Mauna Kea Summit & Stars Adventure Tickets in Kona, HI

Hawaii Forest & Trail73-5593 Olowalu StreetKailua-Kona, Big Island, HI 96740
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Starting at
$255.00
INSTANT CONFIRMATION

Covid Policy: Please bring your own face mask if you plan on entering the Maunakea Visitor Center

Overview

Offered by Hawaii Forest & Trail, Maunakea Tour: Maunakea Summit & Stars Adventure offers an exciting experience for guests ages 13 and older to enjoy. The adventure includes a drive to the Mauna Kea summit to find picturesque views ideal for taking photos, a provided picnic-style dinner, a hooded parka and warm gloves, an interpretive guide of Hawaii’s spectacular cultural and geological history.

up to 12 people

Good To Know

  • Tour duration: 7-8 hrs round trip.
  • Recommended for ages 13 and over.
  • Parkas provided.
  • View a sea of night stars at a 9,000-foot summit.
  • Interpretive guide provides unique insight into the culture and geologic history of Hawaii.
  • Enjoy a private picnic dinner.
  • Please bring your own face mask if you plan on entering the Maunakea Visitor Center.

Description

from Big Island Mauna Kea Summit & Stars Adventure
The drive to the summit of Mauna Kea is one you'll never forget. It's hard to believe you're in Hawaii as you climb to 13,796 feet elevation above sea level. Once at the summit, you are afforded spectacular views of the horizon, Haleakala on Maui, Mauna Loa, Hualalai, and Mauna Kea's world-class array of telescopes. Mauna Kea is the world's tallest mountain, rising over 32,000 feet from the ocean floor to its summit, which is considered by many Hawaiians to be the most sacred place in all the islands.

Starting from their headquarters in Kona, you travel up the coast over desolate lava flows for about a half-hour before proceeding up the rolling pasturelands on the flanks of Mauna Kea. you arrive at the dinner location approximately 2 hours before sunset for a hot, picnic dinner served family-style. After dinner and with a winter-style parka in hand, you'll make the 45-minute drive to the summit. As you make your way up, you'll be fascinated by your Interpretive Guide's knowledge of Hawaii's remarkable natural, cultural, and geologic history.

After sunset, you descend to the Visitor's Information Station at 9000' elevation. Here you set up the telescope and have a stargazing party. Wrapped warmly in Arctic parkas, enjoying hot beverages and chocolate macadamia nut cookies, you will marvel at the brilliance of the Hawaiian night sky. Your Interpretive Guide will share with you stories of the world of the observable universe and offer you a personal and educational look at the heavens.

Please note: The tour time can change/fluctuate according to the time of the sunset.

Schedule:
Afternoon trips depart daily from Kona King Kamehameha Courtyard Marriott, Queen’s Marketplace in Waikoloa Beach Resort, and Paniolo Greens in Waikoloa Village. 7 to 8 hours round trip.

Included in the Tour:
Picnic-style dinner, assorted teas, hot chocolate, and dessert. Warm dinner selections of Beef Stew or Vegan Chili. Hot Chocolate and cookies are served for dessert.

Restrictions:
Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet, or muddy conditions. Because of altitude, this tour is not advised for those with respiratory, circulatory, or heart conditions, pregnancy, or poor health. Scuba divers should be aware of altitude dangers. No children under 13. Other tour restrictions may apply.

What to bring and wear:
Reusable water bottles, closed-toe shoes, long pants, and a sweatshirt or sweater Winter parkas and gloves are provided.
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Big Island Mauna Kea Summit & Stars Adventure is located at Hawaii Forest & Trail73-5593 Olowalu StreetKailua-Kona, Big Island, HI 96740
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Frequently Asked Questions about Big Island Mauna Kea Summit & Stars Adventure

Are guests allowed to go into the observatories?

Some observatories are open to the public daily until 4 PM. As our tour arrives after this time, the observatories are closed to visitors.


How cold is it at the summit of Mauna Kea?

Average mean temperature is freezing.


Is the vehicle ride bumpy and windy?

The access road to the summit of Mauna Kea is four-wheel drive only, so it can be bumpy. Our custom off-road motor coaches will get you to the top and back in safety and comfort.


What kind of telescope is used for star gazing?

 An 11” Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope will be used. 


What is the guide to guest ratio?

The maximum guide to guest ratio is 1:14.

How many guests do take up per night?

The permit allows for a maximum of 2 vehicles per night and our vans carry a maximum of 14 passengers.


Do we go up to Mauna Kea summit every night?

The tour goes every night, weather permitting.


Are children allowed on this tour?

Children under 13 are not permitted on this tour due to altitude.


Is there much walking/hiking on this tour?

There is minimal walking on this tour, the maximum being about 150 yards.


Will there be snow on our trip?

Snow is seasonal at Mauna Kea, with the heaviest snowfall occurring during the winter months.


What if it’s cloudy on Mauna Kea?

The summit of Mauna Kea is normally above the clouds. If the weather (clouds, snow, ice or high winds) cause us to cancel the tour, there is no charge, of course.