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Mauna Kea Summit Hawaii Tours


Hawaii Forest & Trail - Mauna Kea Summit Hawaii Observatory Tour

Please note: Due to the popularity of this tour, please call us at 866-482-9775 to check availability if booking within the next month. Tour participants must be at least 16 years old to go to the summit.

ALTERNATE TOUR INFORMATION:  During the Mauna Kea Thirty Meter Telescope protest this tour will follow an alternate route. 

Alternate Route:

  • Sunset & star show on Mauna Kea
  • No visit to the summit or visitor's center
  • Alternate sunset location is at nearly 8,000 ft elevation up a 4WD road where no other companies have access to.  This spot is home to endangered native species like the Palila
  • The sunset location features sweeping views of the Kohala and Kona coasts and the guide will find the best stargazing location possible based on the evening's weather conditions.
  • Drop off times will be about 15 to 30 minutes earlier than the usual tour.

On Mauna Kea Observatory Tours experience a sensational sunset from 13,796 feet above sea level at the Summit of Mauna Kea.  Next you will stargaze at the 9,200 ft level at the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy. The Summit of Mauna Kea has the world's largest and most sophisticated telescopes.  It is also famous for its snow-capped mountaintops during the winter months.

Most visitors are humbled on Mauna Kea Summit Tours.   It is easy to understand once you see the giant Kilauea caldera and smell the sulfur in the air. It is amazing to think that a Big Island rainforest is right next to Hawaii Volcano National Park.

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 Maunakea, 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
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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!
Guests must be 16 and older to go the summit part of this tour. Please call us at 866-482-9775 if you still wish to include a guest younger than 16 on the tour.
They can go but any guest younger than 16 and an adult chaperone must stay behind and wait for the tour to get back from the summit which can take about 2 hours or a little longer.
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:
Approx. 7-8 hours roundtrip
Hawaii Forest and Trail
Big Island
Max. of 14 guests per tour
Hooded parkas and warm gloves are provided. We utilize an 11 Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope for stargazing.
Total : $0.00

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