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Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Tour



Current Rate: Adults: $199; minimum age for this tour is 16.

Join the professionals of Hawaii Forest and Trail on an intriguing and provocative journey through space and time. On your way to the 13,796' summit of Mauna Kea you will learn about the remarkable evolution and changes the Hawaiian islands have experienced. On the way up the mountain the tour stops at a historic ranch outpost features a hot, picnic style dinner. After dinner the tour continues to the summit of the world’s tallest volcano for a sensational sunset view. Stand in awe amidst the largest collection of telescopes on earth witnessing some of the most dramatic scenery you’ll ever experience. 

The drive to the summit of Mauna Kea is one you'll never forget. Once at the summit you are afforded spectacular views of the horizon, Haleakala on Maui, Mauna Kea's world-class array of telescopes and the famous Mauna Kea sunset. At the summit, you'll experience the spirtiual energy of what many Hawaiians believe to be the most sacred place in all the islands. At the summit you'll stand on top of the world's tallest mountain which rises from the ocean floor to over 31,000 feet high. In your hooded parka you'll stand in awe at both natures sublime creation and man's astonishing technological achievements.


After sunset the tour descends back down to the 9000’ elevation next to the Visitor's Information Station. Your Interpretive Naturalist Guide will set up a telescope and reveal the wonders and world-class clarity of our Hawaiian night skies sky. Wrapped warm in Arctic parkas, with hot beverages and chocolate macadamia nut cookies, you will marvel at the brilliance of the Hawaiian sky. Enjoy your guide's entertaining "talk story" of the infinite world of the observable universe which offers you a personal and educational look at the heavens.


This tour is approximately 8 hours in length and includes dinner, transportation to the summit, hooded parkas and warm gloves, and hot beverages while you watch the stars.

Because of high altitude this tour does not allow those with respiratory, heart, or circulatory conditions, people in generally poor health, or pregnant women. Scuba divers should be aware of altitude changes and avoid doing this tour shortly after diving. Minimum age for this tour is 16.

Dinner Choices: BBQ Chicken with warm cornbread and cole slaw, or Veggie Wrap with glazed carrots and tabouleh, or Gluten-free which is a plain grilled chicken breast, rice, and glazed carrots.

Parka Sizes - (small, medium, large, x-large, xx-large) All parkas are men's sizes so ladies may wish to select one size smaller than normal



The Mauna Kea tour is not available for cruise ship passengers. We recommend doing either the Sunrise Bike Tour on Maui or the Haleakala Sunrise Van Tour on Maui.


When you stand at the summit of Mauna Kea and look across at the summit of Mauna Loa, it is easy to forget that you are in Hawaii. The extreme climate and barren landscape provides a startling difference from the rain forests of Hilo or the heat of Kona and Waikoloa. About three months out of the year there is a very good chance you will see snow ... yes ... SNOW ... at the top of this mountain! When we did this tour it was the first week of May, and a late-season storm had just dusted the summit with 4" of fresh snow. It makes the tour even more beautiful and surreal!

The summit of Mauna Kea requires a 4 wheel drive vehicle; it is not possible to drive in your rental car. If you've rented a Jeep Wrangler you would be OK, however your rental car contract will probably forbid you from driving on this road. Besides, without the tour you won't get the telescopic look at the night sky and you won't get the benefit of the guide's informative narration. You probably won't be bringing a parka with you to Hawaii either; they are provided on this tour.

The most important tip is to remember the implications of high altitudes. The air is MUCH thinner here ... this is not a good place for people who are in poor health or are pregnant. Scuba divers should be extra cautious and allow plenty of time before and after a dive when scheduling this tour. 

One other consideration ... BOOK THIS ONE EARLY because availability is very limited for this tour. The number of people allowed at the summit of Mauna Kea per day is strictly regulated.

After leaving the summit, an extended stop is made at the visitor's center at the 9,000 foot level where your guide will set up a computer-aided telescope and give you a tour of the night sky. If you come at a full-moon the sky will be so bright it will be difficult to see stars, but you'll get some unbelievable looks at the moon's surface.

This tour is oriented toward people who are staying in the Kona and Waikoloa areas (where most of the resorts are located on the Big Island). Please note that if you are staying in Hilo or some out-of-the-way vacation rental somewhere else on the Big Island you will have a rather long drive to meet up with the tour. Hawaii Forest and Trail will meet you at at the parking lot at Puu Huluhulu Cinder Cone. This is located at Mile Marker 28 on Saddle Road (Highway 200), which is at the Mauna Kean Summit Road intersection.






Mauna Kea Summit & Stars Reservations


 Select Date


click on calendar icon to set date, or enter manually in mm/dd/yyyy format


# of adults

minimum age for this tour is 16!!!


please list each person's first name, dinner choice (BBQ chicken, veggie wrap, or gluten-free), and parka size (s, m, l, xl, xxl)


First Name

Last Name


Country (if other than USA)

Cell Phone

Day Phone

Evening Phone


Name of Hotel or Condo on the Big Island

I acknowledge that I have read the booking procedures below and wish to submit this reservation for processing.

Upon submitting your activity reservation for processing, one copy is sent to your e-mail address so that you have a record of your order. We will make reservations for you and send an e-mail confirming all of the details. These confirmations are often sent a few minutes after your reservation, but some activities take longer to confirm than others. You will receive an e-mail confirmation by the end of the next business day at the latest. There are no tickets that you need to pick up prior to your event. Your e-mail confirmation will have all the details you need to check in and enjoy your selected activity. This saves you precious time when you arrive in Hawaii. 

A credit card is required to guarantee payment for your reservations, but in most cases WE DO NOT charge your credit card when your order is placed. Your credit card is typically charged five days before you leave for Hawaii, and a voucher is faxed to the vendor. Some activities are charged at the time of check-in and your e-mail confirmation will inform you if this is the case. If you cancel your activity after your credit card has been charged you will receive a refund less 10% to cover our credit card processing costs.

We do have one vendor that requires payment at the time that your reservation is made. These activities are clearly marked on our website with the words, "Payment required at the time of reservation."

After making reservations, you may reschedule or cancel your activity up until 48 hours prior to its start (a few activities have 72 hour cancellation policies ... see your confirmation e-mail for details). Within 48 hours of the start of your activity all reservations are final and non-refundable (unless the event is cancelled by the vendor due to weather or other factors). Due to our incredible climate here, weather cancellations are rare.  No-shows and cancellations without adequate notice are charged in full on the credit card used to secure the reservation and are non-refundable.





Most rates quoted on this website do not include the Hawaiian state sales tax which adds 4.1667%, 

or the state harbor fee of 3% on boat excursions. Adventureinhawaii.com is a FREE reservations service;

 we have no hidden service charges or fees that we charge for servicing your reservation

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Kona Snorkeling Tours    Fair Wind Snorkel Tour    Hula Kai Snorkel Tour    Big Island Whale Watching

Luaus on the Big Island    Big Island Waterfall Hiking    Atlantis Submarines Kona    Kona Sunset Cruises

Big Island Helicopter Tours    Kona Parasailing    Mauna Kea Summit Tour    Kilauea Volcano Tour

Pearl Harbor from the Big Island    Big Island Rental Cars


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