COVID-19 Update: With the lifting of the visitor quarantine on October 15 for those with negative tests, many of our activities are operating or will be soon. Please check our booking calendars.

Mauna Kea Summit Sunset & Stargazing Tour

Hawaii Forest & Trail
Mauna Kea
Transportation Included
Dinner Included
Van and telescopes against night sky with stars

Highlights

  • Tour of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano and the highest point in Hawaii
  • Sunset above the clouds surrounded by a Mars-like landscape
  • Stargazing at one of the best places in the world among famous observatories
  • Private telescope and a guide using laser pointer for constellations & planets
  • Hot dinner, along with gear to keep you comfortable
  • Roundtrip transportation
From
$225 per adult
  • Afternoon, Evening
  • Duration 5.25 - 8 hours

Pricing & Availability

Overview

On this adventure to the highest point in Hawaii (13,796 ft) and a world renowned stargazing spot, you will witness the universe like never before atop Mauna Kea. After a stunning sunset above the clouds amongst some of the leading observatories in the world, the night sky will reveal its wonder to you with your expert guide serving as your astronomer while pointing out planets, galaxies, stars, and more with a laser pointer and a private high-powered telescope. You should come away with a greater appreciation and understanding of space, Hawaiian culture, and the fascinating geology of the Big Island.

COVID-19 UPDATE: With its reopening in late November, the tour follows all national, state, and local guidelines to ensure guest and staff safety. In addition, the tour has been reduced from a max of 14 to a max of 9 guests, and pickup locations have been reduced. More details in FAQ below. If you're not seeing availability on the only days you can do and your group size is 4+, please contact us as there may be flexibility, even for today.

Tour Details

Due to chilly temperatures at the high altitudes, hooded parkas and gloves are provided for your comfort, as well as hot chocolate and teas (with brownies / cookies for dessert).

Due to the impacts of high altitude and regulations, only those age 16 and over can go on this tour. See FAQ for details about doing a private tour with kids.

Booking Tips

Weather, including cloudy conditions, sometimes cancels the tour, especially during the winter months. Therefore, 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.

TravelShack's Choice

Why we recommend this option over others
  • Pick-up locations include multiple Kohala Coast/Waikoloa resorts
  • Hot picnic dinner
  • Parkas and gloves to keep you warm
  • Advanced 11” Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope for a closer look at the stars, planets, and moon
  • Stargazing session is up to 1 hour
  • Large comfortable tour van with big windows, not cramped cargo van
  • The most reputable and longest running small group tour operator on the Big Island (almost 25 years)
Traveler Reviews
TravelShack Customer rating:

4.9 out of 5 stars
Also rated on:
TripAdvisor
Yelp

Wonderful once in a lifetime opportunity to watch the sun set above the clouds on Mauna Kea! Stargazing will depend on the clarity of the sky and brightness of the sky. Guide was very knowledgeable about astronomy, the telescopes, Polynesian cosmology and anything else we wondered about. Good dinner too!


Our outing to Mauna Kea to see the sunset and then star gazing was wonderful. From the time we left Kona, our guide, Justin, was extremely helpful and informative. We stopped for a delicious dinner in a pleasant setting under lovely trees, then went to the top of the 14,000 foot volcano! It's the highest volcano in the world. There are several observatories doting the top. We enjoyed seeing the sun set. It was very clear and the temperature was about 25 degrees, and even colder considering the wind chill factor. But we were provided with very sturdy and warm parkas and gloves. At this time of year there was still snow on the summit, and we found it amusing that would be touching snow in Hawaii! After the sunset viewing, we went to a lower elevation where Justin set up telescopes and proceeded to show us several beautiful star formations. His knowledge of the night sky was impressive. The stars were gorgeous. Finally it was time come down from our mountain experience!


We were not sure what to expect and at the end of the trip had so many emotions it was not easy to identify all of our feelings. Jerald was so gracious and kind. But a powerhouse of information. The picnic in the wind was fun and funny. The van was very comfortable and made the bumpy road bearable. And the adventure had so many aspects. Snow, high altitudes, wind, beautiful sunset behind the clouds and stars. Oh, the stars!! It was a total experience affecting all of the senses. And thanks to our guide, every bit of the experience was exciting and awe inspiring.

Guidebook Reviews

Hawaii Big Island Revealed Guidebook:

Possibly the best place in the world to observe stars. Sunsets when clouds cooperate are an unrivaled splendor of unequaled expansiveness.

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. Sunsets are phenomenal. 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.

Moon Guidebook:

Hawaii Forest & Trail is a wonderful company with an excellent environmental ethic—the tours are highly recommended.

Location

  • Mauna Kea
  • Kona, Waikoloa
Pick up 1:30-3:50 pm and return 9:45-11 pm, depending on location & time of year
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 (2 weeks for private tours)
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