Mauna Kea: A Stargazing Experience + Photos in waimea, HI

Epic Tours44-5400 Daniel K. Inouye HwyWaimea, HI 96743
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Avoid touristy areas and travel up the mountain of Mauna Kea to one of the most unique spots in the entire Solar System and gaze upon a show of the constellations and planets combined with our light effects. We will point out constellations, planets, space objects and hopefully some fast moving shooting stars.

up to 2 hrs 1 or more people

Good To Know

  • Comfortable pants and walking shoes are highly recommended
  • This tour tends to book up early, so it’s recommended to reserve your seats in advance
  • Not typically recommended for children under 10 years old
  • We will be at high altitudes (scuba divers be aware)
  • Persons with respiratory/heart conditions or those in poor health are not permitted on tour


from Mauna Kea: A Stargazing Experience
Journey to a remote stargazing location, far away from the touristy spots to truly enjoy the dark skies of Hawaii. All of Mauna Kea stargazing tours are led by James, an Analog-Astronaut and Pro Astro-Photographer.

Celestial objects and constellations will be pointed out with a powerful green laser pointer. Hear about James’ time spent as an Analog-Astronaut, ancient Polynesian navigation and more. View live details of deep space using the most sophisticated, light-sensitive camera/scope out of any company in Hawai’i. Take in awe-inspiring views of deep space objects like Galaxies and Nebulas that you didn’t know were possible!

Being a Pro Astro-Photographer on the Big Island and spending eight years as a guide, James knows the best spots and angles to take a few stellar photos of you with the Milky Way.

All medium resolution photos taken throughout the trip of deep space objects and of your group are included in the price.

Epic Tours is the only stargazing adventure in Hawai’i that doesn’t do stargazing tours when the moon is brighter than 20-30% and they also don’t go to touristy or culturally sensitive locations, which gives you the best stargazing experience possible.

Tour Highlights:
  • Led by an Analog Astronaut/Astro-Photographer.

  • Your photo-guides will take epic photos of you.

  • Look at galaxies, nebulas and star clusters through an Astro-cam.

  • Photos from your trip are given complimentary (upgrades are available).

  • Only Mauna Kea stargazing tour company that avoids the bright moon.

Meeting Location:
  • Mauna Kea State Recreation Area.

  • We will stargaze from altitudes below 9k feet on Mauna Kea or Mauna Loa.

  • Tour companies and private individuals are not permitted to stargaze at the summit. We have our own unique locations that we go to for epic stargazing. The summit is closed 45 minutes after sunset and solely for research and cultural practices.

About Your Guide:
  • James Ward is the owner/guide and Astro photographer for Epic Tours.

  • A company he started in 2013 on the Big Island of Hawaii.

  • Astronomy Major at the University of Hawaii.

  • Currently assisting as Mission Support for simulated moon and Mars missions at the HI-SEAS Habitat.

  • Formerly an Analog Astronaut and Vice Commander for the Sensoria M3 Moon Mission directed by the International MoonBase Alliance in collaboration with NASA.

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Mauna Kea: A Stargazing Experience is located at Epic Tours44-5400 Daniel K. Inouye HwyWaimea, HI 96743
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Frequently Asked Questions about Mauna Kea: A Stargazing Experience

What should I wear?

Comfortable pants and walking shoes are highly recommended.

 Can we drive our own vehicle to the location?

If you would like to caravan behind our tour, send us a message.

How many people fit in your “Mars Rover” Van?

We can take a maximum of 7 guests.

Can we go if we have health issues?

Persons with respiratory/heart conditions, mobility issues, limited vision, or those in poor health are not permitted on tour.

 Can we bring our children?

This tour is not typically recommended for children under 10 years old.

 How long is the tour?

This is a 2-hour photo trip. We take the photos; you take home the memories.

 Will we be traveling at high altitudes?

Scuba divers please note that we will be driving at high altitudes.


Will there be other tours out at the same time?

Since we are able to start later in the evening, we avoid almost all of the other tour companies, giving you a more private and unique experience.

When should we book?

Book your adventure on one of your first nights of your vacation, just in case we have to reschedule later in the week because of high clouds.