Whether you’re a budding astrophysicist or just a fan of Big Bang Theory, take the opportunity while you’re on the Big Island to visit the Mauna Kea Summit and Observatory.
At a lofty height of 13,796 ft (4,138 m) Mauna Kea is Hawaii's tallest mountain, and the summit is topped with astronomical observatories from around the world.
The Visitor Information Station is at a lowly 9,300 ft (2,790 m) elevation, and from here a rugged hiking trail winds to the summit. It takes around five hours and you need to be fit and prepared for all kinds of weather conditions.
The visitor center has interactive displays and videos, with interactive telescopes, talks and tours. It also runs escorted tours to the summit.
This was fantastic! we saw flowing lava and I have some great pics!! Well worth the money if you love volcanos.... and who doesn't
Review by Gary F, April 2013
Doing what: Mauna Kea Summit and Stars Small Group Adventure Tour
We were impressed with the knowledge of our guide. We loved the personal attention and enjoyed every minute of our experience.
Loved the music on board, the commentary was wonderful. Randy was laughing hysterically most of the time because he was having so much fun. Your people are all charming and considerate. Your desk guy even drew us a map to get to Saddle Road at the end of the tour. Nothing but good, professional work by all involved. We were well cared for from start to finish. The flight itself was AMAZING. Thank you!
The Visitor Information Station is an hour’s drive from Hilo, via Highway 200. The best way to get here, and to the summit, is on an organized tour.