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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
Open now
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Sun - Sat 09:00 - 22:00
Book In Advance
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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 1,256 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 697
  • 255
    Very good
  • 87
  • 17
  • 10
Great Gift Shop and Ranger-Led Constellation Show

The Manuakea Visitor Center has a great gift shop (unusual gifts for avid constellation fans). After sunset you can enjoy a ranger-led informational talk on constellations (so... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
Munster, Indiana
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1,256 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,066: English reviews
Munster, Indiana
Level Contributor
132 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The Manuakea Visitor Center has a great gift shop (unusual gifts for avid constellation fans). After sunset you can enjoy a ranger-led informational talk on constellations (so beautiful in the dark sky) with large telescopes. The Big Island uses yellow lights, directed down, for their street lights to keep the lights low for the workers using the observatories on top...makes... More 

Thank Penny37357
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
181 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I even enjoyed the winding drive up the side of the volcano. After a day of hiking my daughters convinced me that we could make it up for sunset. We made it with 15 minutes to spare. The views were breathtaking. The crowds were large so stargazing meant a lot of waiting in line. Since this was the holidays they... More 

Thank Jeff P
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
55 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We opted for a night visit to Mauna Kea for star gazing. It was one of the more manageable bucket list items; and it was manageable at 44 degrees. Clear skies made it possible not only see the many stars (simply line up to peer through any of the telescopes set up outside facility) but to notice the blanket of... More 

1 Thank Imelda A
Cedarburg, Wisconsin, United States
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Whether your an amateur astronomer or just curious about the universe, this is a great way to learn about astronomy and experience the best star show in the world. Dress warm because it will be cold! Plan to stay at least 90 minutes past sunset for best viewing. The stars really start to pop at that point.

1 Thank Jim M
Level Contributor
70 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Interesting. Not for small children. Bathrooms are clean. Snacks and drinks available for purchase. Outside picnic area

1 Thank Brandi1970
Houghton, Michigan, Usa
Level Contributor
35 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We drove up to the visitor center as part of our sightseeing of the north end of Hawaii Island. I saw it three years ago as a stop during an excursion to the observatories, and wanted to take the family up to see the visitor center. It's interesting driving partway up the mountain. This trip it was very cloudy at... More 

2 Thank snyderkr1
Tracy, California
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Dragged my family in their warmest clothes up the mountain of Maunakea. They couldn't believe that it would be cold in Hawaii. Not only was it cold, it was freezing! Snow on top of the mountain and loaded in the back of trucks sitting at the visitors center. We arrived shortly after 6pm and they were moving telescopes out to... More 

2 Thank ladurant2982
Kansas City
Level Contributor
87 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Visitor's Center is the first stop before going to the Summit. It has big parking, gift shop, hot drinks stand, restrooms, several volunteers with their telescopes. Stargazing activity starts @ 5 or 6 pm and it gets very crowded.

1 Thank Ritochka
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

It is truly amazing to drive up here to 9200 feet and see all the weather disappear beneath you around 7500 feet. It rained all the way from Hilo, but we drove up the mountain into clear dry conditions above the clouds. We unfortunately arrived too late to see the sun set completely. The sun is blocked from the visitor... More 

1 Thank Jim C
Sunnyvale, California
Level Contributor
41 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Go twice: once in the morning and you can see the Silversword plants behind the visitor center building. Then go again at night to see the heavens and stars and the Milky Way. This place is a must to visit. Note: - the drive on Saddle Road at night can be very scary/exciting depending on how you view it. It... More 

1 Thank Boowicked

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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?