Mauna Kea Summit And Stars Small-Group Adventure Tour - Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

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Tour Details


Head to the Mauna Kea Observatory, nestled high in the mountains of the Big Island, and experience an intriguing and provocative journey through space and time. Discover Hawaii from the top of the island's tallest peak, Mauna Kea, also known as 'White Mountain,' located 13,796 feet (4,200 meters) above sea level. Limited to 28 people, this small-group star-watching tour ensures a personalized and unique experience at the enchanting Mauna Kea summit.


  • Free snacks included
  • All taxes, fuel surcharges and service fees included
  • See the sights illuminated at night
  • Dinner included

Know More about this tour

View a spectacular sunset from the top of Mauna Kea and enjoy a unique stargazing experience on this Big Island adventure tour. After departing from Hawaii Forest & Trail's Kona Headquarters and a brief pickup from the Queens' MarketPlace in Waikoloa, you'll travel toa Hawaiian historical ranch in a 4x4 luxury van at the base ofMauna Kea.

Enjoy a hot, picnic-style dinner (see sample menu in the Itinerary section below) at a former Hawaiian ranch site where you're provided with a warm, hooded parka. Then prepare to make the climb to the summit area of Mauna Kea, learning about the Big Island's cultural, natural and ecological history from your naturalist guide.

From the summit, enjoy views of Mauna Loa and see Maui's volcano, Haleakala, along with other special points of interest. Stand among some of the earth's most powerful telescopes as you enjoy the sunset view.

After sunset, travel to the Mauna Kea Visitor Station at 9,000 feet (2,743 meters), where your guide sets up a telescope for a personal, entertaining and educational star party. Learn how Mauna Kea's unique geography draws scientists from all over the world to study the heavens, and also allows for incredible nighttime views of the stars.

Enjoy hot beverages and dessert as your guide gives a personal astronomy lesson before your return to Kona.

Inclusions for Mauna Kea Summit And Stars Small-Group Adventure Tour

  • Guide
  • Hooded parkas and gloves
  • Hot picnic dinner
  • Hot cocoa and cookies
  • Private star show with telescope
  • Local taxes

Exclusions for Mauna Kea Summit And Stars Small-Group Adventure Tour

  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Hotel pickup and drop off


Picnic Dinner Menu (please specify at booking):

1. Teriyaki Chicken (gluten free)
Served with brown rice, carrot, zucchini, bok choy, yellow squash with a garlic & white wine sauce, and a caramelized pineapple garnish 

2. Kalbi Beef Short Ribs (gluten free)
Served with brown rice, carrot, zucchini, bok choy, yellow squash with a garlic & white wine sauce, and a caramelized pineapple garnish

3. Vegetarian Thai Curry (gluten & dairy free, vegetarian, vegan)
served with brown rice, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, portobello mushroom, sugar snap peas, green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, onion, bok choy

*Food is prepared in a facility with nuts, oils, & other potential allergens; please be aware cross contamination may occur during preparation.

Sauce Ingredients:

Thai Curry Sauce
Lemon grass, fresh ginger, fresh garlic, coconut milk, coriander, paprika, tomato puree, Thai Curry Paste, cumin and gluten free soy sauce

Teriyaki Sauce for Chicken
Soy sauce (gluten free), sugar, ginger, garlic, and sesame oil

Teriyaki Sauce for Short Ribs
Soy Sauce (gluten free), mirin, sake, sugar, ginger, garlic

Additional Info

Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 5 days of travel. In this case confirmation will be received within 48 hours, subject to availability

Minimum age is 16 years

Due to the high altitude; this tour is not suitable for those with respiratory, heart or circulatory conditions, poor health, or pregnancy

Scuba divers should be aware of altitude dangers

Please advise your parka size (small, medium, large, x-large or xx-large) and choice of meal (Teriyaki Chicken, Kalbi Beef Ribs, or Vegetarian Thai Curry) at time of booking. If you do not indicate this at the time of booking, you will be required to call and advise them of this information directly.

