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Mauna Loa Observatory

1437 Kilauea Ave, Suite 102, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720-4200
+1 808-933-6965
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We are an atmospheric monitoring station that was established in 1956. Please visit our website to learn more about the atmospheric constituents that we monitor that can cause a forcing effect on our climate. We are a secure working facility with no unauthorized entry and we do not provide tours to the public. All Astronomy takes place on Mauna Kea and not on Mauna Loa so please make sure that your reviews are located under the correct attraction.
  • Excellent66%
  • Very good24%
  • Average8%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
“saddle road” (8 reviews)
“single lane” (2 reviews)
Suggested Duration: 2-3 hours
LOCATION
1437 Kilauea Ave, Suite 102, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720-4200
CONTACT
Website
+1 808-933-6965
Ways to Experience Mauna Loa Observatory
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Write a ReviewReviews (112)
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All reviews
"saddle road"
in 8 reviews
"research facility"
in 2 reviews
"single lane"
in 2 reviews
"sharp lava"
in 2 reviews
"visitor center"
in 7 reviews
"hiking trails"
in 2 reviews
"the big island"
in 9 reviews
"lava fields"
in 6 reviews
"observation area"
in 2 reviews
"access road"
in 2 reviews
"watch the sunset"
in 3 reviews
"four wheel drive"
in 2 reviews
"bucket list"
in 2 reviews
"active volcano"
in 3 reviews
"short hike"
in 2 reviews
"parking lot"
in 3 reviews
"lava tube"
in 2 reviews
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1 - 10 of 93 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

Must go if you are up for the trek. Get acclimated first, then drive safely and enjoy the sights not many people will ever see

Thank Mikchief
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

As noted there isn’t much to see at the top and no facilities. If you are a hiker it’s another six mile walk to the summit after an 18 mile slow, windy drive through lava fields But we liked the drive as an adventure in...More

Thank BHorst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2018 via mobile

As other reviewers have said, Mauna Loa is the other, less talked about very tall mountain on the island. The observatory is an atmospheric research facility, nothing to do with stars, and no public access. The reason to go here is the views from the...More

Thank Renee C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 6 March 2018 via mobile

The observatory is on Mauna Kea. The other mountain south of Mauna Kea is Mauna Loa. From the Saddle Road, which goes from the eastern side of Hawaii to the western side of the island, there is a road up to Mauna Kea. Along the...More

1  Thank IJS-64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2018

This is an experience you don't want to miss. The drive up to the observatory is challenging for the vehicle as your ascending from about 3500 feet above sea level to 9200 feet. But the drive is worth it. Make sure you have enough gas...More

1  Thank Dennis K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 February 2018 via mobile

Mauna Loa is a different Volcano from Mauna Kea or Kīlauea (by Volcano) so many of these reviews are confused. Most tourists do visit Kīlauea and some visit Mauna Kea and few Mauna Loa. That’s a pretty good order of their attraction and ease of...More

Thank PaulGCalifornia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2018 via mobile

This was a hilarious (and sort of dangerous) curvy drive that I would only recommend if you are looking to fill a spare 1.5- 2 hours before or after Mauna Kea. Don't make a special trip here. That being said, we really enjoyed the drive!...More

Thank anjnovotny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2018

This is the other summit of the island, at the south of Mauna Kea, and there is a single lane road that gets you there. The ascent is fairly long and we found a few geocaches along the way. It doesn't get to the top...More

2  Thank Taqulik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2017

Unfortunately, it was voggy (fog + volcanic stuff) when we arrived at the foot of the drive up to the observatory -- which is a mile or so before the drive up to Mauna Kea on the other side of the road when going East...More

1  Thank garbagecollector
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 September 2017

The drive to the top of Mauna Kea is long and bumpy; parts of it not paved, but it is so worth it. The views along the drive of the clouds below are remarkable. It is extremely windy at the top, so we took some...More

Thank AuntFifi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
Pamela B
3 April 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Renee C | Reviewed this property |
NO!!! If you want to look through a telescope go to the astronomical observatory on Mauna KEA. Mauna Loa is a different mountain with an atmospheric observatory and no telescopes.
1
Vote
Tijil A
6 October 2017|
Answer
Response from Mr&MrsAdventure | Reviewed this property |
There a good views from both mountains if it is a clear day but both are so different. From Mauna Loa you can see the observatories twinkling in the sunshine on Mauna Kea. You can only drive up to 11,000ft on Mauna Loa and... More
1
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dan h
19 March 2017|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from dan h | Reviewed this property |
Again,you guys are talking about wrong mountain. You all drove to Mauna Kea. This post is about Mauna Loa. I actually just made it up to Mauna Loa yesterday, it was several hours trip. Anyone can drive up to Kea, but Loa is... More
0
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