Big Island of Hawaii

Mauna Kea Summit Sunset and Stars Free Astro Photos Hilo Kona Waikoloa Pick Up

Badge of ExcellenceHilo, United States
Mauna Kea Summit Sunset Stargazing Adventure with Free Photos
Likely to Sell Out

From $259.00

Select Date and Travelers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Enjoy a sunset and stargazing experience like no other on this small-group trip to Mauna Kea—the highest point in the Hawaiian islands. Following afternoon pickup, travel in a 4x4 van to the summit—you can change into a warm jacket and pair of gloves, and sip a hot beverage, as the sun starts to set. Then, learn why so many research telescopes are located here during a brilliant celestial show.
  • This bucket-list experience whisks you up to the Mauna Kea summit
  • Watch the sunset from the mountaintop, and see the stars come out
  • Leave all the driving to your guide with round-trip 4x4 van transit
  • Warm jackets and gloves, hot drinks, and pro photographs included

What's Included

  • Transportation in a comfortable 4X4 van
  • Snacks and a hot beverage
  • Jackets and gloves to keep you warm
  • Experienced tour guide
  • Professional Celestron telescope
  • FREE night photo with our professional camera
  • Dinner (Travelers may bring their own)

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting points

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End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

Mauna Kea Summit

4 hours Admission Ticket Included

Maunakea Visitor Information Station

30 minutesAdmission Ticket Included

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • Not recommended for travelers under 13 years old
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 14 travelers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.

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Q:How can I arrange pickup for the Mauna Kea Summit Sunset and Stars Tour?

A:Pickup is available from select locations in Hilo, Waikoloa, and Kona. Be sure to select the correct pickup option when making your reservation.

May 2021

Q:Can I change my departure point for the Mauna Kea Summit Sunset and Stars Tour after the booking is confirmed?

A:Pickup is included from the location on your selected option when making your reservation. If you need to change the pickup location, please call the local operator at the phone number on your ticket.

May 2021

Q:How should I dress for the Mauna Kea Summit Sunset and Stars Tour?

A:It can get very cold on Mauna Kea, so dress accordingly. You will be provided with coats and gloves to help keep you warm.

May 2021

Q:How strenuous is the Mauna Kea Summit Sunset and Stars Tour?

A:All guests should be in moderate physical condition. There is a significant change in altitude as the tour group ascends Mauna Kea.

May 2021

Q:How high is the Summit of Mauna Kea?

A:The Visitor Station is located at 9,200ft (2,800m) and the summit is 13,796ft (4,205m).

May 2021

Q:Do we get to use the telescope at the Summit during the Mauna Kea Summit Sunset and Stars Tour?

A:The large observatories are run by several different universities/organizations from several different countries. You may, however, get close to the stars with a professional Celestron telescope to view the incredible night sky.

May 2021

Q:Are there age restrictions to participate in the Mauna Kea Summit Sunset and Stars Tour?

A:Guests under age 13 are not recommended due to the high altitude.

May 2021

Q:Are there other restrictions to participate in the Mauna Kea Summit Sunset and Stars Tour?

A:This tour is not recommended for anyone who is pregnant, has back problems, or is in poor health due to the high altitude.

May 2021

Q:Are there restrooms available during the Mauna Kea Summit Sunset and Stars Tour?

A:There are restrooms at the Mauna Kea Visitors Center as well as portable restrooms near the summit.

May 2021

Q:Is food included in the Mauna Kea Summit Sunset and Stars Tour?

A:Food is not included, however, you may bring your own packed dinner with you. There will not be food available for purchase upon arrival.

May 2021

Traveler Photos

See more

Traveler Tips

Masks were required, but this was a lot of close exposure.
I recommend bringing headphones to listen to music or watch something on the way to the mountain.


