Big Island of Hawaii

Mauna Kea Arnott's Adventures

Hilo, United States
Mauna Kea Arnotts Adventures

From $239.00

Select Date and Travelers

You will not receive a refund if you cancel.
  • 7 hours
  • Pickup offered
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Discover Hawaii's highest point as you trek up to the 13,803-foot (4,207.3-meter) summit of Mauna Kea. Travel by road to the Onizuka Astronomy Complex, then enjoy a scenic guided hike to the summit, passing international telescopes and panoramic viewpoints. Arrive at the top of the volcano in time to watch the sunset, then return to Onizuka for a guided star-gazing experience (no telescopes provided).
  • Magnificent views as you watch the sunset from Hawaii's highest point
  • Enjoy stargazing with a laser pointer at the Onizuka Astronomy Complex
  • Hassle-free pickup and drop-off at your Hilo hotel
  • Intimate small-group experience with a maximum of 13 people

What's Included

  • All Fees and Taxes
  • Jacket
  • Dinner
  • Telescopes

Meeting And Pickup

You can head directly to your preferred meeting point, or request pickup.

Meeting points

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Pickup points

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Start time

02:30 PM

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

Pickup details

Our Mauna Kea Tour begins in HILO only meets guests in Hilo or at the Onizuka Visitor Center on Mauna Kea. We DO NOT pick up guests from Kona, Waikoloa, any hotels on the west-most side of the Big Island, or any cities other than HILO on the east-most side of the Big Island.

What To Expect

Rainbow Falls

15 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Onizuka Astronomy Complex

30 minutesAdmission Ticket Included

Mauna Kea

30 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Onizuka Astronomy Complex

15 minutesAdmission Ticket Not Included

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Travelers should have a strong physical fitness level
  • Age minimum 13 years old
  • Not recommended to guests that have scuba dived in the last 24 hours.
  • Not recommended for travelers with respiratory conditions
  • Not recommended to consume intoxicants during or directly before this tour
  • Not recommended to consume carbonated beverages during or directly before this tour
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 13 travelers

Cancellation Policy

This experience is non-refundable and cannot be changed for any reason. If you cancel or ask for an amendment, the amount you paid will not be refunded.

