8 hrs
Minimum Age
Big Island

Mauna Kea Summit & Stars

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Our journey from sea level to the slopes of Maunakea reveals the wonders and world-class clarity of the Hawaiian night sky.

Enjoy a picnic dinner
Your guide will share historic accounts of early travelers through the mountain lands
Delight in the awe-inspiring sunset over the Pacific
Sip hot chocolate during your private starshow with an 11” Celestron telescope

Around 7 to 8 hours.

Easy to Moderate.

Afternoon trips depart daily from Kona King Kamehameha Courtyard Marriott, Queen’s Marketplace in Waikoloa Beach Resort, Paniolo Greens & Island Lava Java in Waikoloa Village. 7 to 8 hours round trip.

Please note that this tour has a late return time, be sure to have return transportation confirmed and scheduled from your designated pick-up location

What’s Included
Picnic-style dinner, assorted teas, hot chocolate, and dessert. Warm dinner selections of Southwest Stew or Vegetarian Chili (vegan, gf). Hot Chocolate and cookies served for dessert.

Gear Provided
We provide warm wear including, hooded parkas and gloves.

What to Bring & Wear
Reusable water bottle, closed-toe shoes, long pants, and a sweatshirt or sweater.
Please bring your own face mask if you plan on entering the Maunakea Visitor Center

Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet or muddy conditions. Because of altitude, this tour is not advised for those with respiratory, circulatory, or heart conditions, pregnancy, or poor health. Scuba divers should be aware of altitude dangers. No children under 13. Other tour restrictions may apply.

Maunakea Summit & Stars

Ages 13 and older.
  • Customers will receive a full refund with 24 hours notice of cancellation.
  • Private tours: Customers will receive a full refund with 72 hours notice of cancellation.

Cancellations within the cancellation period and “no-shows” will be charged the FULL AMOUNT of the tour.

Are guests allowed to go into the observatories?

There are currently no observatories open to the public.

How cold is it at the summit of Maunakea?

The average mean temperature is 32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 Celsius.

Is the vehicle ride bumpy and windy?

For safety reasons the access road to the summit of Maunakea requires a four-wheel drive, so it can be bumpy. Our custom off-road motor coaches will get you to the top and back as comfortably as possible.

What kind of telescope is used for stargazing?

We utilize an 11” Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.

What is the guide to guest ratio?

Our maximum guide to guest ratio is 1:14.

How many guests do you take up per night?

Our permit allows for a maximum of 2 vehicles per night, and our vehicles carry a maximum of 14 passengers each.

Do you go up to the Maunakea summit every night?

We go every night, weather permitting.

Are children allowed on this tour?

Children under 16 are not permitted on this tour due to altitude.

Is there much walking/hiking on this tour?

There is minimal walking on this tour, the maximum being about 150 yards.

I would like to see a specific astronomical event from the summit. How can I arrange this? 

Check out  Bishop Museum – Astronomy for upcoming celestial events, and whether they will be observable in the Hawaiian sky.

Will there be snow on our trip?

Snow is seasonal at Mauna Kea, with the heaviest snowfall occurring during the winter months.

What if it’s cloudy on Maunakea? 

The summit and visitor center areas of Maunakea are generally above the clouds. Due to our high demand for this experience and the constraints of our permit, we are often unable to reschedule guests when cancellations occur. Therefore we try to avoid canceling tours if we can safely reach the visitor’s center and/or summit. Conditions constantly change on the mountain, and the weather is part of the adventure.

Can I join the tour from Hilo? 

This tour only departs from Kona; our dinner location does not allow private vehicle parking, and there is no safe and legal place for you to leave your vehicle along the Saddle road late at night. Additionally, our permit does not allow guests to meet us at the Maunakea Visitor Information Center.

Maunakea Summit & Stars