Full-Day Mauna Kea Exploration from Hilo

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Duration: 8h
Location: Big Island Trading Co., 1672 Kamehameha Ave, Hilo, HI 96720, United States | Hilo, United States

Category: Adventures

Exploration of Mauna Kea, sacred home of the Hawaiian gods
Planetarium show & a look at massive mountaintop telescopes
Highest point in Hawaiian Islands at 13,796 feet (4,205 m)
Insight into ancient navigation techniques using the stars
Leisurely nature trek through a lush, native koa rainforest

Guided tour of Mauna Kea
Park entrance fees
Lunch and beverages
Use of walking stick, day pack, and warm clothing
Roundtrip transportation to and from a central meeting point in Hilo


Looming over the landscape of the Big Island, snow-capped in the winter, and stretching toward the stars at 13,796 feet (4,205 m) in elevation, Mauna Kea—Hawaiian for “white mountain”—is the sacred home of the Hawaiian gods. Take in the natural wonders of this dormant volcano on this full-day tour.

Your tour begins in Hilo, at the Imiloa Astronomy Center. Learn how the ancient Hawaiians used the stars and constellations to navigate the seas, and sit back for a captivating, full-dome show in the planetarium. From there, set out for a drive through the multiple climate zones that lead toward the top of Mauna Kea. Stretch your legs with a short nature trek through native koa forest at the mountain's base, and then climb from sea level to summit as you leave the tropical rainforest and enter into the barren lunar landscape of the volcano's highest reaches.

This heavenly realm sits above the clouds, and with its dry environment, stable winds, and lack of light pollution, it's a prime spot for stargazing. Admire the 2 telescopes of the Keck Observatory—the largest optical and infrared telescopes in the world—and check out the University of Hilo 2.2-Meter Telescope, which helped explore the existence of objects in the farthest extents of our solar system. By the time you leave the arid and otherworldly peak of the Hawaiian Islands, you're sure to have a richer understanding of both ancient astronomy and modern tools for exploring the celestial mysteries of the night sky.

Cancellation Policy: 48 hours
Know before you book: You must be 16 or older., Due to high altitude, you must have good circulation and healthy, unblocked breathing. You must not have scuba dived in the 24 hours prior to this tour., If you are pregnant, you may not take part., If you have back, joint, or muscular problems, you should carefully consider whether to participate., You must be able to walk on unpaved or uneven terrain., Check-in is 30 minutes prior to the booked tour start time.

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