can participate in this activity.
Required Items to Bring & Attire
  • All Packages
    • The average temperature on top of Mauna Kea is 30°F and wind is common. Please wear long pants and closed toed shoes and bring any layering garments you may have.
Requirement(s) - Others
  • All Packages
    • Please call the activity provider the day before to reconfirm your booking. Your voucher has the necessary contact information listed.
Additional Note(s)
  • All Packages
    • The activity schedule is subject to change or cancellation due to weather or traffic conditions.
    • The menu is subject to change without notice.
    • Drinks are available for purchase.
    • Road closures due to high winds near the summit may happen in the winter. If a road closure is discovered en route a shorter version of the tour will continue and guests will receive an $80 refund per person. If a road closure is discovered before departure, guests will be contacted and given the option to cancel at no charge or receive the $80 refund per person and still participate on an shorter tour. If you cannot be reached, your booking will be canceled and you will be given a full refund.
    • Beverages & snacks are available for purchase at Mauna Kea Visitor Center, but you are welcome to bring your own beverages if you want (no alcohol).
Booking Requirements (# of participants, vehicles, hours, etc.)
  • All Packages
    • You can book a maximum of 9.
FAQ
Expand all
What will we see on this tour?
  • While driving up Saddle Road you'll have panoramic views of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Along the road you'll see black lava rock formed by Mauna Loa's eruptions in the last two hundred years. From the Mauna Kea Access Road you'll see many volcanic cones that once spewed lava. You will also get to watch the sunset over these volcanic slopes. At the summit you will see thirteen telescopes that make up the Mauna Kea Observatories (the observatories are closed to the public but you might get to see the domes open after sunset). At the Onizuka Visitor Information Station you will get to look through a solar telescope, watch a video about Mauna Kea and the observatory, and after sunset this is where the stargazing magic happens. The guide will operate a computerized Celestron telescope through which you can see stars, planets, distant galaxies, and the moon.
Will we get to look through the big telescopes on Mauna Kea?
  • No, the observatories have very limited public access. However, you might get to see the domes open after sunset.
Will there be any health risks linked to going up Mauna Kea?
  • Mauna Kea has 40% less oxygen than sea level and 40% less air pressure. This drop of vital oxygen can cause serious problems for persons with heart or lung issues, children, and women who are pregnant. Visitors in good health are also susceptible to altitude sickness and should use caution and abide by all rules and regulations of the tour. Next to having a good time, safety is the number one priority.
What type of vehicle will be used?
  • Built for comfort, the 14 passenger 4v4 Van Terra micro-coaches are equipped with air conditioning, stereo sound, PA, phone, first aid and oxygen, parkas, and a telescope. Each van can hold up to 14 people.
Will we be guaranteed to see stars?
  • Mauna Kea enjoys an average of 325 clear nights per year. Most of the inclement nights are easily predictable. The weather is monitored on a daily basis and if poor scenic conditions are likely, the trip will be cancelled and a full refund given (or reschedule if available). Like any high mountain there can be unpredictable and fast changing weather at any time.
What is the dinner menu?
  • The dinner consists of a hearty 3-cheese vegetable lasagna with a tasty homemade chocolate brownie (the brownie may have nuts). Ingredients in the lasagna vary from day to day based on local availability and season, and may include Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, Asiago cheese, garlic, onion, corn, spinach, broccoli, carrots, sun-dried tomatoes, squash, mushrooms and more.

    This is currently the only dinner option but you are more than welcome to bring your own food if you would prefer something else. There is a microwave and hot water at the Visitor Information Station.
What kind of equipment will be used?
  • Your guides will provide you with new Celestron CPC 1100 telescopes that are equipped with Starbright XL coatings for 10% more light throughput than ordinary instruments. These scopes are computer automated and have spectacular optics. Because they are bigger and have better optics they gather about 100% more light than telescopes used on other tours.
What jackets sizes are available?
  • The jackets sizes are as follows:

    Small ~145 lbs and under / ~63.5 kg
    Medium 140~175 lbs / ~77 kg
    Large 170~210 lbs / ~90.5 kg
    XL 200~260 lbs / ~ 113 kg
How far in advance should I book this activity?
  • We recommend booking at least 3 weeks in advance. If you have very specific schedule requirements and are not flexible, please book sooner. Last-minute bookings are often possible, but availability is limited.
How cold does it get on Mauna Kea?
  • Average temperatures can reach 32° Fahrenheit or 0° Celsius.
Please click HERE to send an inquiry about this activity
Payment/Cancellation policy
Payment type
Credit card payment
Cancellation Policy
  • Any cancellations made after 18:00, 2 business days prior to the activity will be subject to a charge of 100% of the total amount. (Parties of 4 or less)
    Any cancellations made after 18:00, 3 business days prior to the activity will be subject to a charge of 100% of the total amount. (Parties of 5 or more)
    Any cancellations made after 18:00, 1 week prior to the activity will be subject to a charge of 100% of the total amount. (Parties of 8-10)
    Any cancellations made after 18:00, 2 weeks prior to the activity will be subject to a charge of 100% of the total amount. (Parties of 11 or more)

After your booking is confirmed, be sure to print your voucher and bring it with you on the day of your activity.

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From USD 226.00
From USD 226.00

Taxes & fees included

1% Reward Points
(4.77/5.00) 4.77 / 5
(66 reviews)

Pick-up Available
Duration incl. transportation 4.5 - 8.5 hour(s)
Availability Daily
Meal Dinner

LATEST 5-STAR REVIEWS

View from the Visitor Information Station, 9k feet elevation.
by: MsTravelGal
I wouldn't give this tour five stars...I give it as many stars as there are in the Mauna Kea sky! This tour was easily the highlight of our trip on the Big Island! We enjoyed every minute of it. The s...more
This Mauana Kea summit and stargazing tour was phenomenal. The first stop is at the visitor center around 9k feet elevation. Here you can look through a couple telescopes, walk through the museum, and...more
This was truly a ‘bucket list’ experience. Our guide Travis shared his encyclopedic knowledge of t...more

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USD 226.00 ~
4.77 / 5
Mauna Kea Stargazing Tour & Summit Sunset Adventure
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