Mauna Kea Tours and Information

By September 12, 2011Hawaii Activites, Sites to See

Majestically standing at an elevation of 13,796 feet is Mauna Kea, which means “White Mountain”. Its name comes from its snow-capped summit in the winter. It is the tallest mountain in the world at 33,000 feet, when measured from its base at the sea floor. Mauna Kea is home to the Hawaiian goddess Poliahu. The last eruption was 3,500 years ago.

The summit is the home to some of the world’s leading astronomical observatories such as Keck, Gemini, Canada-France-Hawaii, Cal-tech and the University of Hawaii, where the view is clear 300 nights a year.

Waikoloa Vacation Rentals does recommend arriving at the visitors’ center toward late afternoon into the early evening. As the elevation is so dramatic, the night sky is one of Mauna Kea’s most impressive features.

There are two options to visit this historical site. The First would be to drive with your loved ones, family, and friends to the visitor center at Mauna Kea. There are great views and some activities at the 9,000 feet elevation. A four-wheel drive vehicle or commercial tour must be utilized to gain access to the summit, as ordinary vehicles are not capable of handling this road. The second would be a guided tour, allowing access to the higher elevation, observatory, and more.

To reach Mauna Kea, take Highway 190 north towards Waimea. The Saddle Road (named because it runs between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa) is located on the right, just before the 6-mile marker. After the 28-mile marker, turn left onto the Mauna Kea Access road. The Visitors Information Station is about 6 miles up the road, on the right. They are open from 9 AM to 10 PM daily. This trip takes about an hour and a half to two hours from Waikoloa Beach Resort.

Effects of high altitude and weather conditions are two factors that should be known prior to embarking. Be sure to check updated conditions, pack appropriately and take the recommended precautionary measures.

Guests of Waikoloa Vacation Rentals may contact (808) 987-4519 or email for assistance.

To see what Waikoloa Vacation Rentals has to offer for luxury vacation rentals, please visit us at

Visitor Information Station (808) 961-2180

Weather and Road Conditions (808) 935-6268