1:55 PM - 10:30 PM
Mauna Kea Summit and Stars (BIG ISLAND)
|Stunning Sunsets||Professional guide|
|Star-gazing||Picnic Style Dinner|
|Hooded Parka & Gloves||All-Day activity|
|Roundtrip transportation||Fully Air-Conditioned Vehicles|
PLEASE NOTE: This activity is on HAWAII ISLAND and guests have to make their own way to the pickup location in Kailua-Kona.
The drive to the summit of Mauna Kea is one you’ll never forget. It’s hard to believe you’re in Hawaii as you climb to 13,796 feet above sea level. Once at the summit we are afforded spectacular views of the horizon, Haleakala on Maui, Mauna Loa and Hualalai, and Mauna Kea’s world-class array of telescopes. Mauna Kea is the world’s tallest mountain, rising over 32,000 feet from the ocean floor to its summit, which is considered by many Hawaiians to be the most sacred place in all the islands. In your hooded parka you’ll stand in awe at both nature’s sublime creation and man’s astonishing technological achievements.
Starting out from our headquarters in Kona, we travel up the coast over desolate lava flows for about a half hour before proceeding up the rolling pasturelands on the flanks of Mauna Kea. Turning onto the Saddle Road that traverses the island between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, you’ll see a dramatic and diverse landscape of ranchland, sub-alpine dryforest and rainforest (with striking features such as cinder cones, lava flows, lava tubes and kipuka). We arrive at our private dinner location at Humuula approximately 2 hours before sunset for a hot, picnic dinner served family style. After dinner and with a winter-style parka in hand, we’ll make the 45 minute drive to the summit. As your make your way up, you’ll be fascinated by your Interpretive Guide’s interpretation of Hawaii’s remarkable natural, cultural, and geologic history.
After sunset we descend to the Visitor’s Information Station at 9,000 foot elevation. Here we set up our own telescope and have a star gazing party. Wrapped warm in Arctic parkas, enjoying hot beverages and cookies, you will marvel at the brilliance of the Hawaiian night sky. Your Interpretive Guide will share with you stories of the observable universe, and offer you a personal and educational look at the heavens.
|Length of Tour||10 hours|
|Tour is operated||Daily|
All Guests must check-in no later then 1:00 PM
Hawaii Forest & Trail Headquarters -735593 Olowalu St, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
-Trail is Rated: Easy to Moderate; ages 16 and over
-Picnic style dinner, assorted teas, hot chocolate, and dessert. Dinner selections are either Barbecue Chicken (served hot) with Lemon-Mint Quinoa and a Dinner Roll; or a Vegetarian Tofu Wrap (served cold) with Peanut Dipping Sauce, Lemon-Mint Quinoa and a Dinner Roll. Hot Chocolate and Brownies served for dessert.
-Gear Provided:Hooded parkas and warm gloves
Transportation is NOT included.Please note that for this adventure customers must provide their own transportation, and you need to check in at the office. All reservations are subject to non-refundable cancellation if guest is not checked in by 1:00 PM.
|Additional Items To Bring/Wear:||
Wear your close-toed shoes and long pants. Bring a sweater!
-Tour limited to a maximum of 14 guests
-Guests should be able to hike on uneven or rocky terrain. We sometimes encounter cool, wet or muddy conditions. Because of high 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 16. Other tour restrictions may apply.
-No Children under 16 years old
We don't charge any cancellation fees if you notify us in time but a minimum of 48-hour notice required prior to departure time for changing, rescheduling or cancelling your tour. *Tours cancelled or rescheduled within the last 48 hours are non-refundable.
Driving Directions from Kailua-Kona: North on Highway 19 (Queen Kaahumanu Highway), located behind the Tesoro service station just past Kealakehe Parkway intersection. (approx. travel time is 15 minutes)
Driving Directions from Kohala: South on Highway 19 (Queen Kaahumanu Highway), located behind the Tesoro service station just past Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park. (approx. travel time from Waikoloa Resorts is 30 minutes)
Are guests allowed to go into the observatories? Some observatories are open to the public daily until 4 PM. As our tour arrives after this time, the observatories are closed to visitors.
How cold is it at the summit of Mauna Kea? Average mean temperature is freezing.
Is the vehicle ride bumpy and windy? The access road to the summit of Mauna Kea is four-wheel drive only, so it can be bumpy. Our custom off-road motor coaches will get you to the top and back in safety and comfort.
What kind of telescope is used for star gazing? We utilize an 11” Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope.
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 www.space.com/nightsky for upcoming astronomical 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 Mauna Kea? The summit of Mauna Kea is normally above the clouds. If the weather (clouds, snow, ice or high winds) cause us to cancel the tour, there is no charge, of course.
If you like this tour, you might also like:
|#70 Epic Island Volcano Adventure (BIG ISLAND)||#72 Hakalau Forest Adventure (BIG ISLAND)|
Or visit our home page to see all of our tours
|Office Hours:||We are open every day, 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM Hawaiian Time|