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Traveler Photos

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78 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 78 reviews
Top of the world
HergenHerbert_S, Sep 2023
Andras did a great job showing us scenic views and the stars. Great driving anyway! :) :):):):):):):):):):):):)
Belinda_L, Sep 2023
Beautiful views from the summit of the sunset and the stars! Donna was great! She was not only our guide but also our photographer. The jackets provided by the company were very much needed and appreciated. Thanks for an unforgettable experience!
Excellent Summit and Stargazing Tour with a Great Guide
MaryEllen_V, Sep 2023
This was our second sunset tour to the summit of Mauna Kea and by far a superior tour in terms of the depth of knowledge of our guide from Arnott’s, Andras, and his excellent presentation. We also made more stops along the way up the mountain, for example stopping at the VBLA radio telescopes, and the stop before the summit itself which our last tour in 2017 with a different company did not do. Our stargazing excursion after the summit sunset viewing was also superb with the moonrise complementing the experience. Andras has the perfect personality for a tour guide in terms of his manner and exuberance for the topic, as well as his breadth of knowledge that he’s able to compact into short presentations for a tour of this nature. We don’t know what his background was prior to doing tours in Hawaii (as he is from Europe), but he’s certainly well-educated and well versed in the science and astronomical information needed to make this tour come to life. Kudos to Arnott’s, we’re glad we chose this company this time!
Did this even really happen?
Justianna_K, Aug 2023
Absolutely incredible sunset with a view of Maui's Haleakala from the peak of the incredible Mauna Kea. Our tour guide, David, was friendly, kind, and exceptionally knowledgeable. He gave us an amazing star show after sunset that blew our minds. This is an incredible experience that should not be missed. Don't forget to request a jacket!!
Arnott's Picks You Up in Hilo at your hotel. Very wonderful experience.
Lora_G, Aug 2023
I chose this company because I wanted to be picked up in Hilo at our hotel. I did not want to drive up to Mauna Kea. I don't think it is a very good idea to drive up there if you intend to try to make it to the top. You will need a four wheel drive to do so and you need to know not to ride your brake down or it will overheat. Our tour guide was Ernz (sp?). He was great. Very knowlegable and he made sure we were all safe and acclimated well with the high altitude. He had a special place to park when everyone else had to go down the mountain. We got to see the stars and learn about them from him. Please make sure you ask to reserve a coat with them ahead of time, because it was very cold up there. We brought gloves and we were glad that we did.
Tristan_D, Jun 2023
This was an excellent experience. The views and sunset were amazing and so many stars, all topped off by the glow of Kileau erupting in the distance. The guide was great: knowledgeable and super friendly
An amazing experience....
Jakob_P, May 2023
An amazing experience. Our guide Donna was very knowledgeable and did a great job telling us about Mauna Kea, hawaiian culture and the Island.
Consider this “budget” option
ChiaLing_H, Apr 2023
Much less covered compared to other tours - no hot drinks, no dinner, the jacket they provide is thin, and seats were packed. More than half the group were unprepared for the weather at the summit, and the guide kept repeating “they should have been informed to bring layers”, “it’s a special day and it’s cold”and suggests using the van as shelter. Not saying it’s a wrong thing to say, but I definitely felt like there’s gotta be better ways to address this on the set. Compared to other tours this is like budget airline vs regular airlines - expect the minimum in exchange of a low price, so you won’t be disappointed.
Margaret_P, Mar 2023
Amazing experience ! Great tour with spectacular views, even got to see snow! Knowledgeable tour guide.
Bonus Rainbow
James_Q, Feb 2023
We met our guide Donna at Arnott’s Lodge. She was such a positive person. She did a great job of explaining the itinerary and was so knowledgeable about Hawaii and it’s history. It was a very informative ride to the top of Mauna Kea. Also was great with the constellations and was an excellent and courteous driver. The views were amazing, better than expected. It had an other worldly feel to it. We were both above the clouds and below them. The amount of stars you see is unbelievable. We had a crescent moon so only about 30% light from it. If you can plan ahead try to go on a moonless night. We didn’t get to see a rainbow at the Rainbow Falls stop, due to cloudy rainy conditions, but on the way up after we broke through the clouds we got to see a beautiful rainbow. You could even see where it started in a valley below us. It’s cold up there so bring a hat and gloves to Hawaii.
We really enjoyed our...
Chutima_S, Jan 2023
We really enjoyed our trip. Andras, our guide was very welcoming and knowledgeable. The views were spectacular. All in all, a great tour.
Stunning views, awesome memories
Kim_W, Nov 2022
This trip was fantastic. The tour guide was super knowledgeable and entertaining. I felt that he looked after our best interest as we drove to the top, experienced the top and as we Star gazed. I would definitely book this trip again
Excellent tour with Andras and Arnott's!
Vincent_H, Nov 2022
