Tours and Tickets

Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small-Group Adventure Tour provided by Hawaii Forest and Trail

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Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small-Group Adventure Tour

COVID-19 update: See the added health and safety measures this experience is taking.Read more
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2 adults
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Travel safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during this experience
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Face masks required for travellers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Hand sanitizer available to travellers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
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Updated 30/06/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
A note from Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small-Group Adventure Tour
We have developed an approach that introduces a new standard of cleanliness and disinfection to ensure our guests enjoy an even cleaner and safer experience. Implementing strict protocols and using the latest disinfection technology, updated continuously to current State and Federal Guidelines.
Read more
Updated 30/06/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
Travel up Mauna Kea for a small-group sunset and stargazing tour by luxury 4WD van. Leave the off-road drive to the pros, and ride from Kona or Waikoloa to a historic Hawaiian ranch for a picnic dinner. Continue to the Big Island's tallest peak for sunset, then use powerful telescopes to observe constellations from Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station. Hear commentary from your guide, and keep warm with the provided jackets and hot chocolate.
  • You'll start at
    Hawaii Forest & Trail Kona Headquarters
    Or, you can also get picked up
    See Important Information for details
  • 1
    Hawaii Forest and Trail
    Stop: 15 minutes - Admission included
    See details
  • 2
    Mauna Kea Summit
    Stop: 30 minutes - Admission included
    See details
  • 3
    Maunakea Visitor Information Station
    Stop: 45 minutes - Admission included
    See details
  • You'll end at
    Hawaii Forest & Trail Kona Headquarters
    73-5593 A, Olowalu St, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
    Tour departs from Hawaii Forest & Trail, 73-5593 Olowalu Street #A, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
    See address & details
  • Small-group full-day Manua Kea sunset and stargazing tour
  • Use the powerful telescope to view the stars from Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station
  • Warm up with the provided hooded jacket, and a hot picnic dinner, cocoa, and dessert
  • Small-group tour limited to 14 participants ensures a personalized experience
What to Expect
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.
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Important Information
Departure Point
Hawaii Forest & Trail Kona Headquarters, 73-5593 A, Olowalu St, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
Return Details
Returns to original departure point
  • Guide
  • Hooded parkas and gloves
  • Hot picnic dinner
  • Hot cocoa and cookies
  • Private star show with telescope
  • Local taxes
  • Select Hotel/Resort Pick-up & Drop off
  • Entry/Admission - Hawaii Forest and Trail
  • Entry/Admission - Mauna Kea Summit
  • Entry/Admission - Maunakea Visitor Information Station
  • Gratuities
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Additional Info
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Minimum age is 16 years
  • Due to the high altitude; this tour is not suitable for those with respiratory, heart or circulatory conditions, poor health, or pregnancy
  • Scuba divers should be aware of altitude dangers
  • Please advise your parka size (small, medium, large, x-large or xx-large) and choice of meal (Beef Stew or Vegan Chili -Gluten Free) at time of booking. If you do not indicate this at the time of booking, you will be required to call and advise them of this information directly.
  • There is minimal walking on this tour, the maximum being about 150 yards
  • We recommend that guests wear closed-toe walking shoes or hiking boots, long pants and bring a light sweatshirt or jacket
  • The access road to Mauna Kea is four-wheel drive only, so it can be bumpy. The custom off-road transit vans will get you to the top and back in safety and comfort. The transit vans can carry a maximum of 14 passengers
  • Snow is seasonal at Mauna Kea, with the heaviest snowfall occurring during the winter months
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Not recommended for travellers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travellers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travellers. If it’s cancelled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 9 travellers
Cancellation Policy
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Traveller rating
  • 277
  • 34
  • 12
  • 6
  • 8
Traveller type
Time of year
Popular mentions
Kelsey wrote a review 10 Jan
Los Angeles, California4 contributions2 helpful votes
Had a great (and chilly) time on the Mauna Kea Summit tour. Justin was a fun and knowledgeable guide. We had delicious food at the visitor center stop, as well as at our star-gazing stop. It is quite cold at the summit. They nicely offer jackets and gloves as well as blankets.
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Date of experience: December 2020
Bart K wrote a review 6 Jan
Indy3 contributions
We thoroughly enjoyed the Mauna Kea summit and stars tour. Our guide Jeff did an excellent job and kept us informed and entertained during the drive up. We learned about the history, culture and geologic events associated with the island, the Hawaiian people and the volcanoes.
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Date of experience: January 2021
Stephen SK wrote a review 3 Jan
Raleigh, North Carolina5 contributions1 helpful vote
Just got back from 2 weeks on the Big Island and this was a highlight. Justin was a very experienced guide and was well-informed. Good level of safety precautions for COVID. Glad we went with a tour - got so much more out of the experience!
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Date of experience: December 2020
dscott52 wrote a review 1 Jan
Scottsdale, Arizona4 contributions
Justin our guide was fabulous, very informed. Spectacular views! Much better experience with professional guide verses doing it on your own!
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Date of experience: December 2020
Usha K wrote a review Dec 2020
North Potomac, Maryland6 contributions1 helpful vote
Enjoyed the tour with Jeff on a full moon day-saw the sunset and moon rise together. Very informative tour. Had a great time and will recommend to everyone. The stops along the way prepared us for the height at the summit. Thank you Jeff!
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About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

