Mauna Kea Summit Sunrise & Stargazing Tour

Mauna Kea
Transportation Included
Breakfast Included
Sunrise with Mauna Kea Observatory


  • Tour of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano and the highest point in Hawaii
  • Stargazing at one of the best places in the world with guide & telescope
  • Sunrise above the clouds among world-famous observatories and a Mars-like landscape
  • Learn about the night sky, scientific space research, and Mauna Kea’s cultural significance
  • Round-trip van transportation, breakfast, and hooded parkas included
$191 per adult
  • Early Morning
  • Duration 4 - 7 hours


COVID-19 UPDATE: This tour has been suspended indefinitely. Please consider our sunset & stargazing tour which is bookable.

Experience the stark beauty and profound awe of Mauna Kea on a sunrise adventure. See and learn about the night sky from 9,000 feet up a mountain world-famous for its collection of leading scientific observatories. You’ll then proceed to the summit above the clouds at almost 14,000 feet to watch the brilliant colors of sunrise light up the sky and the red Mars-like landscape of the tallest volcano and mountain on earth. You’ll learn about the leading scientific research taking place there, as well as the sacred role Mauna Kea has played in Hawaiian culture and history.

Tour Details

For stargazing, the following are used: laser pointer by guide, spotting scope for group (with guide's assistance), and binoculars. Hot drinks are served while stargazing, as well as snacks. After stargazing and sunrise, you will stop on the way back to Kona/Waikoloa for a hot picnic buffet breakfast at a rustic outdoor location, or for the Hilo tour at the Imiloa Astronomy Center restaurant. Hooded parkas are provided due to the freezing temperatures at the summit, and you should wear long pants and covered walking shoes with socks, along with bring a sweater or jacket.

Due to the high altitude and regulations, only those age 16 and over can go on this tour.

Booking Tips

  • The booking calendar above shows real-time availability. If the date is available (including for tomorrow morning), just select it and finish the booking process as soon as possible to claim your spots. Spots are limited, so don't wait too long!
  • Can't do any of the available dates? If at least a couple days in advance (or a larger group), please email us so we can look into the possibility of adding this tour on an additional date. Please include the # of people in your party and all possible dates that would work you. Note: the Hilo tour cannot run on Mondays and major holidays.
  • Weather sometimes cancels the tour. It is recommended you book the earliest possible date during your trip so you have a better chance of being able to reschedule if needed. Given the early hour of the tour, there is also the potential benefit of taking advantage of your body’s clock still being set to home before adjusting to Hawaii time (which is 2-3 hours earlier than PST and 5-6 hours earlier than EST).

TravelShack's Choice

Why we recommend this option over others
  • Currently the only English tour that regularly visits Mauna Kea for sunrise
  • Whereas there can be hundreds of people at sunset and many tours, sunrise has far fewer people, resulting in a more intimate nature experience
  • The most reputable and longest running small group tour operator on the Big Island (almost 25 years)
  • Pickups from both sides of the island
Traveler Reviews
TravelShack Customer rating:

5.0 out of 5 stars
Also rated on:

February 2020

Rob U wrote:

A trip to the Big Island isn’t complete without a visit to Mauna Kea. This trip was the way to do it. The company is well organized and our guide Brett was friendly, knowledgeable, and excited about his work.

June 2019

We had an excellent guide, Joel. He was humorous and knew all about Hawaiian star constellations, navigation, geology, and history. Had a great time. They thought of everything to keep us comfortable.

June 2019

Angella C wrote:

Amazing trip!

Our guide Matt was polite, kind, and very knowledgeable. An experience would recommend.

Guidebook Reviews

Hawaii Big Island Revealed Guidebook:

Possibly the best place in the world to observe stars.

If you want to go stargazing on Mauna Kea, Hawaii Forest & Trail does the best job.

Lonely Planet Guidebook:

Top 20 Activities in State of Hawaii. The stargazing is a unique and profoundly memorable experience.

Top-notch ecotour outfitter with knowledgeable guides

Fodor's Guidebook:

Fodor’s Choice

This comfortable, highly educational tour packs a lot of fun. Guides are knowledgeable, and the small group size encourages camaraderie.


  • Mauna Kea
  • Hilo, Kona, Waikoloa, Mauna Kea
Distance to Mauna Kea
40 min from Hilo
50 min from Waikoloa
1 hr from Kona

Tour Times
Depending on exact location & time of year, pick up from Kona/Waikoloa is 2:30-5 am and return 8:45-10:15 am, and from Hilo 3-4 am with a return of 10-11 am. See FAQ for more details.
Frequently Asked Questions
  • Recognized at the local, state, and international levels as a leader in sustainable tourism
  • Certified by the Hawai’i Ecotourism Association
  • Donates to and partners with local environmental and community organizations
  • Reusable silverware, containers, and water bottles to reduce waste
Terms and Conditions
Cancellation Policy
  • Fully refundable until 24 hours prior to tour
Tax added at checkout
  • 4.712% Hawaii sales tax (GET)
Restrictions (no refunds given if not followed)
  • No children under 16
  • Not for those with respiratory, circulatory or heart conditions, pregnancy, or poor health.
  • Should not participate within 24 hours after going scuba diving.