My wife and I looked at the weather forecast in the morning, and the only tour that had openings was Arnott's, and we are so grateful to God for giving us this tour. We are at a Waikoloa resort, drove 1 hour to the Visitor Information Centre at 2800m elevation and 10C to meet Andras, our guide, and then went on the tour to the summit from 4:15-7:15pm in Toyota Sequoia safety and comfort with total 6 passengers and it was worth every penny! Our view of the sunset at 4200m elevation and 2C was incredible, followed by equally impressive dark sky laser pointer astronomy tour! Andras is professional, courteous, keeping safety first in mind, and very knowledgeable and articulate. In fact, for intermission between sunset and stargazing, Andras gave us first had eye witness video accounts of the devastation that occurred during the 2018 volcano eruption. Simply one of the best tours ever in my mind! Skip the fancy options of parkas (bring your own), or picnic meal (bring your own) and get a great tour with Andras and Arnott's!
Response from Host, Nov 2022
Aloha Vincent! Mahalo for taking the time to review our Mauna Kea tour. We are happy to hear that the weather was in your favor and that Andras did an excellent job. When ever you're on the Big Island consider staying with us at Arnott's Lodge. We have different types of accommodations that would meet your needs. We hope to see you again in the near future. Take care. Aloha!
Picture Perfect
Margaret_P, Sep 2022
Fantastic tour! Our guide was knowledgeable, helpful and the views were simply spectacular! I would recommend this as a 10 out of 10!
Response from Host, Sep 2022
Thank you for your review! We are so grateful to be able to provide these experiences for guests like you. Mauna Kea is a place like no other. Mahalo!
Disappointed. Not responsible
Munisa_B, Sep 2022
I couldn't reach tour operator through viator or wasn't able to do any changes there. It was very difficult do fing tour operator phone number since the website /app was down. I understand that tour operator cooperating with viator but please be responsible for your tours since your tour operator or customer service and Viator service are not taking responsibilities by throwing "ball" to each other. We were lost we didn't know what to do. We paid for our tour and it comes out we are not able to receive help from both ends not able to canceled or change to another tour or get refund I'm always using Victor's service and it was the first time I'm facing this situation where tour operators and viator customer service are not responsible and not able to help. That made us extremely disappointed. I'd like to receive complementary refund Thanks
Response from Host, Sep 2022
Aloha Munisa, this entire review is false and very disappointing to read. You spoke with our representatives multiple times, and they all did their best to help you. You reached us by phone to change the date on your tour, and you reached us by phone on the day of your tour to try to rearrange your pickup point. Lying on a review because we were unable to accommodate your request to drive 2 hours out of the tour's regular route is not okay. You were provided all of the information you needed by phone and by Viator message multiple days beforehand. We always provide our guests with their pickup information ahead of their tour and are happy to try to work with the guests as much as possible, like we did for you, so to read false information posted after the fact feels unnecessary and impolite. This is a situation in which you were responsible for yourself to meet up with the tour and you did not do so.
Beautiful Sunset on Mauna Kea!
Karol_K, Jul 2022
This tour was great! The guide, David, was so knowledgeable about the locations we visited and shared lots of Hawaiian folklore to explain what and why we were seeing.
Fabulous experience
Jiafu_O, Jun 2022
He is very professional knowledgeable and caring tour guide, especially with stargazing. He Tells great stories and history.!
Response from Host, Jun 2022
Thank you for taking this tour with us! We are so glad you had a great experience.
Fantastic Mauna Kea Tour!
Jana_G, Mar 2022
The visit to Mauna Kea for sunset, was spectacular! Also, the stargazing after. Our guide David was so knowledgeable about The volcano, The Stars, Hilo and Hawaii in general. It was a pleasure to spend time with him. We also stopped at Rainbow Falls on our way up. I frequent Hawaii for work, and have already given the information to several co-workers! Loved it! I will use this company again for other tours.
Response from Host, Jun 2022
Thank you so much for reviewing us! We try our best to give exceptional tours, no matter which tour you take :) We are so glad you enjoyed your time with David.
Luis_E, Jan 2022
Beautiful. Guide was very friendly. Made the time very enjoyable. Would definitely do it again in the future.
Response from Host, Jan 2022
Thank you for your review! We appreciate you and your adventure with us.
Zijie_S, Jan 2022
The tour was cancelled due to the mountain closed, the operator only agreed to refund 50% that was around 100 USD for each person, it is a very expensive ride. I tried to argue for a 75% refund as that was a more reasonable amount and I understood the guide has spent his time on, we are okay to bear some of the risk of cancellation. However, this is where I start to rate them 1 star, they not only do not respond the message at all, they made up stories to Viator that they "have sent us there twice and completed 50% of the trips, the front desk had clearly communicated with us if we chose to reschedule our tour, there would be only 50% refund". Disputes do happen, we are both nice people, but at this kind of attitude, I would avoid the tour operators at all costs in the future.
Response from Host, Jan 2022
Aloha! We have a very different view on what occurred with your reservation and had the evidence to back it up, but we are sorry that you felt like you did not have a good experience. Our cancellation policy is clear and we followed it to the letter in your case. Mahalo!

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