By: Hawaii Forest and Trail
Kohala Waterfalls Adventure - Perfect Tour
My husband and I, who live in Kona, signed up for this tour, which was selected by my brother and his fiancee (now
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Beyond Expectations Every Time
Over many trips to the Big Island I have relied on Hawaii Forest and Trail to explore, in depth, the gifts this va
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Andrew T
Amazing Tour!
Taj was incredible. He was so knowledgeable - from the moment we got on the van he answered all of our questions. T
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Michelle D
Awe Inspiring assent to Mauna Kea Sunset/Star Gazing Experience
While we could take the trip independent of a tour company, we chose to have an experienced company take us up to M
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Fantastic Tours!
We did both the Volcano Unveiled Tour and the Waterfall Hike and Swim tour. We had an excellent time on both. The
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Fantastic crater adventure!
We have taken many tours with Hawaii Forest and Trail, but this was the first time on the Hidden Craters Tours. Tr
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Volcanoes unveiled
Great time! The guide Taro was full of information. We were lucky to be there at the time of the eruption and see t
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Outstanding Tour of Mauna Kea sunset
What an unforgettable New Year's Eva atop Mauna Kea! Our driver Jeff Manzo was very helpful, couteous and well-info
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We are fortunate to have been able to see the stunning glow of the most recent eruption. Taro was an excellent, kno
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5-star service!
Extremely clean shuttle, small group size (8 ppl), great tour guide (Taro) and learned a lot about volcanos. Taro r
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Overpriced and poor value
Let me start by saying our tour guide was amazing. Very knowledgeable and a great guide. Our disappointment stems f
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Yilun X
One of the highlights of hawaii trip
Highly recommend it for big island, we saw one of the most beautiful sunsets and stargazing experience was amazing.
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Great Day
The Tour was a great experience. It was a full day of hiking and seeing the beautiful site. it was very adventuro
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Friendly staff and warming gift shop
An excellent place for your trail needs. They have lots of gear in stock and great tours off all kind. They are als
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Experience you and the universe
We did a star gazing tour atop Mauna Kea on Valentine's Day 2020 - about a week after our wedding in Honolulu. Our
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Key Details
  • Duration: 8h
  • Mobile Ticket Accepted
  • Free Cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
  • Instant Confirmation
  • Pickup offered
  • Languages Offered: English
Why Book on Tripadvisor?
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
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Frequently Asked Questions about Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small-Group Adventure Tour