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

We recommend that guests wear closed-toe walking shoes or hiking boots, long pants and bring a light sweatshirt or jacket

The access road to Mauna Kea is four-wheel drive only, so it can be bumpy. The custom off-road transit vans will get you to the top and back in safety and comfort. The transit vans can carry a maximum of 14 passengers

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

Adult pricing applies to all travelers

Cancellation Policy
  • If you cancel within 3 calendar days (72 hours) of the scheduled departure time, the cancellation charge will be 100% of the undiscounted tour price.
  • If you cancel between 4 to 7 Calendar days before scheduled tour departure,the cancellation charge will be 50% of the undiscounted tour price.
  • If you cancel at least 8 calendar days in advance of the scheduled departure time, there is no cancellation fee. You will receive Full Refund for the paid amount.
  • Please note that in case of No show, the cancellation charge will be 100% of the listed tour fare.
  • Please note tours booked using discount coupon codes will be non refundable.

Write A Review

See All 167 Traveler reviews

  • The first part of our tour was amazing. The drive up to the summit was beautiful and the sunset was breathtaking. The star gazing was nice but dragged on for a really long time. Our guide was coughing the whole time and was clearly quite ill. This definitely detracted from the overall experience.

  • Hank our tour guide did a great job of narrative and explaining things. The weather was not good and thus we could not go to the summit or have great views of the stars. These were both disappointments and diminished the value of the trip. No discount or refund was offered, but the tour information was of much value.

  • We were very disappointed. The road to the summit was closed due to snow. I guess this happens 65 out of 365 days. Our tour guide, Joe was good and tried to bring us to other areas to see the sunset and stars but it was not the same thing. I would suggest that if you want to take this excursion not to do it during the winter.

  • Awesome tour guide Hank was very informative and had a great sense of humor. Experience of watching the sunset above the clouds was amazing. Went to Hawaii for some warm weather but enjoyed seeing the snow on top og Mauna Kea. After sun set we could see the glow of the lava fields some 300 miles away at Kilauea.Spectatular views. Stargazing was a fun experience and the hot chocolate and brownies hit the spot. Thanks for a great adventure.

  • A must do on Big Island! We went on this tour with Hawaii Forest and Trail it was stunning! There are no words to describe the beauty of the stars and the mountains and the sunset we saw. All that and snow in Hawaii at Christmas. Perfect day with our amazing guide Jeff. Wrap up warm it's cold up there brrrrr

  • The tour guide Joe was great!

  • How wonderful that Hank was available to treat us to an unforgettable anniversary! We were all in awe. The day was perfect, the lunch was simple and good. We couldn't believe we all got to witness the top of this snow covered mountain but Hank looked after our every need, the parkas and mittens were perfect. And yes, our family enjoyed the warm cocoa and chocolate brownies while we were mesmerized by the star show. Seeing the sunset on a mountain is something we'll never forget.

  • Great Experience! The whole trip was like a well-oiled machine. Our guide (Hank) was the best guide I’ve ever had for this sort of thing. He was very well informed about the volcanos, the night sky, and the history and culture of Hawaii. It was a fair amount of driving but well worth it.

  • Sehr gut organisierte Tour, bereits beim Empfang habe ich mich blendend mit der dortigen Mitarbeiterin unterhalten, der Guide war sehr erfahren und konnte viel erzählen. Die Verpflegung war gut und die Gruppengrösse sehr überschaubar. Zur Sicherheit wurde sogar Sauerstoff mitgeführt. Die zur Verfügung gestellten Parkas waren warm, es ist aber sicher zu empfehlen, sich entsprechend anzuziehen, da es auf den Bergen, sehr kalt werden kann. Die Aussicht vom Gipfel, bei Sonnenuntergang, war überwältigend. Fazit: Hervorragend, sehr zu empfehlen.

  • Beautiful. We did feel a bit alone at some point. It is a long tour after all.

  • See All 167 Reviews

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