You have 2 trips in progress. See all
Trip Planner: USA / Hawaii / Island of Hawaii / Kailua-Kona / Mauna Kea
Ascend to the highest point in the state at Mauna Kea. The peak of this dormant volcano is 4,027 m (13,803 ft) above sea level and is considered sacred in Hawaiian mythology. As you take in the views, you can see the observatories where astronomers study the skies. You can hike, drive, or take a guided tour to the summit. If driving, you should use a four-wheel drive vehicle to avoid damage to your automobile. Visitors traveling up Mauna Kea's flanks should stop for at least half an hour at the visitor center to acclimate to the elevation. Bring a warm jacket; the temperatures get cooler as you ascend. PutMauna Kea into our Kailua-Kona holiday builder tool and find out what's close by, where to stay, and where to head next.
Tours to Mauna Kea
$288 BOOK WITH VIATOR Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small-Group Adventure Tour Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small-Group Adventure Tour
Duration: 8 hours
Tours from $288 ›
$280 BOOK WITH VIATOR Best Mauna Kea Summit Tour (Free sunset and star photo!) Best Mauna Kea Summit Tour (Free sunset and star photo!)
Duration: 8 hours
Tours from $280 ›
$259 BOOK WITH VIATOR Mauna Kea Summit Sunset and Stars Free Astro Photos Hilo Kona Waikoloa Pick Up Mauna Kea Summit Sunset and Stars Free Astro Photos Hilo Kona Waikoloa Pick Up
Duration: 7 to 8 hours
Tours from $259 ›
$300 BOOK WITH VIATOR Hawaii Small-Group Volcano Experience with Lunch and Restaurant Dinner Hawaii Small-Group Volcano Experience with Lunch and Restaurant Dinner
Duration: 12 hours
Tours from $300 ›
Mauna Kea reviews
We traveled up Mauna Kea for a sunset on February 25th 2023 with Mauna Kea Summit Adventures guide Fernando. His extensive knowledge of Big Island volcanic history (he seemed to know the year and...
We traveled up Mauna Kea for a sunset on February 25th 2023 with Mauna Kea Summit Adventures guide Fernando. His extensive knowledge of Big Island volcanic history (he seemed to know the year and... more »
This is an all-day/into the night journey that is worth every minute. The mountain is famous for its size and meaning to the native Hawaiians; the work that is being done by the astronomers and...
This is an all-day/into the night journey that is worth every minute. The mountain is famous for its size and meaning to the native Hawaiians; the work that is being done by the astronomers and... more »
Watching the sun go down over the heavens was a spiritual event. I felt as though all my loved ones who have passed were there with me experiencing the achingly beautiful glorious simplicity of that.... more
Watching the sun go down over the heavens was a spiritual event. I felt as though all my loved ones who have passed were there with me experiencing the achingly beautiful glorious simplicity of that.... more »
Absolutely must do if on the big island. Need a true 4x4 with 4L. Took a 4Runner with no issues whatsoever. Once up there, highly recommend taking a 1 mile round trip hike to the true summit. Hike is harder then you think given altitude. Was about 42F with 30mph winds in late November, so wear appropriate clothing.
Main reason we chose the Big Island to visit. Absolutely beautiful drive. Going 0 to almost 14k elevation in a short span hurts a bit (drink plenty of water). Snow was on the top but otherwise nice weather (be sure to check website before driving up). Park rangers were very friendly and helpful. You can't go to the actual summit (a bit of a bummer but understandable due to the cultural significance for Hawaiians).
Mauna Kea is situated at higher elevation, so it's possible to experience several seasons in one day as happened recently on my out and back walk from the visitor center to the Keck observatory via the Honua'ula Trail. Perfectly clear skies and mid'40 F at 07:30 AM starting out, but notably dense accumulating snow falling at the summit and for close to two hours while descending. Wind chill effect can put the hiker in sub-freezing conditions in a hurry. Without appropriate layering of garments and covering of extremeties, the situation can become nothing less than perilous. The Honua'ula Trail is largely dry as bone sand and gravel which means hiking boots aren't required, but whatever footwear used should be sealed to prevent tiny rocks and sand from penetrating socks and shoes/boots. Long sleeves, scarf and head cover are critical because the sun is intense. CamelBak or up to half gallon water recommended for round trip. No water source at the observatory, nor along the trail. Any permanent snow cover at the top is dusty, not ready for consumption. Views along the trail are good, with or without cloud cover. Worth the walk and conditions. Sign in and out at visitor center. Free admission currently.
Didn't actually get to go to Mauna Kea because we didn't have a 4WD car. But the park ranger recommended us to do a nearby trail on a hill instead. The views from that were also great but very windy that my ear was ringing. Recommend coming with proper gear.
If you can train for it, hike the trail from the visitor center to the summit. It was amazing, the views, the solitude. Bring plenty of water and food, and try to hitch a ride down (you don't want to walk the trail or road at night). Bring warm clothes for the summit. A life goal achieved!
Plan your trip to Kailua-Kona
Get a personalized tripA full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your trip. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place. Everyone on the same page.
Popular things to do in Kailua-KonaSee all ›
Side trips from Kailua-Kona
Hidden gems in Kailua-Kona
Kid-friendly things to do in Kailua-KonaSee all ›
Shopping in Kailua-KonaSee all ›
Nearby attractions in Kailua-Kona
Trips in Mauna Kea by other users
22 days in Asia, United States & South Pacific BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM Male Manila Honolulu 30 days in Hawaii BY A USER FROM GERMANY Kailua-Kona Hilo Lahaina 31 days in Hilo BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Mokuaikaua Church Swim with Dolphins Kailua Pier 19 days in United States BY A USER FROM SAUDI ARABIA Dallas Albuquerque Los Angeles 3 days in Hilo BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA Akaka Falls State Park Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Garden Liliuokalani Gardens 60 days in Hawaii BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA Honolulu Volcano Kailua-Kona 8 days in Kailua-Kona BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Kona Cloud Forest Sanctuary Mrs. Barry's Kona Cookies Mokuaikaua Church 20 days in Hawaii BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Kailua-Kona Haleakala National Park 18 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM Disney Orlando Kailua-Kona 44 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA Key Largo Islamorada Marathon 30 days in United States BY A USER FROM GERMANY New York City Washington DC Sarasota 8 days in Kailua-Kona BY A USER FROM CANADA Kona Cloud Forest Sanctuary Kona Brewing Company Photography Tours
Are you the owner of this business?Click here for promotion tips.