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Maunakea Visitor Information Station

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Address: Mauna Kea Access Road, 6 miles uphill, 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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Mauna Kea Voyage
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Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small-Group Adventure Tour

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 1,229 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 686
  • 244
    Very good
  • 86
  • 17
  • 9
Worth the effort

We recommend arriving by 4:30 to watch the sunset and the video. Let me start by saying, this attraction is FREE so all of my criticisms should be taken constructively. The... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
Swati G
Key West, Florida
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1,229 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,042: English reviews
Level Contributor
148 reviews
130 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

We're glad its there and that it's free. But it would be nice to have some commercial restaurant here, a real coffee shop and better accomodations for those who want to handg around. The view would be great but no attempt is made to leverage it. There is no place to sit or relax, basically no services. They recommend staying... More 

Thank lmcq11
Key West, Florida
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

We recommend arriving by 4:30 to watch the sunset and the video. Let me start by saying, this attraction is FREE so all of my criticisms should be taken constructively. The Good: It's free. The sunset is great. We attending a Saturday evening lecture by an acclaimed astronomer, which is great for nerds. They provided hot water and cups if... More 

Thank Swati G
Hilo, Hawaii
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

The Mauna Kea Visitor station is a stop on the way to the top of Mauna Kea, the highest mountain in the world when measured from the base (under water) to the summit. You'll stop at the visitor center to acclimate to the thinner air on the way to top of the world. Mauna Kea is a sacred area to... More 

Thank Terri S
Hilo, Hawaii
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Nice and chilly great spot to rest, acclimate to the elevation have a cup of warm coffee use the restroom and enjoy some astronomy videos. If it's a decent day you may have a chance to visit one of the telescopes. Do be respectful of the protesting being done by the Hawaiians against another mega telescope that is trying to... More 

Thank 765matildak
Kelowna, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

The Centre provides an excellent film on the various telescopes that are on the summit; and has some smaller scopes that volunteers operate for visitors. Unfortunately it was very, very crowded, and the viewing scopes provided little more than my cheap costco scope. Be sure to dress warm, and expect wind and 45F temperature. Some silly people were wearing tank... More 

Thank wgb16
Asheville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

I hate to say it but I was disappointed. The visitor center needs to be about 6 times larger. There was a very long line so see a planet via the telescopes. The time spent waiting was peppered with "TURN OFF YOUR FLASHLIGHT!" and "DONT TOUCH THE TELESCOPE!" being shouted by upset astronomers who were put in a touch situation,... More 

1 Thank ashevillefab5
Mahwah, New Jersey
Level Contributor
78 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Helpful and informative. They set up telescopes for people to see Venus and Saturn. The view from the top of the mountain at sunset worth the tour. You will need time to get acclimated to the altitude, don't be a hero. Don't expect to drive it with your rental as if you break down it cost $200/mile on the dirt... More 

Thank PeterHa1
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
241 reviews
74 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is a must stop on the way to the summit so you can acclimitize and it has a good info movie but it is more tourist shop than information centre. There is very little "information" here. On your way down they offer a stargazing show which should complement your summit visit. Since everyone leaves the summit at the same... More 

2 Thank Tom P
Soda Springs, California
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The view is great from here but even better from the very top. You do need a 4 WD to make it all the way. You could see all around the island.

Thank Linda C
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Worth the long drive to get up there, minimal facilities but such a great experience for young and old.

Thank Chris D

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Maunakea Visitor Information Station and other visitors
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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?