The Mauna Kea Observatory is a world-renowned site that sits atop the Mauna Kea summit. It's a place where you can explore the stars and gaze into the heavens, as well as catch a glimpse of some of the most impressive telescopes in existence. This observatory is located on Big Island, Hawaii and was built for astronomers to use for studying astrophysics. The summit has long been used by Native Hawaiians for religious ceremonies and other cultural activities, so it's only fitting that it be turned into an observatory, a place where people from all over the world can come together to explore their universe. It's also interesting to note that there are no hotels or restaurants at this location, it's simply a place where people go to enjoy what it has to offer. Visitors can get up close and personal with these beautiful structures, or they can sit back and enjoy the view from afar.
The best part about visiting Mauna Kea Observatory? You get to experience the incredible views from atop the mountain yourself. If you're willing to brave the cold, you'll be able to watch as the sun sets below the horizon and rises again over the horizon in all its glory. You'll also be able to see some amazing star formations overhead the sky above is so clear that it almost looks like you could reach out and touch them. Visitors get a wonderful opportunity to find the best views of the sky above when they go stargazing from the summit of Mauna Kea, which is Hawaii's tallest volcano. If staring at the stars is your primary motivation for making the trip, you should devote much of your time in the location of the Visitor Center. It is possible to drive up to the summit of Mauna Kea in a four-wheel-drive vehicle during the day and during sunset, but the peak is off-limits to tourists from 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise.
Those who make the trek to Mauna Kea are welcomed with world-class views of the stars above, which immediately explains why so many countries have constructed astronomical observatories at the summit of Mauna Kea. More than 11 nations have erected 13 observatories atop the dormant volcano. These observatories measure visible and infrared light spectrums in addition to submillimeter and radio wavelengths. The black sky, lack of artificial light pollution, and low humidity all contribute to the favorable conditions for conducting these measurements. After dusk, the temperature at the top of Mauna Kea drops considerably, surprising many visitors who were planning their trip to Hawaii on the assumption that it won't get below freezing. It is strongly advised that you bring additional layers with you and dress warmly.
Mauna Kea is one of the tallest peaks in the pacific region. The height from its base makes it the world's most elevated mountain in total height length. The lack of light and dust pollution and air clarity make the Summit out Mauna Kea the best location for stargazing in the world. There are also some world class observatories at Mauna Kea Summit that attract scientists worldwide. The Big Island of Hawaii is one of the most fantastic places for visitors to visit and admire the world's natural beauty. It hosts the best telescopes for stargazing while visiting this special place we call Hawaii Island. Some other related activities that are suitable for nighttime here are picnics, especially during the perfect night up to the Summit. An evening dinner picnic is certainly different but unique. The Mauna Kea Summit and Observatory feature the tallest mountain in the entire Pacific. This mountain has a base under the ocean surface that makes it even that much more mesmerizing. The state of the art telescopes on the Summit are something for all of us to be marveled by. Scientists truly admire the beauty globally and put in hard work continuously here to improve our world knowledge as much as possible.
At the top of the Summit there is no actual viewing telescope and it is necessary to have a 4 wheel drive vehicle to access it. You can also join one of the great tour groups for visiting the Summit and Observatory at Mauna Kea. Please be respectful at all times as this place is very sacred and special to the Hawaiian people. There are two logical destinations on Mauna Kea. The first is through the visitor station halfway up the volcano, and the other is the telescopes at the actual Summit. The visitor station can be reached by your car. Please ensure that you have an excellent 4WD car with excellent brakes, planning and driving skillfully and collectively to make your trip and visit as smooth and enjoyable as possible. Saddle road is the access point to go up to Mauna Kea in order to reach the visitor center station. It is located halfway up at approximately 9,200 ft in elevation. Also, ensure that your gas tank is filled prior to heading on up.
Now after bypassing the hard path, you reach the Summit to enjoy the finest stargazing in the world. Her you will find the local volunteer astronomers who set their telescopes outside the station to perform stargazing programs under their supervision. Keeping in mind that this program is always at night. You need to make reservations before visiting should you decide to take part in it. There is usually a lot of visitor activity here at the Summit so please be patient and bring lots of food and water. You may face a long line of cars. This is on a first come first serve rule and respect is highly needed and and a must. Again, this place is very special and sacred so please ensure that you and your kids treat it as such at all times. Mauna Kea is also a perfect place to enjoy the sunset, especially when you are high above the clouds. A beautiful expansion of colors at its peak awaits you and your camera for that perfect shot. A gentle reminder to please wear warm clothing with layers as the weather becomes very cool and cold fairly quickly into the night.
Live and Interactive Google Map Link to Mauna Kea Summit Observatory: