We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Maunakea Visitor Information Station

Mauna Kea Access Road, 6 miles uphill from the intersection of Route 200, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720
+1 808-961-2180
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small-Group Adventure Tour
Why Book on TripAdvisor?
  • Tour highlights & full itinerary
  • Easy online booking
  • Lowest price guaranteed
More Information ›
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
  • Excellent65%
  • Very good24%
  • Average9%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“star gazing” (147 reviews)
“night sky” (98 reviews)
“mauna kea” (181 reviews)
Open Now
All hours
Hours Today: 12:00 - 22:00
Mauna Kea Access Road, 6 miles uphill from the intersection of Route 200, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720
+1 808-961-2180
Write a ReviewReviews (1,485)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More languages

1 - 10 of 1,260 reviews

Reviewed 2 days ago

I had read reviews that we should arrive early, so we got there at 4:30. That was probably a bit too early, but it took a while to adjust to the higher altitude, so I was glad that we did. Some of our group went...More

Thank vamotherof4
Reviewed 3 days ago

This mountain where the observatory is you can actually ski and snow board during times when there is snow on the mountain which is pretty cool for a tropical island. It is also an amazing spot to just sit and watch the stars.

Thank tomtaylor2004
Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile

Great place to get information about the observatory. They had a telescope set up, saw sun spots. We also drove up to the observatory areas at Mauna Kea and watched the sunset. Beautiful. Definitely need a 4wd vehicle.

1  Thank travelsnearandfar
Reviewed 1 week ago

My wife and I visited, after being acclimatized to sea level for a week. So promptly riding up to 9K+ feet left us in a fog, and a little dizzy, and some other stuff. So be careful. In spite of being so high, there is...More

Thank ggbonner
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We went to the Visitor Station to watch the sunset and go to the stargazing program. We could not go to the summit because we had little kids and didn't have a 4WD. To view the sunset we hiked up a nearby hill. It was...More

Thank beentie
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Full disclosure, I am a mountain person. I am trying to summit the highest points in each of the lower 48 and couldn't resist an excuse to climb to the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii's highpoint. This was #33 and not like any other mountain...More

Thank climb48
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

It is very small building, there is a video about Mauna Kea. There are rangers who give you more information about Humuula trail and also about road up to the hill. I would expect this centre to be better.

Thank Jan M
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We did not have a 4wd vehicle so we had to stop at the visitor center. Still, the drive up on the saddle road is impressive (if you are coming from Waimea, take the saddle road as soon as you can). Once you turn off...More

Thank marchiquita
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Our trip to the visitor center for the Friday night stargazing show was one of the highlights of our trip to the Big Island. The stargazing is stunning, and we got to see Saturn through a telescope and the Fireworks Galaxy and it's supernova on...More

Thank fand
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Only one word sums up this experience...Wow! This is a must do and best of all, it’s free! Great videos, friendly and knowledgeable staff, sky viewing through the telescopes and the laser tour of the stars all make for a fantastic evening. You will be...More

Thank Denise M
Nearby Restaurants
Hawaiian Vanilla Company
186 reviews
30.37 km away
Papaaloa Country Store & Cafe
41 reviews
34.62 km away
Gramma's Kitchen
216 reviews
35.68 km away
Donna's Cookies
44 reviews
32.20 km away
Nearby Attractions
Mauna Kea Summit
3,717 reviews
7.22 km away
Mauna Kea State Recreation Area
92 reviews
7.48 km away
Mauna Kea
246 reviews
7.27 km away
Ask a question
Questions & Answers
d h
I’m planning on going to Hawaii in December 2017. Is going to the Visitor Information Station (VIS) worth it, without visiting the summit? Does it matter for the VIS if you’re there during the day only, or if is it better if you’re there at dark? (I’m not bringing my own telescope). Is it regular practice to ignore the rental contract and just drive to the summit if you know how to drive mountain roads (weather permitting)? Basically, I don’t want to take the time to drive up the mountain road and only look at a kiosk. If the VIS is just a kiosk, with no view, I’d rather go the summit. If I can’t do that, I’d just skip it altogether, I have mountain views at home :) As background, I’m from Colorado and drive in the mountains frequently. I have no qualms about driving 2WD vehicles on gravel, steep, narrow roads - in good conditions. I really understand that wet, snowy or icy conditions (and night) changes things dramatically, as does roads with crazy steep inclines, large boulders, and bad weather, will make any trip high-clearance 4WD vehicle worthy.
7 December 2017|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from MammaLax | Reviewed this property |
Go to the Visitor Station and Go for a Sunset! They have telescopes and guides who do a great job giving a night sky presentation. We ate ramen noodles, hot cocoa and coffee for dinner, purchased at the gift shop, and it was... More
Cee G
26 October 2017|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from Beth C | Reviewed this property |
I agree with Brad W. However, I wouldn't count on anyone bringing their personal telescope and would bring your own.
30 August 2017|
AnswerShow all 15 answers
Response from wgregbraun | Reviewed this property |
If you are going to the visitor center any decent rental car will make it there...you need a four well drive to onward to the summit Bring warm clothes and arrive a half hour before sunset so you can enjoy that...there is... More