The trip begins mid-afternoon with a pick-up at one of our central locations in Kailua Kona, the Queen’s Marketplace (Waikoloa Resort)  and Waikoloa Village (Lava Java). After completing our pick-ups, we begin our journey to our first stop as a group at the Mauna Kea visitor center. As we drive up the mountain, we learn about island culture,  geography, geology and natural history.

details_pic2While dining at the Mauna Kea visitors center , you’ll find out why the world’s largest telescopes are located on this spot. And you’ll learn a bit about the lives of astronomers who work there. Before leaving the visitors center we issue parkas and gloves and engage our four wheel drive for the steep 1/2 hour drive to the summit area.

On the summit, your guide will point out the observatories as they begin to open and rotate into position. You’ll learn about famous observatories such as Keck, Subaru and Gemini. There is plenty of time for photos while the sunset transforms the area into a beautiful and quite unearthly spectacle. When the best of the color has past, we descend to mid-mountain, where the sky is equally clear but the climate and air density is much more comfortable for stargazing.


Almost every night we explore the night sky using our large portable telescopes*. Using high power green lasers our guides are famous for their ability to locate the treasures of the night sky and interpret them in a way that everyone can understand. Midway in the evening we serve hot drinks and a sweet treat to help take the chill off . The tour is 7-8 1/2 hours in duration depending on where you join it. The actual schedule of the trip varies throughout the year according to sunset times.

*The Stargazing component of our adventure depends on natural conditions. Although more than 90% of our trips have fine stargazing conditions; MKSA does not guarantee the weather in any way.

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 What the Trip Includes:

  • Extremely informative narration from our highly trained guides. Learn all about the cultural and natural aspects of the island.
  • Convenient central pick-up points in Kailua Kona, Waikoloa Beach, Waikoloa Village or at the Mauna Kea Visitor Center
  • Custom built, 4X4, Mercedes Sprinter vans – the best option available for safe transport to the summit, and panoramic views
  • Superb scenery and photo opportunities with Sunset on the summit. Our guides can advise on getting the best images
  • Arctic style hooded parkas and (one time use) gloves
  • Hearty, 3 cheese, lasagna supper served at the Visitors Center about 1.5 hours before sunset
  • 11″ Celestron CPC 1100 fully computerized telescopes with premium oculars operated by our expert guides
  • A complete Stargazing program with visual and telescopic observations hosted by our expert guides (conditions permitting)
  • Gourmet hot cocoa, coffee or tea accompanied with a sweet treat to ward off the chill while stargazing

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In addition to being flavorful and healthy, this delicious meal also travels well on the tour and will warm you up.

  • A hearty portion of 3 Cheese vegetable lasagna served with a big homemade chocolate brownie.
  • Gourmet hot cocoa, coffees and teas accompanied with a sweet treat while stargazing

Bring your own beverages (no alcohol). We do provide filtered water during supper. There are beverages and snacks available at the Visitors Center when it is open.

Option: You may delete the meal (for a savings)and bring your own.

2024 Price- $281.73 plus taxes and fees

(effective January 1st 2024)




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 Health Requirements:

Because our tour goes from sea level to almost 14,000’ and no one on our tour is permitted to remain at a lower altitude, there are health requirements to review before making the booking.

Does any member of the party have any history of heart problems?  This includes ANY heart surgery, stents, pacemaker, bypass, heartvalve irregularities and arrythmias etc. ANY history of heart problems is NOT eligible for this tour.

Anyone with a history of respiratory problems? (This includes pneumonia or RSV in the last 6 months, any lung conditions or surgeries, COPD, emphysema) Asthma sufferers that can completely control their asthma with an inhaler and have their inhaler to bring along on the tour, are OK to go.

In addition, this high-altitude tour is a health risk for anyone pregnant, under 13 years old, or anyone with a body mass index (BMI) over40.0 would not be eligible for this tour.

Lastly, no scuba diving 24 hours before the tour.

Please ensure you read the policies stated in the Reservations page before booking your Mauna Kea adventure.


See and print our 4 x 9 Inch Color brochure in PDF format. Download Here

The Weather & Climate:

details_pic3Mauna Kea enjoys an average of 300 clear nights per year. Most of the inclement nights are easily predictable. However, road closures enforced by the authorities on Mauna Kea have become much more common and difficult to predict. We study the weather on daily basis and when we expect unfavorable conditions are likely; we cancel the trip and refund the payment. We average 50-70 weather and road closure related cancellations per year, Like any high mountain there can be unpredictable and fast changing weather. We can also be wrong in our predictions just like anyone that attempts to predict weather. If the weather should be unfavorable for sunset and stargazing we may have to change the plan a bit to make the most of the trip. Above all, this is a trip to one of the world’s greatest mountains and we take it as the mountain and nature allow.

We DO NOT guarantee the weather in any way but we do guarantee a professionally guided high mountain experience.

The Climate: The average temperature is 30F. (-2C.) and wind is common. Please wear pants and closed shoes and bring any layering garments you may have. We will supply warm, hooded parkas, and single use gloves.

Cancellation Policy:
(# of Passengers)
1-4: 24 hours
5-7: 48 hours
8-10: 1 week
11+: 2 weeks

Call (888) 322-2366 • local and international (808) 322-2366 • Fax (866) 329-5650

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