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.
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.
- 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
- Dinner choice of one of the following: Beef stew or vegan chili (gluten free)
- Assorted teas
- Hot chocolate
- Warm hooded parkas and gloves are provided
Amazing Sunset Views
Mauna Kea Summit Tour
Visit Mauna Kea Summit
- 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!
- All Guests Must:
- Proof that you are not under mandatory quarantine through the Hawaii Safe Travel Program or proof of completed 5 day quarantine (airline generated flight itinerary).
- Complete a Health Questionnaire and temperature check with contactless infrared thermometer completed prior to participation.
- Wear a face mask at all times in the vehicle and wherever social distancing is not possible.
Please bring your own water bottle for use on tour. Water bottles are available for purchase at Hawaii Forest and Trail and a jug will be available for refills.
- 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:
- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday
- 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.