Mauna Kea

Around Our Mauna Kea Vacation Rental

It’s one of the most famous mountains in the world, as well as one of the most crucial for science. As the tallest mountain in Hawaiʻi, and far from city lights, Mauna Kea is one of the best places on earth from which to observe the heavens. The sunsets seen from here are truly like no other; stay at one of our great Mauna Kea vacation rentals and explore the majesty of the mountain!

There are several different areas to visit on Mauna Kea. Start with a rest stop at the Mauna Kea State Recreation Area, a park on Saddle Road near the junction to the summit. It has a great playground and bathrooms, and it’s a good place to put on your winter clothes before heading further up the mountain. Next, you’ll come to the Mauna Kea Visitor’s Center, which is the furthest you’ll be able to drive in most vehicles (and if the summit road is closed due to weather, this is the furthest you’ll get, period). The Visitor’s Center is a very worthy destination, though, as it’s packed with information, the staff is very knowledgeable, and after dark, they pull out some big telescopes for viewing. There’s also a great spot to watch an amazing sunset from here, and the 9,200-foot elevation is considered safe for most visitors.

The summit itself is a worthwhile journey for those who can make the trip. It’s not advised for pregnant women, children under 16, or people with heart problems, as there’s 40% less oxygen here than at sea level. Access is limited to 4-wheel drive vehicles, so many visitors choose to travel to the summit with a tour group. These pick up passengers in Kona, Waikoloa, or Hilo, so arrangements must be made in advance. There is truly nothing like it: the nearly-always clear skies here, devoid of light pollution, make it one of the best observatories on the planet.

Choose one of our Mauna Kea vacation rentals, and enjoy your visit to this special mountain!