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  • Excellent68%
  • Very good23%
  • Average7%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible0%
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“saddle road”(8 reviews)
“wheel drive”(7 reviews)
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...more
Suggested duration: 2-3 hours
1437 Kilauea Ave, Suite 102, Hilo, Island of Hawaii, HI 96720-4200
+1 808-933-6965
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Reviews (117)
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All reviews saddle road wheel drive research facility lava fields sharp lava hiking trails visitor center the big island watch the sunset rental car gift shop take your time an adventure active volcano short hike lava tube parking lot
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1 - 10 of 97 reviews
Reviewed October 15, 2018

We hitch a ride to the summit as we were not allowed to drive in the car we had. the views at sunset were stunning especially looking back over to the volcano.It was extremely cold at sunset.

Date of experience: June 2018
1  Thank RossCSydney
Reviewed October 12, 2018

It is up high enough to be above the weather - and COLD. It was probably 48 degrees F, so wear a coat. The views are unbelievable. We did not go all the way to the summit, as a 4 wheel drive is required.

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank Rob R
Reviewed October 1, 2018

I drove up to the observatory in my rental car in June 2016. I was travelling solo and it was eerie driving through the clouds up Mauna Loa. It was still daylight when I got there so pulled on my socks and boots and walked...More

Date of experience: November 2017
2  Thank Lucinda M
Reviewed August 7, 2018

We were lucky that the day was pretty clear so had great views. The observatory is not always open, but we managed to get inside a viewing room. I was with 2 engineers so they were quite thrilled with this experience.

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank Dancebuff
Reviewed May 17, 2018

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

Date of experience: May 2018
Thank Mikchief
Reviewed May 5, 2018 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

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank BHorst
Reviewed April 1, 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

Date of experience: March 2018
4  Thank Renee C
Reviewed March 6, 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

Date of experience: March 2018
3  Thank IJS-64
Reviewed February 26, 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

Date of experience: February 2018
1  Thank Dennis K
Reviewed February 7, 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

Date of experience: February 2018
1  Thank PaulGCalifornia
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Questions & Answers
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Pamela B
April 3, 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.
Tijil A
October 5, 2017|
Response from Adventurer803262 | 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
dan h
March 19, 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