Meet your guide at a central location in Kailua-Kona or Waikoloa, then relax in the deluxe 4WD van as your small group heads to a ranch at the base of Mauna Kea.
At the ranch, sit down for a hot picnic-style dinner (sample menu under Itinerary below). After dinner, your guide provides a warm jacket with hood to help keep you warm at the Mauna Kea summit. Return to the van for the ascent to the summit, learning from your guide about the Big Island's natural and cultural history along the way.
When you reach the summit, enjoy views of the sunset, Mauna Loa, the Haleakala volcano on Maui, and other landmarks. Then drive down to the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station at 9,000 feet (2,743 meters), home to more than a dozen international observatories that draw scientists from around the world.
Your guide sets up a telescope and provides an astronomy lesson as you star gaze. Stay warm with hot drinks and dessert before returning to Kona at the end of your tour.