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Maunakea Visitor Information Station

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Mauna Kea Access Road, 6 miles uphill from the intersection of Route 200, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720
Phone Number:
+1 808-961-2180
09:00 - 22:00
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 09:00 - 22:00
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USD 186.46*
and up
Mauna Kea Voyage
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 1,301 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 723
  • 267
    Very good
  • 90
  • 18
  • 10
An amazing place staffed by knowledgeable, helpful individuals.

We were so impressed by our visit to Mauna Kea visitor center that we decided to come back for their stargazing presentation. It was without doubt one of the most interesting and... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Orlando, Florida
via mobile
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1,301 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,108: English reviews
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
20 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

We were so impressed by our visit to Mauna Kea visitor center that we decided to come back for their stargazing presentation. It was without doubt one of the most interesting and well done attractions we saw in Hawaii.

Thank Ricard1954
Rochester, Minnesota
Level Contributor
323 reviews
109 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

To the top -- once to explore and once for the sunset. Absolutely once in a life time experience to see the sunset from the top. Yes you need 4 wheel drive. Be sensible and careful, very doable. The visitors center was so so for us. Staff seemed over worked, not engaging and not to friendly. There is a view... More 

Thank RGTravelIng
Fairfax County, Virginia
Level Contributor
81 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

The star gazing here is top notch. Visitor Center staff offers free, guided gazing and telescopes for up close gazing. You can pay a company to take you up the mountain, feed you, give you parkas and get you to and from the summit or you can drive on your own to the visitor station with your own food and... More 

Thank Melissa D
Surrey, Bc
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

On the return leg of a day trip from Kailua-Kona to Hilo, we decided to pop up to the visitor centre for some star gazing. We got up there about an hour before sunset, had a chance to snoop around the gift shop. We were thinking about going for the 15 minute hike to watch the sunset, but none of... More 

Thank Paul H
Level Contributor
54 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We stopped here as advised in order to acclimate to the altitude. Not sure if it was necessary or not as we normally live at a higher altitude, but oh well... LOTS of people. The station is touristy and clearly set up to accommodate tour groups, of which there were plenty. The restrooms were good. The gift shop was overpriced... More 

Thank jbla32
Glen Gardner, New Jersey
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We (two couples) went to the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station at dusk. It is at 9200 feet elevation. The summit is nearly 14K feet, but we heard that you can see and enjoy the night sky better at the visitors station (no altitude issues). The sun was setting on the way up so we stopped to take pictures and... More 

3 Thank JeffOsowski
Ibiza, Spain
Level Contributor
194 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Be prepared for cold when you go up Maunakea. Temperature on visitor station at 2800 m is nevertheless quite higher than on accesible top of Maunakea. But if you will stay a quite longer time in Visitor Information Center and you will stay there while it gets night. The night is the star of the place. Telescopes are brought out... More 

2 Thank edmund s
Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
48 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is the spot to stop and acclimatize for a trek to the summit. They recommend at least a half hour at this elevation before continuing. Even if you don't continue to the summit, this is a great stop. The view from 9200 feet is spectacular and the silversword garden is a beautiful. There is a nice multimedia presentation inside... More 

1 Thank antikat
Neillsville, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

YOU'LL NEED: 4x4 (don't be crazy, just have a 4x4) warm clothes, sunblock, sunglasses, full tank of gas and water! Driving up this was really cool, the incline was insane, views were incredible, SUNSET is a must see! Don't miss THAT! Stay for the star gazing. ENJOY!

1 Thank opelt15
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This was quite the experience. Though we did the summit with a tour company. The visitors center is nice. They have hot water, lots of stuff to by, restrooms etc. At night they set up telescopes to view some cool stuff and do a very interesting star tour. Make sure to take deep breaths. It's high up :-)

Thank Alex F

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?