695 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 695 reviews
Do the sunset summit tour!
Brian_S, Sep 2023
This was a fantastic experience! Our guide was a lot of fun. Seeing the observatories at the summit was very cool and viewing the sunset was absolutely breathtaking. After sunset, the sky was completely transformed. I've never seen so many stars. Definitely recommend!
The sunset views and...
Margie_W, Sep 2023
The sunset views and stars were incredible! The guides knew what they were doing and got us to the best viewing places at the right time. We also enjoyed the camaraderie of the other guests.
Jaw dropping adventure with lifetime memories!
Sherry_J, Sep 2023
This is as close to being on top of the world as you'll get without Sherpa guides and a half a million dollars in support crew. I can't say enough good things about our guide Blaze. He has an incredible depth of knowledge, love and enthusiasm for his job! The trip was well organized without being inflexible. Blaze helped me put my iPhone on just the right timed exposure to take amazing Milky Way photos. I even caught the glow of Kilauea erupting! I was truly impressed with Blaze's galaxy narration with laser pointer describing the constellations, and individual stars. The tour operator provided top of the line communication from booking to completion. Our guide made this tour one for the record books!
Totally worth you doing!
Melissa_Z, Sep 2023
Just an amazing experience all the way around. I have never seen such an amazing night of stars in my life. We were able to see galaxies far away, constellations, satellites, and more. The sunset was beautiful but the starts were amazing and our guides were great.
Would do it again
Jeannine_L, Sep 2023
The beautiful sunset and the stars The description of the stars is wonderful. It’s quite cold up at the top. The warm tea and hot chocolate help. Late evening and we’ll worth it
Did not stargaze/ Not recommended
zi_y, Sep 2023
Clearly, in the world of business, the company or the tour guides prioritized their profits by insisting on going up the mountain for the tour, despite being well aware that the weather conditions were unsuitable for stargazing, the primary attraction of the tour. Despite this awareness, the tour guides led a group of people up the mountain, seemingly unmindful of the potential consequences. Given that stargazing was the main reason people had signed up for the tour, I would have certainly requested a refund if possible or the opportunity to reschedule for another day dedicated to stargazing. However, no such alternatives were presented, and the disappointment we experienced remained unaddressed.
Mission Accomplished
Robert_R, Sep 2023
My wife and I had been on top of Mauna Kea about 11 years ago. So, I decided to come again leave some of her on top of the volcano.
Anyone who visits Island should take this tour
Joel_C, Sep 2023
Blaze was an excellent tour guide, very knowledgeable on Mauna Kea, the night sky and the telescope's on the mountain. We witnessed the eruption of Kiluea from the summit a unique one time experience. Great tour and highly recommend.
Beyond Belief
Barry_G, Sep 2023
Our tour guides were very intelligent, energetic, and articulate. We felt like we had a history class, geology class, and an astronomy class all in one. The view of the Milky Way at the Star Party was beyond belief. When you go be prepared… it really is going to be cold!
Great experience !
Dakota_D, Sep 2023
Phenomenal experience! Our guides were extremely friendly and knowledgeable. We didn’t have great weather for stargazing but the sunset was unforgettable! (Pro tip but we also had a proposal in our group which was adorable) Pickup was easy and the buses were all brand new and extremely comfortable. I have back problems so off-roading is usually a pain but these were so comfortable most people fell asleep during the descent. Can’t recommend this tour enough!
Such a magical...
Rovelyn_G, Sep 2023
Such a magical experience! So worth it! Just be sure to have extra layers of clothes cause it was a lot colder at the summit than I anticipated. Steve was an awesome and knowledgeable host! He made it lighthearted, fun, and memorable.
Gorgeous, Worth the trip!
Alexander_E, Sep 2023
The guide, Steve, was informative and engaging! Beautiful sunset, gorgeous stars, definitely bring water and snacks, though warm food and tea/hot cocoa will be provided during the stargazing. Gorgeous pictures (keep in mind normal phone cameras won't capture the stars well). Also keep in mind that the restrooms are about an hour between.
Beautiful sunset!
Zafrir_D, Sep 2023
We enjoyed the sunset & beautiful Super Blue Moon! The road was a rough ride, however, it was well worth it!
Outstanding!!! 10 Stars!!!
Tiffany_I, Sep 2023
First, just the excellent communication from the moment we booked our trip! Then our tour guide Valarie and Zach were just outstanding!! The tour van was comfortable. We were given delicious snacks at the visitors center and then headed up the mountain with Valarie sharing all kinds of cool information along the way! Her driving skills were also amazing!! The timing for every moment was perfect, from the "rock talk" to the perfect sunset and then finally, more delicious snacks and hot cocoa, along with Star Pictures, looking through the telescope and an EXCELLENT "star chat" by both Valarie and Zach! I cannot recommend this incredible tour more!! Totally worth the price, a once in a lifetime experience!! Thank you for such a great time!! We will never forget it!!!
Bucket List Number Three-Check
Marsha_H, Sep 2023
This was the first time ever that someone pointed out where my Zodiac sign is in the sky. Awesome! The star talk with very informed guides was fantastic. Being at the summit of the tallest mountain in the world was a thrill. Being close to the observatories and seeing them that close up was a real “awe feeling “ moment. The sunset was unbelievable . This was an experience of a lifetime. I can’t say enough good things about the guides, the communication, or the care they gave us on this excursion.
Awesome once in a lifetime experience
Venkateswar_V, Sep 2023
Whole family had a great time! Not possible to drive by ourselves up the 14,000 ft. high mountain. That is almost half the height of Mt. Everest. We were bussed to the mountain base. Then we were divided into two groups at the base of the mountain. We stopped at the visitor center and had time to acclimatize to the height. The next stop was at the top. We waited until sunset. Then we drove back to a place where we could see stars. They setup tables. We were provided hot chocolate, oat meal, snack bars to beat the altitude sickness. They setup a telescope to watch the Stars. Was able to see the Whirlpool galaxy and Globular Cluster. It was the darkest night we could be in away from city lights. The driver was very professional and patient. He took as many astro-photos as we wanted with stars in background. One of the driver is very knowledgeable on stars and explained the location of various stars.
Seeing the super blue...
Krista_O, Sep 2023
Seeing the super blue moon and the constellations was amazing. Our tour guide was so friendly and knowledgeable! Would recommmend 10/10.
Insightful tour
Vinci_C, Aug 2023
The sunset and stargazing. Seeing the starlink train was an extraordinary sight. Steve, the tour guide, was full of info about Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.
Not ‘Starless and Bible Black’
Henry_K, Aug 2023
Our driver Brice was friendly, very knowledgeable about the mountain, the culture, the telescopes and the stars. He made sure we stayed safe, no one got altitude sickness and was an excellent driver. The view from the top was amazing. Stargazing was ok but the moon was very bright which of course the tour has no control over.
Worth every penny! Book it today - you won't regret it.
Serena_H, Aug 2023
This was my second time up to the summit, but first time on an organized tour and I can't recommend this company enough. The tour and our guides Steve and Val were fabulous. We felt very well informed of every step of the 7ish hour night together from pickup to the drive through Waikoloa to the summit up the mountain. They prepared us for the altitude, let us acclimate at the visitor center before going to the top. The van was a brand new HUGE Mercedes Benz 4x4 so we felt very safe on the rocky roads. The best part for us was post-sunset and doing a star show. They took amazing photos of us, gave us hot drinks and unlimited snacks and we looked at constellations and galaxies through their amazing telescope. This may seem like an expensive tour, but this is one of those once-in-a-lifetime tours. You're taken care of every step of the way. Thank you Steve and Val for a lovely tour! PS pro-tip - EAT well before the tour and bring some snacks/sandwiches in case the altitude gets to you. It will help immensely.

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